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Opinion

Taking on the self-appointed leader of the defenders of the (Steve Bruce) faith

3 weeks ago
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If it wasn’t for the fact that his appointment has almost surely confirmed Newcastle United’s relegation, I would be enjoying these bizarre goings on in the newspapers regarding Steve Bruce.

The manager (or head coach…) that not a single other Premier League club would have even considered.

The manager (or head coach…) that not a single other Premier League fanbase would swap for their own incumbent.

Not sure what the motivation is but some of the journalists are having serious issues when reacting to Newcastle fans reacting to the news Steve Bruce was the new Head Coach and then the ongoing reaction to the right pig’s ear is making of the job, on and off the pitch.

They are generally unable/unwilling to recognise any difference between the usual minority on Twitter shouting abuse at anything and everything AND the vast majority of supporters who recognise this appointment for what it is. Reverting back to the failed patsy model with Steve Bruce a willing stooge.

Luke Edwards is the self-appointed leader of the defenders of the (Steve Bruce) faith.

If Newcastle fans say black, The Telegraph man says dazzling white.

He went very strange when Rafa Benitez left, insisting  money was all that glittered for the top class manager and that three years of Ashley taking the mick wasn’t the real reason for him finding it impossible to stay.

I must admit, I trust the Steve Bruce management skills just as much as I trusted Shefki Kuqi to get the goals…

If you remember, Mike Ashley sold Andy Carroll for £35m in January 2011, spent no money on strengthening the squad (pretending he didn’t know Carroll was going to be sold), then after the window closed, brought in 34 year old Shefki Kuqi was was club-less.

Ironically, he is also a former Sheffield Wednesday employee

Kuqi admitted he was surprised (as were the fans…) to be joining Newcastle United  but admitted that he was ‘one of the happiest footballers in the world’ when he did so.

He was released on 25 May 2011 after making only six appearances, all as a substitute, without scoring any goals.

He seemed a decent bloke and Newcastle fans played it for laughs, cheering him as he charged around the pitch struggling to even touch the ball, never mind score a goal. He looked a little bit like one of us suddenly getting a game, you would run around like a madman (or woman…) but knowing all the time you should be nowhere near getting this job.

Which brings us back to Steve Bruce…

After the embarrassing performance from Head Coach and players at Norwich, Luke Edwards had a piece with the headline ‘Steve Bruce has an impossible job trying to change closed minds – some Newcastle fans seem to revel in his failures’…

Luke Edwards in The Telegraph – 19 August 2019:

‘It has been 33 days since Steve Bruce was named Newcastle United’s new manager. He has had a month in the job, four weeks to work with the players, to bed in five new signings, to get his idea across, but they are coming for him. The calls for him to be sacked have begun.

Not just on social media, but in the mainstream one too. Welcome to Tyneside, Steve. Good luck. Hope you do well… Now let’s send you packing Steve.

You’re not up to it. You’re not good enough. You should never have been given the job. The players don’t know what they are doing. You are not fit to sit in the same chair as Rafa Benitez. Newcastle will be relegated unless you go now. You must go. For the love of God, go…

He simply cannot say or do anything right. Ok, he could have won a game, that would have helped, but it would have silenced his detractors and critics temporarily.

And all this is played out to the tune of “Rafa Benitez did this, Rafa would have done that, nothing like this happened under Rafa, Rafa had a plan, Rafa won the Champions League…”

The constant comparisons are draining and fuel a sense that there are those who are happy to see Newcastle struggle because it proves how great the former manager was. They cannot move on, do not want to move on and will try to make sure nobody else at Newcastle is able to do so either.’

The thing is Luke, the truth hurts.

Not quite sure what your fixation is with Steve Bruce. Your defence of the plastic Geordie revolves around that in his 20+ year career, he has had a club(s) promoted, got one to a cup final and managed to finish 10th in the Premier League.

The only truly remarkable thing is that Mike Ashley has appointed him after such an uninspiring career in management.

The most recent years of which saw Sunderland sack him in 2011 as he was set to relegate them, his only two seasons since then in the Premier League saw Steve Bruce just escape relegation despite only 36 points in 2013/14 with Hull, then relegate them the following season with 35 points.

The Telegraph man has now followed up today with one entitled ‘What Steve Bruce must do at Newcastle to win over club’s sceptical fans’…

Luke Edwards in The Telegraph today (25 August 2019):

‘New signings, new tactics and the familiar demands of the Toon Army are just three of the balls he is juggling’

(‘Familiar demands of the Toon Army’ – what are they??? The only demands are that one day we might get a decent club again, trying to be the best it can be. There are no demands of trophies, or even a decent league position such as top eight. The media try to make out we are different to any other set of fans when it is totally untrue. We all just want a club and owner that tries, which includes not making joke appointments just because they will not demand a say in anything.)

‘It always tends to take South American players a while to settle in the Premier League and Bruce needs to protect his young centre forward.’

(Who says South American players are such exceptions? Almiron didn’t need any time to make an impact last season, Tino did alright from what I remember…Mirandinha going way back was the same)

‘He is not the first Newcastle manager to get carried away with the idea the Magpies need to play attacking football. Bruce has tried to change the style of play, make them a team which looks to get on the front foot and wins by overwhelming the opposition with the relentless energy of their offensive play.

It has not worked. Newcastle lacked the required intensity to make that game plan effective against Norwich and, against Arsenal at home, they were not able to sustain it.

After three years playing for the cautious and rigidly structured Benitez, Bruce’s more adventurous plan appears to have confused his players and the 3-5-2 formation has not worked.’

(‘More adventurous plan’??? Steve Bruce has talked a lot but the reality has 100% not being this, getting on the front foot? You must be having a laugh. Arsenal were missing at least a dozen players and Newcastle never attacked in numbers. Their keeper didn’t have a proper save to make. Against Norwich, Newcastle were defending very very deep from the kick-off, until Shelvey scored the keeper hadn’t had a save to make. Newcastle ended up with even less possession (37%) than the Arsenal game (38%). Newcastle are still the only club to have failed to complete a pass in the opposition’s box. It is a total lie to suggest Rafa was always negative, he was pragmatic. If he had poor to average attacking options he set out his team accordingly, once a first bit of Ashley ambition was shown with Almiron’s signing, Newcastle scored 21 goals in the final 13 games last season. Steve Bruce’s entire Premier League record is shocking, especially when it comes to scoring goals, if he has any relative strength it is not conceding as many goals as you’d expect. This shows his PL record up to taking the Newcastle  job, compared to previous NUFC managers and their career records in the top tier.

(Steve Bruce is a very very poor Premier League manager and it is laughable to claim he ha sany kind of a record of his teams ‘getting on the front foot’)

‘Stay calm and carry on

All the best Newcastle managers have had the ability to keep cool under pressure, to block out the noise in a football centric city. Bruce must learn to do the same because he is almost trying too hard to impress a sceptical public.’

(Sadly, Steve Bruce is not one of the ‘best Newcastle Managers’, or head coaches. As for him keeping cool, he wants to switch off spouting the Mike Ashley propaganda/spin and stop making stupid claims of what he is and isn’t going to do. On Wednesday we are set for yet another embarrassing moment after Bruce previously claimed he would play his best team in the cups, lets see how well that one holds up with a crunch relegation clash with Watford three days later…)

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