Rewind to the 12th May 2019, Newcastle United had thrashed Fulham 0-4 at Craven Cottage in front of a packed away following. Rafael Benitez symbolised hope, and united what was a previously disillusioned and fractured fan base. There was a sense of pride in supporting Newcastle United again, almost as if a switch had been flicked after a few years of turbulence.
Fast-forward to today, Newcastle sit 17th in the Premier League following a 3-0 hammering by Brazil, sorry... Brighton. The feeling of disillusionment and ultimately being completely fed up with Steve Bruce's many excuses, and his refusal to acknowledge the mess the club is in, shows how quickly things can change in football. There's no longer a sense of hope or pride, more a sense of boredom and despair. Bored of the so-called football served up each week and despairing at the lack of fight in the side, something that was so prominent in this set of players a few years ago.
Two wins out of twenty is deemed as an acceptable run of form by some experts (?) and Newcastle's hierarchy. Though, at any other club the alarm bells would've been ringing months ago, unfortunately, this is the sad and pathetic world of Mike Ashley's Newcastle United. A world that's like no other and nothing makes sense, a world where you alienate the first manager in years who really understood the club, restored pride, passion and hope. Only to be replaced by a manager with one of the worst win ratios in the Premier League. The least surprising thing of all is not one Newcastle supporter was surprised by it.
"It's your accumulation of points" rings in the ears of those asking Bruce questions each week. The simple fact is Newcastle have accumulated 9 points from the previous 30 available. Only the three teams below Bruce's side in the table have won fewer games, in addition to this, only Sheffield United and West Brom have a worse goal difference than Newcastle. No matter how you look at Newcastle's situation, it is completely unacceptable that they are in this position. Should Bruce guide the Magpies to Championship football, it would perhaps be dubbed as the most avoidable relegation.
Supporters aren't asking for the world here. After seeing Newcastle unable to make it past the halfway line in the majority of their games, it isn't a shock to see supporters asking questions. What has happened to this club? It's certainly not enjoyable anymore. People frequently ask, "What do Newcastle supporters want?" The supporters want a manager who will accept responsibility, to see football being played, actual football because this turgid, lacklustre dross is the epitome of anti-football.
This isn't Newcastle United, the loyal and passionate fan base are tired and fed up. Bruce is fast becoming one of the worst managers in the history of the club, certainly one of the most disliked. When the inevitable happens and the club find themselves in the bottom three, Bruce will be muttering "Accumulation of points" in his sleep. It is no doubt a phrase he will repeat when Newcastle are four points adrift of 17th placed Fulham, with just a trip to Craven Cottage remaining.
Bruce has failed to move with the times and has been left in the footballing dark ages, top managers adapt and change their style as the game develops over time. There isn't any hope for Newcastle now and many have already accepted relegation. A third relegation in the Ashley era may well be the most damaging and costly. With no football brain within the hierarchy, Newcastle have little chance of survival. Newcastle's descent has continued to gather pace as another embarrassing defeat passes. There is a real sense that the club will not bounce straight back should the inevitable happen.
"A good businessman" with little knowledge or interest in football is always going to spell danger. The free fall into the depths of nothingness must be halted, I shudder to think where the club will be in twelve months time if a change has not been made.