Football news: How Steve Bruce’s predecessors fared at Newcastle during Mike Ashley’s reign

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Steve Bruce has become the 10th manager of Mike Ashley’s troubled reign as Newcastle owner. 

The appointment of Bruce, who has been put in charge of his boyhood club, has left fans furious and they have deemed him an unworthy successor to Rafa Benitez.


Here, Sportsmail takes a look at the men who have occupied the dugout during Ashley’s frustrating 12-year tenure.

Steve Bruce is the 10th manager of Newcastle owner Mike Ashley’s (left) controversial reign

Bruce departed Sheffield Wednesday to take charge of the club he supported as a boy

Bruce departed Sheffield Wednesday to take charge of the club he supported as a boy

Sam Allardyce

Allardyce was already in position when Ashley purchased the club back in May 2007 after being hired by former owner Freddy Shepherd days earlier. The former Bolton boss was not the fans’ preferred candidate for the role when he was appointed and his style of play quickly made things worse.

The former England boss only completed 24 games in charge, managing only eight wins in that time, and was eventually sacked in January 2008. 

Sam Allardyce was already in position when Ashley purchased the club back in May 2007

Sam Allardyce was already in position when Ashley purchased the club back in May 2007

Kevin Keegan

Keegan’s appointment felt like a breath of fresh air after the toxic end to Allardyce’s spell. His comeback sparked hope of a return to the highs that accompanied his first run in charge but the reality was anything but successful.

His plans to overhaul the playing staff were stopped in their tracks by Ashley’s refusal to spend big and Dennis Wise joined as executive director in a footballing capacity, a move that did not go down well.

Keegan decided to quit in September 2008 and later won a legal battle for constructive dismissal.

Kevin Keegan opted to quit in September 2008 and won a legal fight for constructive dismissal

Kevin Keegan opted to quit in September 2008 and won a legal fight for constructive dismissal

Joe Kinnear

It was chaotic at St James’ Park when Kinnear was announced as the replacement for Keegan.

His tenure started on the worst possible note too when he unleashed a foul-mouthed rant at journalists. Things didn’t get any better on the pitch as he lasted just 20 games, winning four, before having to undergo heart surgery.

Kinnear came back to the club again in 2013 but his reputation was still at rock bottom when he started as director of football.

Joe Kinnear's tenure started poorly when he unleashed a foul-mouthed rant at journalists

Joe Kinnear’s tenure started poorly when he unleashed a foul-mouthed rant at journalists

Alan Shearer

The messiah stepped into the breach at the end of the 2008-09 season as a last ditch attempt to drag the club out of relegation trouble. 

He was unsuccessful though and the club slipped into the Championship after a 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa.

Shearer and Ashley did hold takes about the future of the club but he was not given the job on a permanent basis with Chris Hughton taking over. 

Alan Shearer was brought in as a last ditch attempt to drag the club out of relegation trouble

Alan Shearer was brought in as a last ditch attempt to drag the club out of relegation trouble

Chris Hughton

Hughton had taken control of the team as caretaker either side of Kinnear’s tenure but he finally got put in permanent charge in the summer of 2009.

He managed to get the Magpies promoted back into the Premier League as champions, only to lose his job in December 2010.

Chris Hughton managed to get the Magpies promoted back into the Premier League in 2010

Chris Hughton managed to get the Magpies promoted back into the Premier League in 2010

Alan Pardew

Aside from Benitez, Pardew was probably the most successful manager appointed by Ashley but he still struggled to win the support of the fan base.

He led them to a fifth-placed finish at the end of the 2011-12 campaign and their only season of European football under Ashley, where they would lose in the Europa League quarter-finals to Benfica. 

Pardew left for Crystal Palace in December 2014, having won 71 and drawn 41 of his 185 games at the helm.

Alan Pardew led them to fifth place and their only season of European football under Ashley

Alan Pardew led them to fifth place and their only season of European football under Ashley

John Carver

Carver, assistant to Pardew, was given his dream job when he took charge but found the going tough.

In total, he managed them in over 20 games, 19 of which came in the Premier League, and a 2-0 win over West Ham on the final day of the 2014-15 season kept them in the top flight before he was let go.

John Carver was given his dream job and managed to stop them from suffering relegation

John Carver was given his dream job and managed to stop them from suffering relegation

Steve McClaren

Just like many of those before him, McClaren’s appointment was greeted with a lot of scepticism.

The former England manager had very little involvement in transfers in the summer but was able to bring in the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Andros Townsend and Henri Saivet in January 2016.

An abysmal run of form on the pitch left Newcastle staring relegation in the face and he was booted out just two months later.

An abysmal run of form under Steve McClaren left Newcastle staring relegation in the face

An abysmal run of form under Steve McClaren left Newcastle staring relegation in the face

Rafael Benitez

For the first time in Ashley’s ownership fans were actually delighted with a managerial appointment.

He hired Benitez as McClaren’s replacement with 10 games remaining and, despite the impending relegation, the Spaniard agreed to stay on and quickly delivered the Championship title the following season.

Promotion was followed by solid 10th and 13th-placed finishes despite the manager’s growing frustrations with the hierarchy. 

Then disaster struck last month when Benitez walked away after being denied assurances over transfer policy and the club’s future direction.

Promotion under Rafa Benitez was followed by solid 10th and 13th-placed top flight finishes

Promotion under Rafa Benitez was followed by solid 10th and 13th-placed top flight finishes



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