Allardyce criticises Benitez and urges Newcastle to keep Bruce

‘Newcastle played such negative football then, it was unbelievable’: Sam Allardyce takes swipe at Rafael Benitez’s time at the club and urges Magpies to stick with Steve Bruce once £300m takeover is completed

  • Sam Allardyce says he does not understand why Rafael Benitez was highly rated  
  • Benitez has been tipped with a return to Newcastle once the takeover is done 
  • That would see Steve Bruce sacked after just a year in charge of Newcastle 
  • Bruce was an unpopular appointment last summer due to his Sunderland links
  • But Allardyce has urged the new owners to stick with Bruce once they come in 

Former Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce has urged the club to stick with Steve Bruce and not return to the ‘negative football’ under Rafael Benitez once their proposed takeover is complete.

Current owner Mike Ashley has reportedly agreed to sell the club to PCP Capital Partners, who have been backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund to complete a £300million takeover.  

Sportsmail revealed on Wednesday that Ashley has told friends he believes a takeover is ‘closer than it has ever been’, with the deal brokered by businesswoman Amanda Staveley, who seeks to take a 10 per cent share along with the Reuben Brothers’ private equity firm and the remaining 80 per cent held by Saudi Arabia.

Sam Allardyce has urged the prospective new owners of Newcastle to stick with Steve Bruce

Allardyce urged the club not to re-appoint Rafael Benitez once the takeover is complete

And while the news will come as music to fans’ ears, the deal could see current manager Bruce’s future thrown into severe doubt. 

Bruce was an unpopular choice to replace Benitez last summer due to his previous managerial stint at rivals Sunderland, and the Spaniard – who currently manages Chinese side Dalian Yifang – has been tipped for a return once the new owners come in.

But Allardyce, who managed Newcastle in 2007-8, believes the club would regret parting ways with Bruce – who had steered the team away from relegation before the coronavirus pandemic broke out – especially if it brought about Benitez’s return.

Allardyce believes Newcastle played ‘negative football’ under the Spaniard before he left

Allardyce also enjoyed a stint as manager at St James Park during the 2007-08 campaign

‘It’s going to be very difficult for Steve, I think he’d be worried if the takeover happens,’ Allardyce told talkSPORT.

‘I’ve experienced new takeovers twice – once at Blackburn [with Venkys] and once at Newcastle with Mike Ashley.

‘I wasn’t Mike’s man and I can understand that, and Steve must be very worried from that point of view.

‘There was a lot of hoo-ha about whether Steve was good enough or not, but I think he has done a very good job in his first season, considering he came in just two weeks before the season started, and at the moment they are going to be a Premier League side next season.

‘I still don’t understand why Rafa Benitez was deemed to be so good. I just don’t understand it because Newcastle played such negative football then, it was unbelievable.

Current owner Mike Ashley has reportedly agreed to sell the club to PCP Capital Partners

‘But there you go; Rafa did a great PR job in himself and how he managed that club at that time.’

Jamie Redknapp also revealed the potential new owners of Newcastle will ‘exploit’ the deflated post-coronavirus transfer market.

But Allardyce also believes the club could become a profligate club if they sack Bruce and everyone around him.

‘Steve is a very, very good Premier League manager of a great high quality, irrespective of what the media might say, and he knows how to put a club in a position to move forward,’ Allardyce continued.

‘If you change everything around, sack everybody and bring new people in, then it’s going to take years and years and they may well waste their money spending it quickly on the wrong players.’

The deal has been brokered by Amanda Staveley, who seeks to take a 10 per cent share


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