Newcastle appointed Steve Bruce as their new head coach on this day in 2019 on a three-year deal.
The Magpies announced the appointment after Bruce stepped down as manager of Sheffield Wednesday, to a mixed initial reaction from fans.
While Bruce was a childhood Newcastle fan, his previous stint as Sunderland boss left him on the back foot as he replaced fan favorite Rafael Benitez, who brought the club back to the Premier League after a shock relegation to the Championship in 2016 had brought.
Bruce’s first season at Tyneside started poorly, with Newcastle winning just one of their opening eight games in all competitions and after a 5-0 defeat by Leicester at the end of September, the pressure was building on the 58-year-old.
However, a 1-0 home win over Manchester United in the following game sparked a run of six wins and two draws from 11 games that helped turn the tide and propelled Newcastle up the table.
When the season was suspended in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Newcastle were 13th in the table on 35 points and eventually ended up in the same place when the season resumed.
Talk of a Saudi-backed takeover provided a regular backdrop to Bruce’s reign at St James’ Park and meant ongoing speculation about his future, but he remained in office until October 2021.
The Magpies had a mixed start to Bruce’s second season, including heavy defeats at home to Brighton and Manchester United, but they finished a point and a place better than the previous season.
Takeover talks intensified in the summer of 2021 and Bruce’s side got off to a terrible start on the field, eventually going 15 games without a win in all competitions.
By that time, Amanda Staveley’s consortium had completed the long-discussed £305m takeover and Bruce had left the club by mutual consent.
The former Manchester United defender’s last game in charge was the 3-2 home defeat by Tottenham on 17 October. That was his 1,000th professional game as manager and his first – and only – game under new ownership.
Newcastle were second to bottom in the Premier League when Bruce left, but under his successor Eddie Howe the club rebounded to finish the season in 11th place.
Bruce was appointed manager of West Brom in February this year and guided them to a 10th place finish in the Sky Bet Championship.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/steve-bruce-newcastle-rafael-benitez-sheffield-wednesday-sunderland-b2124967.html On this day in 2019: Newcastle appoint Steve Bruce as manager