Newcastle start new era in party mood but as Bruce faces sack and relegation scrap to come is there much to smile about?
THEY were partying in the streets last week but will they still be dancing in the stands come Sunday afternoon?
Newcastle fans were jubilant as they finally welcomed the £300million takeover of their club by a Saudi-led consortium.
Out went the despised Mike Ashley – for so long the target of Toon ire with his perceived failure to invest in the squad.
In came the richest owners in world football and the promise of a transfer war chest the likes of which have never been seen on Tyneside.
But as the dust settles on the street parties, Magpies fans must face up to reality.
Their side welcome Tottenham to St James’ Park on Sunday in their first test of the new era.
And they do so still languishing in the relegation zone only two points off the very bottom.
The under-fire Steve Bruce will still be in charge for the visit of Spurs.
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New owners Amanda Staveley, the billionaire Reuben brothers and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund clearly have a sentimental side.
All the talk has been of the 60-year-old getting the chop as the new regime looks to bring in a younger, fresher man.
But Bruce will be given the chance to prove his worth in his 1,000th game as a manager.
So it is not yet the new dawn fans were expecting – although surely it is only a matter of time before a change of management takes place.
Newcastle may well be the wealthiest club on earth but who is going to rescue them while they sit 19th in the table?
Goliaths such as Antonio Conte were initially linked with the job.
The Italian quickly ruled himself out of the running and it now seems a British manager is flavour of the month.
But will any of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard or Graham Potter be tempted to put their necks on the line to rescue Newcastle from the drop?
You suspect if the price is right, at least one would be open to it.
Any appointment also hinges on which reinforcements can be brought in when the transfer window reopens in January.
Even in their wildest dreams the Toon Army can’t seriously expect to see Kylian Mbappe strolling down Strawberry Place any time soon.
Erling Haaland wants a Champions League winners medal and Paul Pogba seems destined for the Continent.
The sensible Staveley has urged patience despite the riches now washing into St James’ Park.
Out-of-favour names from the established heavyweights seem gettable – Timo Werner is in the crosshairs.
Players of that calibre brought in soon enough will surely be sufficient to save Staveley’s blushes.
But for all the hopes of better days to come it will be back to the grind on Sunday.
And wins will be needed soon if those dancing fans are to avoid the funeral procession of Premier League relegation at the end of the season.
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