STEVE BRUCE has angrily denied talk that he will be the next Newcastle United manager - insisting such speculation is "disrespectful" to Alan Pardew.

Bruce was linked with the post on Sunday morning where there was a suggestion that he would take the position with Alan Shearer as number 2.

But Bruce said he had sympathy for under fire Pardew.

OFFER Alan Pardew a solid point right now and he'd probably take it.

Undoubtedly he needs a win on the south coast.

However, what he does not need is a red-hot atmosphere in the home game with Hull
City next week.

Sometimes you just wonder how Newcastle United Football Club put themselves in such an awkward positions.

Hatem Ben Arfa was never going to have a future at Newcastle under Alan Pardew and having relegated the playmaker to the reserves the "out of sight, out of mind" policy didn't pay off, especially when scores of fans turned up at a reserve game against Reading to pay homage to the Frenchman.

Moving Ben Arfa on to one of the European Leagues might have been more effective.

But in what feels like typical fashion, Newcastle moved Ben Arfa down the road to Hull in the same division where he now has an open platform to show everybody what he can do.

Newcastle United have not been inundated with offers for Hatem Ben Arfa this summer.

That fact alone should be a wake up call for a player who is now entering the so called "peak years" of his career.

It's obvious that Ben Arfa still has an incredible amount of talent to offer but whether Newcastle are prepared to use it is another matter.


NEWCASTLE UNITED face another long away trip in the League Cup after drawing Crystal Palace away from home in round three.

The Magpies knocked out Gillingham in the second round but did not earn any home comforts and fans must travel to south London to see if they can progress any further.

Newcastle face a dress rehersal this weekend as Neil Warnock brings his side to Tyneside before the clash at Selhurst Park next month.


Alan Pardew has told Newcastle United fans that this season things will be different.

He felt that United's sluggish start to last season was caused to the "disruption" of Yohan Cabaye's complicated breakdown of his failed move to Arsenal.

He told fans he was an "honest person" and he was working hard to bring success to St James' Park.

There was also a suggestion that he needed more time to "grow" this team.

NEWCASTLE UNITED have been drawn away to Gillingham in the second round of the Capital One Cup.

The game will take place the week commencing August 25.

It means that the Toon Army now face a 610 round mile trip to Kent to face the League One outfit.


It was obvious watching Newcastle United against Real Sociedad that they have the talent and work-rate to beat Manchester City next Sunday at St James' Park.

But has Alan Pardew got the tactics and game plan to carry out a result that will reduce the pressure on him significantly in week one?

Last season, the Magpies lost a lot of games because they failed to take their chances in key parts of games before sloppy patches put the chances of getting a result beyond them.

SIEM DE Jong has overcome a foot injury in New Zealand and Alan Pardew wants to start him in the clash with Wellington Phoenix.

The Dutch international picked up the knock in the 4-0 win in Dunedin on Tuesday night and he missed training sessions in Wellington.

Pardew said: "Siem will not train today but we think he will be OK for the game."

ALAN PARDEW has called for calmness ahead of Newcastle United's clash with Wellington Phoenix.

The Phoenix faced up to West Ham on Wednesday night and Louis Fenton's tackle on Cheikhou Kouyate has resulted in big headlines in New Zealand.

Indeed, punters are talking about the tackle that left the West Ham man on crutches.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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