Could Newcastle's time in the top flight be about to end?
<div><p>Newcastle fans have reacted with fury to the news that former Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has been appointed as the Magpies’ new manager. It follows the departure of Rafa Benitez, whose tactical wizardry kept Newcastle afloat in the Premier League for the past couple of seasons. Yet the Spaniard’s patience finally ran out as the club refused to back him in the transfer market and he abandoned ship earlier this summer.</p><p>Bruce has now been parachuted in after agreeing to leave Sheffield Wednesday and become the Premier League’s lowest paid manager in order to take the reins at St James’s Park. The appointment has sparked apoplexy among the Geordies. Bruce hails from Northumberland, but he is seen as the enemy due to his time at archrivals Sunderland.</p><p>The former Man Utd captain is also a rather underwhelming choice to replace a brilliant manager like Benitez. Bruce has suffered relegation from the top flight with two different teams and he has been working in the Championship ever since his Hull side were relegated in 2015.</p><p><strong>Could Newcastle Be Relegated?</strong></p><p>To compound fans’ misery, star forward Ayoze Perez has been sold to Everton, while West Brom’s Salmon Rondon will not return for a second loan spell. That duo scored the goals that kept Newcastle in the top flight last season, so a lot of work needs to be done in order to make the Magpies competitive in 2019/20. Yet owner Mike Ashley is renowned for his parsimony, so he is unlikely to loosen the purse strings to any great extent.</p><p>The odds on Newcastle being relegated have dropped to 3.25 (9/4) with Bet365 and that looks like a very tempting option. They have already dropped down to the Championship twice during Ashley’s ownership, and they could well be in for a relegation scrap next season. The defence is unlikely to be as solid now that Benitez has left, and it is currently unclear where the goals to keep them afloat will come from, so a punt on them going down looks enticing.</p></div>