Newcastle legend Alan Shearer has revealed that he warned Steve Bruce not to take a “toxic” job at St James’ Park, only to see his advice fall on deaf ears.
With Rafa Benitez having left Tyneside at the end of his contract, Mike Ashley has been forced into the market for a new coach.
Bruce has agreed to take the reins, with a north-east native having been lured away from a role at Championship side Sheffield Wednesday.
Shearer fears there may be some testing times ahead for a fellow Geordie, with the legendary Newcastle striker having tried to get that message across to a man taking on his “toughest” role.
“I was out for dinner with Steve Bruce three weeks ago,” Shearer said in The Sun.
“It was just after Rafa Benitez had left Newcastle and we spoke about what he should do if he was approached and offered the job.
“My advice to him that night was simple: ‘No, no, no, don’t take it'.
“I said: ‘Why are you going to be any different to [Kevin] Keegan or Benitez? If you take it, you must be mad because you know how it works there'.
“But Steve is his own man and I respect that. I can’t tell him what to do, even though he is a good friend of mine.
“He was not Newcastle’s first choice to replace Rafa. He might not even have been their second, third or fourth pick.
“It looks more like he could have been the last man standing — and Newcastle just knew he would probably take the job because he has always wanted it.”
Shearer added: “He knows what is going on and what has gone on in the past. He knows how fed up the fan-base is.
“He knows how the football club is run, it is not a secret anymore.
“This is without a doubt the toughest and most toxic situation Steve has ever walked into.
“No job is impossible but this one is very, very difficult for so many different reasons.
“On the playing side, he is inheriting a squad that is wafer-thin.
“Newcastle’s two top scorers from last season — Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon — are no longer there and they are the only Premier League club not to have made a signing this summer.
“Steve is at a disadvantage already because all the other clubs have had weeks to plan and will have stolen a march on him.
“He’ll do a good job just to keep Newcastle up this season.”
Newcastle are currently in China on Premier League Asia Trophy duty, with a 4-0 defeat suffered to Wolves in their first outing.