Rob Lee, who made 267 Premier League appearances for Newcastle United, has claimed that Steve Bruce is being bedevilled by Mike Ashley’s decision-making in a similar manner that Rafa Benitez endured during his spell at St. James’ Park.
Former Magpies manager Benitez was unafraid to go public with his complaints over what he perceived to be Mike Ashley’s lack of ambition for the club and an unwillingness to back the Spanish tactician financially.
The two club figures ended up at loggerheads in the summer of 2019 when the club failed to agree a new deal with Rafa Benitez, before the ex-Valencia, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Napoli coach moved to China in search of a fresh start.
Lee slammed his former side’s lack of transparency with their managers as he spoke to FootballFanCast, indicating Bruce is plagued by a similar issue:
“The decisions always come from the top and are always made above the manager’s head. Rafa had the same problems and those problems are not going to go away.
“No matter who’s in charge those problems won’t go away and they’re always the same decisions which get made above the manager’s head.”
Lee’s comments are sure to be a damning indictment on the club’s much-maligned owner who has a long history of alienating the club’s supporters.
Indeed, Steve Bruce’s comparative lack of complaint to his predecessor may have saved him his position.
Regardless, fans are likely to be sympathetic with Lee’s view – and Benitez’ issue with Ashley.
Given the calibre of European giants that Benitez has managed in the past, it is hardly enigmatic as to why he felt he had outgrown the club.