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Charlie Nicholas says it’s impossible for Steve Bruce to do what Rafa Benitez was doing at Newcastle

3 weeks ago
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Charlie Nicholas has been looking ahead to this afternoon’s match at St James Park.

The Sky Sports pundit saying that if Newcastle beat a ‘toiling’ Watford who have lost their last seven games (all competitions) and conceded 22 goals, ‘then this will be great.’

The former Arsenal player thinks it was a ‘very nice result’ for Steve Bruce’s team at Tottenham and I would agree!

Ignoring the cup exit to Leicester for a moment, a win today would mean six points from a possible 12 for Newcastle United but defeat would leave the Magpies bottom two and indeed rock bottom, if Watford won by two goals or more.

These are the type of games where Newcastle’s season will stand or fall by, last November a 1-0 win in the fixture set NUFC on their way to a faultless month with maximum points and Rafa Benitez picking up Premier League manager of the month.

However, two seasons ago, a 3-0 home defeat to Watford was the fourth game in a nine match run without a win for Rafa’s team, underlining the small margins between failure and (relative) success.

Charlie Nicolas predicts a 1-0 home win today and undoubtedly Steve Bruce would grab that with both hands if offered that now, with a two week international break ending with then a trip to Anfield.

The toxic situation remains of course at St James Park and Charlie Nicholas says: ‘The fans want the owner out and they will continue to strive for this.’

Accepting the role of head coach and only being responsible for training and picking the team, means that the new team boss has a very different level to his predecessor, as Nicholas makes clear: ‘Rafael Benitez was softly going against the owner, which Steve Bruce cannot do in his situation really.’

Mike Ashley made all kinds of promises to Rafa Benitez and broke them repeatedly, especially during transfer windows.

Steve Bruce though knows his place and has taken the job on that basis.

Maybe that kind of sums up the situation for Newcastle fans, supporters feeling that Rafa Benitez was fighting their corner and it was Rafa and the fans against mike Ashley, now the goalposts have shifted and it is Steve Bruce fighting Mike Ashley’s corner. Not exactly now Steve and Mike against the fans but rather Bruce finding himself in a bit of a no-man’s land when it comes to having credibility with Newcastle supporters.

Charlie Nicholas talking to Sky Sports:

“It was a very nice result for Newcastle last weekend, may I say.

“The stick that was aimed at the players and Steve Bruce will be there consistently.

“The fans want the owner out and they will continue to strive for this.

“Rafael Benitez was softly going against the owner, which Steve Bruce cannot do in his situation really.

“His team worked hard and Joelinton got his campaign off to a start.

“If they could go and win this weekend, against a team that are toiling, then this will be great.

“Watford have had a shocker of a start, and there is always the question as to how much time Javi Gracia is given.

“They got to the FA Cup final last season.

“Who will be the foot soldiers for Watford?

“Abdoulaye Doucoure has not started in great fashion.

“Where have Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra been? 

“They started like a train last season.

“Prediction is Newcastle 1 Watford 0.”

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