Journalist close to Steve Bruce launches defence after ‘source’ tells him what happened after Leicester
Steve Bruce find himself heading into October deep in relegation trouble.
Sunday’s hammering at Leicester, ensuring that only Watford stand between Newcastle United and being rock bottom of the table.
It is all a far cry from when the transfer window closed in August and Steve Bruce said how happy he was with his squad and that Mike Ashley couldn’t have done more to back him.
So much so that Bruce embarrassed himself by claiming he had been allowed to spend more money in one week than in his entire managerial career.
A quick check revealing that a decade ago, long before such transfer inflation, he spent more far when he was just at Sunderland than the cost of the players Mike Ashley and associates have chosen for him in the summer.
The 5-0 defeat was a bit of a tipping point for many journalists, who had continued to blindly back Steve Bruce.
This even included the journalist who has been closest to the head coach, Luke Edwards of The Telegraph at last admitting that Bruce was in a lot of trouble, with this looking like a relegation situation and results are needed fast. Previously, Edwards has repeatedly praised Steve Bruce and claimed he was a good choice for the job with an excellent CV, whilst at the same time bizarrely going out of his way to criticise Rafa Benitez and claim money was the big motivation for leaving, rather than the total lack of ambition at NUFC and Ashley’s insistence on a patsy as manager (head coach).
Now the man from The Telegraph has attempted a defence of Steve Bruce, building him up as somebody who is no nonsense and trying to push the vast majority of blame onto the players. As Steve Bruce himself did after the hammering at Leicester, the head coach saying ‘I have heard lots of nonsense about tactics but the big thing is about showing pride, having a go’, trying to dilute criticism of his clueless coaching and tactics.
Luke Edwards saying a ‘source’ (Steve Bruce…?) had told him that players had stayed silent without an answer as the head coach lashed into them about their ‘surrender’ on Sunday. Whilst the players are undoubtedly to blame as well, the buck starts at the top. Mike Ashley is the chief architect of the mess at the club and in the team BUT then Steve Bruce is a clear second to blame, not the players.
Edwards claims that Bruce accused the players of hiding behind him ‘because they know he will take all the flak for bad results’…
I’m sorry but that’s not really the case, is it? Rafa Benitez kept everything behind closed doors and dealt with it calmly, whereas Steve Bruce has already blamed the players, just as he did at previous clubs.
Indeed it only took up to the second game of this season, for Steve Bruce to slaughter his players, accusing some of not giving 100% and saying ‘I can’t forgive a performance where basically you don’t put your boots on’ after the terrible performance and defeat at Norwich.
In this latest ‘exclusive’, Steve Bruce is said to have told players to stay away from training as he is so angry. Which is ironic, as after Norwich we were told the day after a game is usually a day off and Steve Bruce had instead cancelled that and made them come into training.
Well, one thing is for sure and that is Steve Bruce’s training/coaching is having no positive effect on the team as it stands.
So maybe it is worth a try giving the team the whole week off training, not just today…
Steve Bruce after Newcastle lost 3-1 at Norwich on Saturday 17 August:
“I can’t go onto the pitch with them but the one thing in management , that I have always tried to instil into my team is, yes we make mistakes, but I can’t forgive a performance where basically you don’t put your boots on.
“Unfortunately, it’s happened already, which is the second game in, but I’ll do all I can to make sure that changes.”
Luke Edwards writing today (Monday 30 September) in The Telegraph:
‘Newcastle United’s players remained completely silent during a brutal appraisal of their dismal performance at Leicester City by manager Steve Bruce as he questioned both their desire and ability to play for the club.
Bruce has been affable, approachable and supportive during his short reign at Newcastle, but his patience has snapped after the surrender on Sunday that led to a humiliating 5-0 defeat.
In a fiery, expletive-ridden outburst minutes after the final whistle, Bruce questioned the attitude of his players and accused some of them of trying to hide behind him, since he was appointed as Rafa Benitez’s replacement, because they know he will take all the flak for bad results.
According to one witness inside the dressing room at the King Power Stadium, Bruce’s emotion and fury left the entire team hanging their heads in shame and, tellingly, there with not a murmur of discontent, during or after his rant. “They just stared at the floor,” the source told Telegraph Sport.
Although results and performances have been poor, Bruce remains popular and there is feeling among the players that they have let him down more than anything.
Bruce also told his players on Sunday evening that they would not be in training on Monday as he did not want to see them again so soon after the debacle at Leicester. It is understood the former Manchester United captain told his staff that he could not promise he would not explode a second time if he saw them on Monday morning and needs time to reflect on how bad things have become so quickly.
Bruce’s display of anger is unusual in the modern game, with managers often preferring to offer more gentle criticism during one-on-one meetings with players, but few will blame him for losing his temper on this occasion.
For now, the players seem to be with him…’
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]