Steve Bruce found himself firmly in the firing line after Newcastle’s humiliating 5-0 Premier League capitulation at Leicester on Sunday.
Just eight games into his reign at St James’ Park, the Magpies’ head coach is feeling the full backlash from fans still furious at the departure of predecessor Rafael Benitez during the summer and fearing the worst following an alarming start to the season.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the problems facing Bruce.
The Rafa effect
Bemused by the club’s transfer policy during his tenure, Benitez repeatedly employed the metaphor of a short blanket, with which you could keep either your head or your feet warm, but not both at the same time, to describe his squad. In essence, he meant that his team would leave itself short in defence if it attacked, or would create too little if it was defensively solid, and his challenge was to find a balance, which he largely managed to achieve by drilling his players relentlessly and forging a commendable collective spirit and organisation. That cohesion has been sadly lacking under Bruce and while changes in personnel and system are mitigating factors, the blanket has been full of holes.