Ex-Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce takes aim at Newcastle United fans and former boss Rafa Benitez; backs Steve Bruce's 'credentials'
Former Newcastle United manager Sam Allardyce believes Rafa Benitez got an easy ride at St James’s Park – but Steve Bruce is being unfairly treated.
Allardyce, who managed United in 2007/08, thinks the Benitez PR machine did a fantastic job for the Spaniard convincing fans of his success.
But he says Bruce has not been given the same leeway or time.
Speaking on talkSPORT’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, Allardyce said: “[Benitez] played a very, very good PR game shifting it all onto Mike Ashley. That’s what the Newcastle fans took up: Rafa got no stick but Mike Ashley took it all.
“And now just two games in Steve Bruce is getting it as much as Mike, and that’s quite sad for somebody who is a Newcastle supporter and has had his dream move to Newcastle United.
“I think the supporters need to give him a bit more time.
“At the end of the day it’s a really difficult job; you have to remember Rafa couldn’t save Newcastle.
“He got them relegated and every manager that’s been relegated at Newcastle since I left has always bounced back the next season and got into the Premier League.
“Rafa jumped ship for the first job that came available to him.
“He did do a good job keeping them up and getting them out of trouble for a couple of years, and he did a very, very good job getting them back up again [from the Championship], and he is a very, very good manager.”
Allardyce, who claims he was offered the job before Bruce took it on this summer, thinks Bruce is perfectly qualified to succeed at St James’s Park.
“Steve Bruce has got really good credentials about looking after teams in the Premier League, getting teams to the Premier League, keeping them in the Premier League, and I think he should be given time to get his own team available.
“But he needs a few results to get himself that time.”
United travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday to take on last season’s Champions League runners up, having lost their opening two Premier League encounters to date.