Pep Guardiola came to the defence of 'exceptional gentleman' Steve Bruce following his recent departure from Newcastle United earlier this week.

A decision that looked on the cards following the completion of the club's Saudi Arabian-backed takeover, Bruce left the Magpies by mutual consent on Wednesday after a difficult start to the Premier League season.

Newcastle are yet to win in the league this season, having collected just three points from 24 on offer.

The 60-year-old subsequently suggested it could be his final managerial role due to the abuse he received during his two-year tenure.

"I think this might be my last job. It's not just about me, it's taken its toll on my whole family because they are all Geordies and I can't ignore that," Bruce told The Telegraph.

"By the time I got to Newcastle, I thought I could handle everything thrown at me but it has been very, very tough.

"To never really be wanted, to feel that people wanted me to fail, to read people constantly saying I would fail, that I was useless, a fat waste of space, a stupid, tactically inept cabbage head or whatever. And it was from day one."

Newcastle's Allan Saint-Maximin paid tribute to the 'gentle' and 'caring' Bruce, and Manchester City boss Guardiola believes that the winger's social media post epitomised the respect warranted by the ex-Manchester United defender, who took charge of his 1,000th game as a manager in Sunday's defeat by Tottenham.

Addressing the media ahead of City's trip to Brighton and Hove Albion, Guardiola said: "I read the post on Twitter and Instagram from Saint-Maximin.

"This is, for me, what Steve Bruce is – [he is] an exceptional gentleman. He always took care of me so nicely when I came here from Catalonia. I wish him all the best. 

"I'll tell him 'don't pay much attention to the comments because it is bull****.'

"Steve Bruce and all other managers want to do the best; sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. He does not have to worry. I'm pretty sure all the people in Newcastle – the board and especially the players – know exactly what Steve is."

It was a sentiment echoed by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who told a news conference: "Is it social media? Don't read it, don't watch it, especially not in average or bad periods. That's the best advice you can give to every manager in the world.

"I'm really sorry for Steve Bruce if that happened. I think the most important skill in modern football for a manager is to not let criticism get too close to you or just ignore it. That's what I do."

Rafael Benitez preceded Bruce at St James' Park, and was a popular figure with the club's fanbase. The current Everton boss has ruled himself out of contention to take over at Newcastle, however.

Asked if such harsh criticism could possibly lead potential managers to stay away from coaching, Benitez said: "Not for me at Newcastle or here at Everton. You have to accept that in football if you win, everything is fine, if you lose, you can lose your job.

"This is the situation for many years, in a lot of countries.

"My relationship with the Newcastle fans is fantastic, my relationship with the people in the city was very good so I have good memories. At the same time, I do not want to see any manager lose his job, that is the only thing I can say."

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says “something has to change” to bring a stop to the sort of abuse Steve Bruce was subjected to during his Newcastle United reign.

Bruce left Newcastle by mutual consent on Wednesday following a 3-2 defeat to Tottenham in his 1,000th game as a manager, a departure that appeared to be inevitable after the Saudi-led takeover.

The 60-year-old subsequently released a statement revealing that may be his last role in management and hit out at the abuse he was subjected to during his reign.

Arsenal head coach says Bruce should have been treated with more respect and wants a “round table” discussion in a bid to try and prevent others from experiencing the same sort of torment.

"I was really sad after reading that statement from Steve," Arteta said during a press conference on Thursday.

"You’re talking about somebody who has been in the game over 40 years as a player and manager, that has managed over 1,000 games and he is telling you, with that experience, with that level of expertise, that he struggles with that kind of situation.

"So I think we have to reflect how we can’t take for granted and accept certain things because they are how they are. We are here as well to improve them and change them like we do with any rules, with anything that we want to improve for our supporters, fans, stadiums, facilities, broadcast.

"Why don’t we have an open table to discuss how we can do that, because I think we have to think about that. One of the most experienced managers in English history is telling you that. You can’t just ignore it. For me, it is a very serious statement and it is something that has to change. It has to start to change."

Arteta added: "To have a strong opinion and be so convinced [about] what you see and how you judge people, you don’t have to study," Arteta continued. "You don’t even have to be able to play football.

"You can just give a strong opinion and that’s it. You talk about chemistry, you don’t do that. You talk about law, a law case, you don’t have that opinion because you have to study and then you don’t say anything.

"But you can say anything about football and it is good because it creates debate, opinion, but when you cross that line it becomes really difficult.

"It’s a man, it’s a family, his loved ones, the environment and I think we have to reflect. I was really impressed with how he explained openly how he felt, and I didn’t like it."

Steve Bruce found the abuse he received at Newcastle United "very, very tough to take" and has hinted it could end up being his last job in management.

Newcastle confirmed on Wednesday that Bruce has left his role as head coach by mutual consent, a move that had been expected since the club's Saudi Arabian-backed takeover was completed.

Bruce was appointed in July 2019 and reached 1,000th matches as a manager in the 3-2 home defeat against Tottenham on Sunday.

He leaves with Newcastle sitting 19th in the Premier League, but did record finishes of 13th and 12th in his first two seasons after replacing fan favourite Rafael Benitez.

Bruce felt much of the criticism and insults he was subjected to crossed the line.

He told the Telegraph: "When we get beat, I get very low, but when you are managing in the Premier League with Birmingham, Wigan, Hull, Sunderland you do get better at dealing with it. You have to.

"By the time I got to Newcastle, I thought I could handle everything thrown at me but it has been very, very tough. 

"To never really be wanted, to feel that people wanted me to fail, to read people constantly saying I would fail, that I was useless, a fat waste of space, a stupid, tactically inept cabbage head or whatever. And it was from day one. 

"When we were doing OK results wise, it was, 'Yeah but the style of football is rubbish' or I was just 'lucky'. It was ridiculous and persistent, even when the results were good.

"The best one was to be told we were a relegation team in all but points - this was all in the first season. We finished 13th. [The criticism and abuse] got even worse in the second year. We finished 12th, 17 points clear of the bottom three. 

"I've always enjoyed the fight, proving people wrong, but that’s all it ever seemed to be. A fight, a battle. 

"It does take its toll because even when you win a game, you don’t feel like you are winning over the supporters."

While not ruling anything out, former Manchester United captain Bruce, 60, may not manage again due to the impact of his latest role on his family.

He added: "I think this might be my last job. It's not just about me; it’s taken its toll on my whole family because they are all Geordies and I can't ignore that. 

"They have been worried about me, especially my wife Jan. She dealt with the death of my parents, hers have not been very well. And then she had me to worry about and what I’ve been going through the last couple of years.

"I'm 60 years old and I don’t know if I want to put her through it again. We've got a good life so, yeah, this will probably be me done as a manager - until I get a phone call from a chairman somewhere asking if I can give them a hand. Never say never, I've learnt that."

Newcastle's star player, Allan Saint-Maximin, was among the players to pay tribute to Bruce after his exit.

The forward wrote on Twitter: "You are, without a doubt, one of the most gentle people that I have ever met in the world of football. 

"You have been a man of your word, a caring man and a fair man who never hesitated to protect us. I will never forget how you treated me, for that I will be forever grateful."

Graeme Jones will lead Newcastle on an interim basis, starting with Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace. Former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca is the early favourite to replace Bruce as head coach.

Steve Bruce has left Newcastle United by mutual consent following the club's Saudi Arabian-backed takeover.

Bruce was appointed in July 2019 by Newcastle and celebrated his 1,000th match as a manager with a 3-2 defeat against Tottenham on Sunday.

The Magpies sit in 19th, one point ahead of Norwich City, as Bruce becomes the second Premier League manager to leave his post this season following Xisco Munoz's dismissal by Watford.

Graeme Jones will lead Newcastle on interim basis, starting with Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace, and will be supported by the coaching team of Steve Agnew, Stephen Clemence, Ben Dawson and Simon Smith.

Newcastle revealed that the process of recruiting a new head coach has started and an appointment will be announced in due course.

Steve Bruce knows his future at Newcastle United is out of his hands but says clarity on his position would be for the best as the club looks to move forward under its new ownership.

A controversial, Saudi Arabian-backed takeover of Newcastle went through earlier this month, with Bruce's position immediately cast under doubt.

Indeed, it seemed unlikely Bruce - a largely unpopular figure with Newcastle's fanbase - would be in place to take charge of his 1,000th match as a manager against Tottenham on Sunday.

While the reports of his impending dismissal did not prove to be true just yet, Bruce's landmark match ended in a 3-2 defeat, with Newcastle's new owners watching on from the crowd at St James' Park.

Callum Wilson scored inside two minutes to carry on the pre-match elation but Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane put Spurs ahead before a medical emergency in the crowd resulted in a lengthy stoppage in which the players left the pitch.

Spurs picked up where they left off after returning to the field, with Kane teeing up Son Heung-min, whose goal ultimately proved decisive when Eric Dier turned into his own net late on, just after Newcastle's Jonjo Shelvey had seen red.

Newcastle are without a single win from their opening eight league games, while since Bruce took charge ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, the Magpies have dropped 28 points from winning positions in home league games, the most of any Premier League side.

With money seemingly no issue for Newcastle's ownership, speculation over Bruce's future is bound to continue, and where he had been bullish in his pre-match news conference on Friday, the 60-year-old was rather more downcast after the match.

"That's for other people to decide," Bruce told Sky Sports when asked if he believed he would still be in charge for next week's trip to Crystal Palace.

"If I was reading everything and seeing what I was seeing last week I might not have been here today. But look, my job is to get a few results.

"Unfortunately, whether manager of Newcastle or anybody else in the Premier League, when you haven't won in eight, you become under pressure if that's the right word. That's part and parcel of being in the Premier League, with the big boys, and I'll crack on as best I can until I hear otherwise."

Asked if clarity on his position was required, Bruce replied: "That's what it needs. Every football club needs clarity. From the top right the way through to everything the football club is.

"The new owners have been very respectful, I can't say enough of them, the way they've gone about their business. But Rome wasn't built in a day, so we've still got our failings as a team and it's up to me, in the near future anyway, to get better.

"I'd love to say it's been a lovely ride. It's been difficult, but I think I've been in the circumstance of a lot of frustration for a lot of years.

"The people of Newcastle want to see the club move forward, we have a wonderful opportunity now and all I've ever wanted is to make sure this great club of ours moves forward, but that's going to take a little bit of time."

Bruce, however, did explain how the incident with the fan who fell ill during the first half put everything into perspective.

"Thankfully, we're hearing that the man is okay, so it puts things into perspective a little bit," Bruce said. "The actions that we've taken, it looks like it's good news, which I'm delighted for, and of course his family."

It was a sentiment echoed by Nuno Espirito Santo, with Spurs players Sergio Reguilon and Eric Dier both acting swiftly in alerting the referee and medical staff to the situation in the crowd.

"Credit to how they [Spurs players] reacted to what was happening in the stands and credit to Andre [Marriner], the referee," Nuno said in a news conference.

"He made the right decision. It was no condition to continue game. He stopped, spoke to us and explained what was happening. Thank God the person is stable and good, this is really good news."

Steve Bruce will still be Newcastle United head coach for the visit of Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday, despite reports of his imminent departure following a lucrative takeover.

This weekend's game is Newcastle's first since Mike Ashley sold the club, with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund taking on 80 per cent to become the richest owner in world football.

Bruce was widely expected to be sacked ahead of that encounter, with Amanda Staveley, whose PCP Capital Partners bought 10 per cent of Newcastle, initially unwilling to confirm a decision either way.

But Bruce remained involved in training this week and a statement on Friday, shortly before a news conference taking place at a later time than usual, confirmed he would remain in his position at least until the end of the week.

Staveley said it had been "an extremely busy week reviewing the business and getting to know people".

"Change does not always happen overnight, it demands time and that we follow a carefully considered plan and strategy," she added.

Despite repeated reports of Bruce being set to depart, prompting uncertainty throughout the club, Staveley said: "We met Steve and the players on Monday and have given them the time and space this week to focus on preparing for what is a very important game on Sunday.

"Steve has been very professional in our dealings with him, and he and his coaching team will take the team on Sunday.

"If we make any changes going forward, Steve will be the first to know, but, in the meantime, we wish him the best of luck in his 1,000th match as a manager and will be joining you in getting right behind the team."

Bruce said he only had a "brief, 10-minute conversation" with Staveley on Monday, in which he was told to "carry on until I hear otherwise".

"There were no discussions on me whatsoever," he said. "Certain discussions will need to be private, but it was all about the team, injuries, how we're looking for the weekend. It was very, very informal.

"And I have to say: they were very, very good people. It was good to see them and good to see them around the training ground.

"Let's not forget it's a great thing that's happened for the club and the city. If it takes this great club, then great."

Asked if he would hope to impress the owners and remain at Newcastle longer term, Bruce replied: "I'll have a crack. I'll try my utmost. If they see fit, then great.

"Who wouldn't want this opportunity now? Any manager would love this opportunity and love to be sitting in my chair. I'll make a fist of it, try my utmost and, as always, try what's best for the club."

A number of names have been linked to Bruce's job, with Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers prominent among them.

But he said on Friday: "[I am] 100 per cent [committed to Leicester]. I've got a contract until 2025. I absolutely love being here.

"I'm very fortunate. I've got a great chief exec and a director of football, and a group of players I enjoy working with. We have a structure here that allows us to compete. I want to be here.

"I've seen the reports around it. It doesn't help anyone, particularly Steve and Newcastle. It's the type of week I don't like in the modern game.

"We are trying to work hard but the speculation can destabilise players and supporters. I've been in the game long enough to focus on my role."

Rafael Benitez was manager at St James' Park before Bruce and would be a popular appointment, but he remains committed to Everton.

"I can tell you a lot of friends were asking me the same thing [about returning], and people there, a lot of messages, but from day one when I was talking with the board here, they didn't need to worry about that," Benitez said.

"I decide to stay here. I am really happy, trying to improve everything I can here, focused, wishing [Newcastle] all the best but when I decide to come here, I keep my word and I continue working here."

In the hours after the takeover of Newcastle United was confirmed, Steve Bruce admitted he would not be surprised to lose his job.

The former Manchester United defender has rarely been too popular in his two years at St James' Park, and with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) and their astonishing financial might now in control of things, fans are expecting a more high-profile candidate to lead the first team.

While Bruce is expected to have talks with the new owners next week, there are suggestions he could leave his role before the home game with Tottenham on October 17.

Who might be chosen to lead the Magpies into their new era of promise? Stats Perform looks at some of the favourites.

 

Antonio Conte

Having left Inter at the end of last season, Conte represents an ideal choice for Newcastle: an elite coach with Premier League experience who is presently a free agent.

Conte won the 2016-17 Premier League title with Chelsea and the FA Cup the following year. He won 50 of his first 73 games in charge in England's top flight, a record bettered only by Jose Mourinho (50 wins in 63) and Pep Guardiola (50 wins in 69) at the time.

The Italian then ended Inter's decade-long wait for the Scudetto before walking out before this season, highlighting the risk that comes with appointing such a volatile coach. Still, back his demands in the transfer market and it will usually pay dividends in the short term. If Newcastle's owners are after a statement of intent, there are not too many better candidates.

 

Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers was tipped for the Tottenham job when Mourinho left but was apparently committed to Leicester City. However, recent reports have suggested he could be tempted by the project now developing at Newcastle.

The former Liverpool boss has done extremely well with Leicester, with back-to-back fifth-place finishes in the league and a brilliant FA Cup triumph last term, but he has perhaps taken the Foxes as far as he realistically can. Indeed, while fifth place cannot be snubbed at, Leicester held a spot in the top four for the majority of the previous two seasons, while they have had an indifferent start to this term.

Rodgers would also offer Newcastle fans the kind of attractive football they will be craving for the new era.

Steven Gerrard

According to reports, Gerrard is keeping a close eye on developments at St James' Park and would be a welcome choice among supporters given his pedigree as a Premier League player.

Last season, the ex-Liverpool captain led Rangers to the Scottish title without losing a single game, and they are on course to defend that crown after a promising start to 2021-22.

Gerrard would be more of a gamble than some of the more experienced candidates, but he has arguably earned the opportunity.

 

Roberto Martinez

Barcelona were said to be trying to work out how they could afford to replace Ronald Koeman with Martinez last month, although the former is keeping his job for now.

After watching Belgium give up a 2-0 lead to lose to France in the Nations League semi-finals, a deeply frustrated Martinez accused his side of throwing away five years of work, adding fuel to rumours that he feels his time with the Red Devils is coming to an end.

Martinez sprung a shock by winning the FA Cup with Wigan Athletic in 2013, although his commitment to attacking football could not keep them in the division and his Everton spell ended in disappointment after an initially bright start. But he said only this week to Goal that his ideal next job was a long-term project and that it "doesn't matter where it might be in the world".

Eddie Howe

Despite being considered for the Celtic job, Howe surprisingly remains unattached since leaving Bournemouth, the club he helped to lead from England's fourth tier to the Premier League.

Like Martinez, Howe won praise for the attractive football he was able to coax out of relatively unheralded players, although he too could not quite master the balance between positive play and defensive discipline, with Bournemouth relegated in 2019-20.

There was also criticism of Bournemouth's transfer spending during Howe's time in the Premier League: Dominic Solanke, signed for roughly £19m from Liverpool in 2019, only scored three times in 42 appearances in the top flight (although his Championship form since has been much improved).

 

Rafael Benitez

The return of Benitez would undoubtedly be welcomed by Newcastle fans, who generally hold him in high esteem following his three years at the club before his move to China.

Despite failing to save them from relegation in 2016-17, the Spaniard was considered a top-drawer coach who was hamstrung by the ownership of Mike Ashley and a lack of significant investment in the squad. After winning the Championship in 2017, Newcastle finished 10th in their first season back in the top flight but only 13th in the following two campaigns.

Prising him away from Everton would be neither easy nor cheap, but his experience of winning big trophies and his relationship with the supporters would arguably make him the most popular choice as manager.

Jesse Lingard has been named the Premier League Player of the Month for April, winning the award after also being nominated in February and March.

The attacking midfielder has thrived since joining West Ham on loan from Manchester United.

Lingard scored four goals and added an assist in four appearances over the course of the month as West Ham continued their push for a European place.

He has nine goals and three assists in 13 Premier League outings for West Ham so far since joining, having been out of the picture under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the first half of the season at Old Trafford.

The fine form he has shown earned Lingard an England recall in March.

Mason Greenwood was one of the other members of an eight-man shortlist which also contained Trent Alexander-Arnold, Stuart Dallas, Kelechi Iheanacho, Matheus Pereira, Allan Saint-Maximin and Chris Wood.

"I've been nominated for the past two months and even getting nominated is a great feeling for me," said Lingard, who recently received praise from Bruno Fernandes when the United playmaker labelled him the top-flight's best player over the past 10 games.

"I want to be up there as the best I can be and the best in the world.

"David Moyes has shown faith and given me the freedom in each game to go and perform."

Meanwhile, Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce is April's manager of the month.

He beat Sam Allardyce, Marcelo Bielsa and Solskjaer to the award after a month which saw Newcastle draw with Liverpool and Tottenham while recording wins over Burnley and West Ham.

It was a run of form that secured Newcastle's Premier League safety.

Bruce won the award for the first time after 19 years and 465 matches in the competition.

Steve Bruce has called for social media companies to better police "absolutely vile and obscene" online abuse from "idiots and morons", having revealed he has been targeted himself.

Newcastle United head coach Bruce does not use social media but learned this week of death threats through his son Alex. 

Bruce, a Premier League-winning captain with Manchester United, was discussing the topic after top-flight referee Mike Dean reportedly asked not to officiate a match this week due to threats directed his way. 

Dean sent off West Ham's Tomas Soucek in the final seconds of their draw with Fulham last week, a decision that was later overturned. 

His dismissal of Jan Bednarek for Southampton earlier in the week, in a 9-0 defeat at Manchester United, was also rescinded on appeal. 

Football authorities are attempting to clamp down on online abuse amid a series of incidents - many of them including racist comments. Facebook, which also owns Instagram, has announced new penalties relating to the matter. 

Bruce, who came under scrutiny as Newcastle endured an 11-match winless run in all competitions across December and January, condemned the threats on Thursday. 

"Social media is a really, really powerful weapon for everybody concerned," Bruce said. "For me, these big companies have got to police it better. 

"The abuse that I've had - death threats, all this sorts of stuff - and then you see a referee wanting to come away from it because he's made a mistake, people threatening him with his life and all the rest of it, it's just absolutely obscene and totally ridiculous. 

"They need to clamp down on it and they need to police it better, and we need to stop it, basically. If there are vulnerable people out there, it's absolutely - in my opinion - vile, some of it." 

Asked to confirm he had been the subject of similar abuse, Bruce told reporters: "I don't go on it [social media], but of course people close to me do, who are sensitive towards their father, of course. Yes, we've had that to deal with." 

The Newcastle boss added: "When I see some of the nature of it, it is totally and utterly vile. Some of the stuff that I've had is absolutely obscene. It fuels a hatred. I don't know. 

"When I see an experienced referee - like him, loathe him, whatever you want with Mike Dean - nobody deserves that because he gets a decision wrong. 

"Let's be fair, as well, it was in the last 30 seconds of the game, nothing really hinged on it, yet he feels he has the need to step down this weekend. 

"For everybody, these big companies have got to police it better and find out these idiots and morons who write such vile abuse and make them be punished. 

"In conversations I've had with the family over the last few days - we were talking about Mike Dean and the situation he feels - it was brought to my attention that I've had it, too. 

"Horrible stuff, which I couldn't really get my breath with: they hope that I die of COVID and all this. It's absolutely vile and obscene. 

"It has to be stopped. These big companies have to start policing it better than they've been doing, that's for sure." 

Bruce was speaking at a news conference ahead of Newcastle's trip to Chelsea, where he confirmed 10-goal striker Callum Wilson is facing up to eight weeks out with a hamstring tear. 

A knee injury for Fabian Schar had already been announced, with a similar lay-off anticipated for both the Switzerland defender and Javier Manquillo, who suffered an ankle issue. 

Steve Bruce unleashed a furious assessment of his Newcastle United players, branding their performance at Sheffield United "absolutely s***" and declaring "the gloves are off now".

The Magpies were beaten 1-0 at Bramall Lane on Tuesday to become the first team to lose to the Blades in the Premier League this season.

They were also the first side to fail to score against Sheffield United in the top flight since July as they lost to a team starting the day bottom of the table for the first time since October 2015.

Bruce has come in for increasing criticism from fans for his team's performances during an eight-game winless run in which they have exited the EFL Cup and FA Cup, as well as suffering four league losses.

The Newcastle head coach accepts he got things wrong against Sheffield United but claims some critics have always felt he was "never the right choice".

After their latest setback, Bruce has made it clear he will not tolerate anything but a commitment to his methods at St James' Park.

"I've let them be comfortable," he said of his players. "But, like I say, the gloves are off now and we will do it my way. We've played a certain way to try to get the results we need.

"We were absolutely fr****** hopeless the other night; we were absolutely s****. Unfortunately, that's happened a little too often in my 18 months here; it was nowhere near good enough for the challenge ahead. Maybe it's a mentality thing.

"If you're a Premier League manager you can't accept what happened at Sheffield United. We were completely and utterly hopeless and I have to accept what's coming my way. If I was a supporter I'd be concerned."

While the loss to Sheffield United was the nadir of their season, the signs have been worrying for Newcastle for some weeks.

Much of the criticism of Bruce has centred on a perceived negative style of play, with Newcastle having averaged the lowest possession (37.8 per cent) and completed the second-fewest passes (4,430) in the Premier League this season.

Only Burnley and West Brom have attempted fewer shots than Newcastle's 150, which have yielded 18 goals, the fifth-lowest total in the division. Only five teams have conceded more than their 27 goals and just three have kept fewer than their three clean sheets.

"I wouldn't expect to be reassured after the other night," Bruce said of his position. "I pick the team, I got it wrong and I have to take responsibility. I don't want reassurances. I understand it's nowhere near good enough so let's get ready for the challenge ahead.

"If you look at my record over the years, I've got enough on my CV to make sure I can slowly take the club forward. Some would argue against that. I accept that. In some people's eyes, I was never the right choice. I understand that."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.