Charlie Nicholas gets it so embarrassingly wrong with Newcastle United comments
Charlie Nicholas has been giving his ‘expert’ opinion on Newcastle United.
The former Arsenal player asked a number of questions about the Premier League so far, including what/who has been the biggest disappointment.
Charlie Nicholas has chosen the reaction of Newcastle fans to Steve Bruce, saying that the NUFC head coach is ‘doing a very good job’ so far.
At the moment Newcastle are only one point above the relegation zone and if they lose on Saturday at Chelsea, there is a ‘very good’ chance they will be in the bottom three.
I’m not sure how in any way you can describe this as doing a ‘very good’ job, it hasn’t been a total disaster but I think poor to below average would be a more fitting description.
There again it depends on what you are comparing it with…
Of course, Charlie Nicholas has gone for the tired and lazy start of last season as his comparison.
At least I assume that is what Nicholas is referring to as he says about the Newcastle fans: ‘They started to love Rafael Benitez but Steve Bruce has started better and he does not have the same impact upon the fans.’
Well, when Rafa was thrown into the relegation mess of 2015/16 with 10 games to go, he actually ended that season with a run of 12 points from his final six games. As for the start of the following Premier League season (2017/18), Rafa started off with 14 points in his first nine games.
Plus, surely the most compelling comparison should be Rafa’s final games in charge, immediately before Steve Bruce took over. The end of last season saw Rafa’s Newcastle pick up 21 points in his final 13 matches, scoring 21 goals.
Amongst the facts that Charlie Nicholas gets wrong is saying Steve Bruce has signed three players, when it is actually five, although of course we know in reality Bruce has no say in who signs. Nicholas reckons Newcastle won at ‘United’, when it was of course at St James Park and not Old Trafford, whilst the player turned pundit reckons Newcastle have played ‘well’ in all but three of their games.
Against Tottenham and Man Utd played well but they lost five of the other seven and in the two draws against Watford and Brighton they were really poor, so lucky to get a point in each.
Newcastle fans HAVE given Steve Bruce credit for those two wins but in reality, we caught them at very good times.
Manchester United have won only two of their last 13 Premier League games and were lucky to go through on penalties at home to Rochdale in the League Cup.
Whilst Tottenham have won only four of their last 17 games (all competitions) and lost at Colchester in the League Cup.
Newcastle fans see a team that struggles to create chances never mind score goals and are concerned that we are very much riding our luck, very very lucky to have eight points when towards the very bottom of the stats for pretty much everything…whether possession, shots, shots on target, corners and so on.
It isn’t as Charlie Nicholas claims that Newcastle fans want Steve Bruce to fail, it is their fear that yet again Mike Ashley has reverted to employing a patsy who no other PL club would have employed and who has no say on signings, which is exactly what happened when Ashley took on Steve McClaren to do the same.
This is all of course without even getting into the whole thing of Rafa Benitez having a long-term project in mind to progress the club, which Mike Ashley refused to contemplate.
Charlie Nicholas speaking to the Sporting Life and asked what his biggest disappointment of the season has been:
“I am not surprised by Man Utd’s start, but it was Newcastle for me.
“I can’t work out what it is. I tipped them to win at United.
“They started to love Rafael Benitez but Steve Bruce has started better and he does not have the same impact upon the fans.
“The most engrossing thing for me is how the Newcastle situation has played out.
“They have been awful in three of those games, but they have played well in the rest.
“They got a win at Tottenham and they got a win against Manchester United, but it is as if they are still unhappy.
“I don’t blame them for being unhappy with Mike Ashley, but they are one of the best sets of fans in England at getting behind their team, and even more so in backing their manager.
“Bruce added three players – this may not have been of any significance, but he has given it a good go thus far.
“The most intriguing thing is the disappointment surrounding Newcastle.
“Bruce is doing a very good job, but some are hoping he doesn’t.
“I never quite understand the animosity towards him. Somewhere along the line, they have to give their manager a pat-on-the-back.”
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