Mag-bye! Steve Bruce departs Newcastle United by mutual consent
Almost everyone – including probably Bruce himself – knew that the 60-year-old’s time at the club was numbered the moment Newcastle were taken over by a Saudi Arabian-backed consortium earlier this month.
WATCH: Bruce talks about Newcastle's new owners
Bruce, however, was allowed to stay on to take charge of his 1,000th match as manager last weekend. Given the trajectory of his managerial career to date, it was perhaps fitting that the milestone match ended with a loss for Bruce, as the Magpies suffered a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur.
The defeat left Newcastle second from bottom in the English Premier League (EPL) on three points, and only served to highlight why Newcastle’s new owners could barely wait a month before dispensing with his services.
In a statement released on their website, the club said: “Newcastle United would like to place on record its gratitude to Steve for his contribution and wishes him well for the future.”
Bruce’s future, however, remains far from clear, with the former Manchester United star seriously considering the possibility of belatedly answering the prayers of Newcastle fans, and completely retire from football management altogether.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Bruce said: “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…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.”
Bruce added that he was quite simply tired of being insulted by Newcastle’s supporters, who have admittedly come up with several creative nicknames for their now-former head coach.
“It has been very, very tough. To never really be wanted, to feel that people wanted me to fail and saying I would fail, that I was useless, a fat waste of space, a tactically inept cabbage head,” complained Bruce, who once had a fan throw a whole cabbage at him when he was in charge of Aston Villa.
WATCH: Bruce interrupts Kevin De Bruyne post-match interview
Newcastle coach Graeme Jones is set to take charge of the club on an interim basis, with the St James’ Park outfit set to play Crystal Palace in the EPL this weekend.
It is understood that former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca, and rather hilariously, Frank Lampard, are the favourites for the vacant Newcastle job. Former Borussia Dortmund manager Lucien Favre, Rangers head coach Steven Gerrard, and Belgium manager Roberto Martinez are also believed to be among the contenders to take over Bruce.