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Less than convincing Steve Bruce updates

2 months ago
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Steve Bruce has invited the media in for a chat.

As often has happened during international breaks, the media get a bit more access with a look at training and a sit down with the manager (or Head Coach).

Like most of you I was very much underwhelmed by the appointment of Steve Bruce.

It was one of those where you very surprised AND not surprised at the same time.

Very surprised that somebody with absolutely nowhere near the CV needed for the job had got it BUT then quickly switching to, thinking this was entirely predictable from Mike Ashley.

I was convinced it was absolutely bad news where coaching/managing the team was concerned but was also dreading the nonsense I had seen him come out with in interviews and press conferences at previous jobs.

I just think that at Newcastle United it is far too big a job for him and when you factor in how Mike Ashley pulls the strings, especially when he has a patsy in the job like Steve Bruce, it all becomes very predictable how things will fall apart.

Speaking to the Chronicle in this international break, the Steve Bruce updates aren’t exactly inspiring:

Training Complex:

“In the gym, we’ve brought in a strength and conditioning coach, which we’ve never had before, so little alterations to the gym and bringing in the head of strength and conditioning happened in the last two or three weeks. I think that’s very important in this day and age.”

Rafa Benitez wanted Mike Ashley to honour his 2013 pledge to build the new ‘essential’ state of the art training complex, now Steve Bruce tries to make out that it is a big step forward to have somebody in charge of strength and conditioning.

It is laughable to try and get us to believe that nobody was previously carrying out this role. So when Sam Allardyce brought in his army of staff over a decade ago, he didn’t have this covered? Never mind Rafa Benitez who has been at the likes of Real Madrid, Liverpool and Napoli?

Transfers and money to spend in January:

There will be ‘a little bit’ of money to spend in January but Bruce is focused on getting the most out of his current squad after five new players arrived in the final 16 days of the window last month.

“I think the really good thing now is to concentrate on the 25 we have got and get the best out of them so you put that away,” he said.

“It always is: how can we improve? I think that’s the key. You see the difference in an Almiron or a Joelinton. That little bit of extra quality which comes in is hopefully what we’re looking for now.

“We’ve got a nucleus of a very good squad. Rather than five or six, maybe it’s important to go for one or two. I think that’s the way forward. We’ve got good players here. If we can just keep adding to the quality of them, then I think that’s the way forward.”

If it’s ‘important to go for one or two’, why did Newcastle bring in five signings? The fact is that Newcastle needed to bring in quality and quantity and there is a strong feeling they have fell well short on both counts. Spending £40m on a centre-forward but only a loan signing and £5m on the key wing-back positions, sums up the chaotic approach to the transfer market (never mind recruiting a knackered Andy Carroll when it was essential to bring in goalscorers), now Rafa Benitez has gone. For Steve Bruce to pretend that he has any say on transfers doesn’t fool anybody.

As for ‘a little bit’ of money to spend in January, we were told there was £61m plus money from any summer sales to spend, that is showing over £30m should still be available. we wait with interest to see what happens in January, if anything, especially if Newcastle are in trouble. My money is on loan signings, Newcastle still able to bring in two from other Premier League clubs, as well as possible other loans from abroad.

The dynamic Lee Charnley and new contracts:

Lee Charnley is talking to them (players about new contracts). Thankfully, in that respect now, I’ve got a CEO who’s in hand with it but we’re quietly confident that we’re edging closer but, as usual with all these things now, they take forever,” Bruce added.

“Back in the day, you got a pay rise done and dusted in half an hour. Now, it doesn’t seem to be that way but we’re quietly confident that we’ll tie the ones down that we’re in talks with.”

Yes, thankfully we have Lee Charnley on the job.

This whole new contracts for existing players has become the go to feelgood story from the club. Ahead of playing Arsenal in the first game, Steve Bruce bizarrely introduced the subject, before he had even seen the players in a competitive match and at a time when the window had closed and players wouldn’t be going anywhere anyway, so no rush.

Plus, amongst those said to be getting/rewarded with new enhanced contracts is Jamaal Lascelles. In both 2017 and 2018 he was awarded new six year contracts both times, as the club clearly wanted to put out a good news story.

The whole contract thing is just bizarre anyway. So many players with so little time left on their contracts and zero urgency during the summer on this.

I’m a Geordie:

“I haven’t been far but everyone when I’ve walked down the street has stuck out their hand and wished me luck, whether I’m in a shop or in Kwik Fit up the road or whatever,” he said.

“They’ve all been the same. They’ve all been, ‘Hope you do OK’ and that’s the overwhelming feeling I have and the vast majority of supporters want me to do OK. They don’t want us to struggle.

“I always say, if you’re born a Geordie, it never leaves you. The pride of where you’re from or the tough working-class background you’re from never leaves you and usually if you’re born here, you support Newcastle. Male or female, you support Newcastle. It’s ingrained in you. That’s why we can never take it for granted. It’s quite unique.”

Honestly. I won’t go over everything that has been said so many times but we all know he loves Man Utd more than anything else, evidenced by the fact he was almost crying when  a Sky Sports pundit when Newcastle hammered them 5-0. We all know the comments he made when at Sunderland and the embarrassing way he went on about Newcastle then.

I don’t doubt he was a Newcastle fan as a kid but he left Tyneside 40 years ago for work and he has even said himself before in previous interviews that he never really bothered coming back to watch matches.

The fact is as well, we simply don’t care if he is a Geordie or not. Rafa Bentitez, Chris Hughton, Kevin Keegan weren’t Geordies but the fans loved them because they got the club and did well. Steve Bruce needs to do the same and if so, he will earn the respect, he certainly won’t do it with this same old Geordie nonsense.

Rant over, I’m off to work!

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