Charlie Nicholas defends Steve Bruce and declares “It takes this team a bit of time to get going”
Ahead of the game at Carrow Road, Charlie Nicholas had this to say as he predicted a 2-1 win to set Newcastle’s season alight.
“This is an absolute belter. Steve Bruce is not as organised and thorough as Rafael Benitez. He doesn’t play that game. He will be saying: ‘have we shown much going forward?’
“Bruce is quite good at manipulating teams especially away from home. Miguel Almiron looks quick and will be the star here.”
That went well.
Still not exactly sure what this means ‘Bruce is quite good at manipulating teams especially away from home’ but I don’t think we saw it in action on Saturday.
A week later and Charlie Nicholas has now quickly gone on the defensive on behalf of the NUFC head coach, saying ‘You can’t just point the finger at Steve Bruce and say it’s because Rafa Benitez has gone, because they started slow last season too.’
The former player turned pundit claiming ‘It takes this team a bit of time to get going.’
I hope he’s right but a bit of a weak argument to rely solely/lazily on last season’s story, seen as the previous season under Rafa (2017/18), Newcastle started the season with four wins and two draws in the opening nine Premier League matches.
Charlie Nicholas states: ‘I think Bruce will be working with them all week to say ‘this isn’t good enough, if we sit in and wait to get beaten then we will get beaten.’ However, that is exactly what the plan appeared to be at Norwich and failed miserably, to think that now Newcastle can play a much more expansive game at somewhere like Tottenham is surely wishful thinking.
Despite his claims that Newcastle are going to improve under Steve Bruce, Nicholas still goes for the Magpies to be hammered 4-0 on Sunday.
Charlie Nicholas talking to Sky Sports:
“Newcastle lacked ambition and togetherness against Norwich but you can’t just point the finger at Steve Bruce and say it’s because Rafa Benitez has gone, because they started slow last season too.
“It takes this team a bit of time to get going.
“Joelinton had no service at all and Miguel Almiron was the same. He is about pace and counter-attacking but couldn’t get in the game.
“I was not impressed with Newcastle, but I think Bruce will be working with them all week to say ‘this isn’t good enough, if we sit in and wait to get beaten then we will get beaten’.
“They need to have more ambition when they have the ball.
“The problem is I don’t see them getting enough of the ball to trouble Spurs.
“Spurs will be quite happy with the way they have started.
“They were lucky to get a draw against Manchester City but I think this will be a comfortable win.
“Prediction is Tottenham 4 Newcastle 0.”
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