Steve Bruce now finally forced by circumstances into honouring his five months old promise
Steve Bruce has now been at Newcastle United for 150 days.
The NUFC Head Coach plucked from the Championship by Mike Ashley.
It has proved to be an interesting five months so far…
As soon as Steve Bruce came in, he made a number of promises.
The new broom sweeping in and assured everybody that he and Mike Ashley were now going all out to attack the cups and would treat the cup competitions as seriously as the league.
That particular promise didn’t get off to the greatest of starts.
Only six weeks after coming in, Steve Bruce rested pretty much all of Newcastle’s best/key players, making seven changes from the Premier League side, as Newcastle lost at home to Leicester.
The other big promise that Steve Bruce made and which Mike Ashley said he was excited about, was that instead of what had (supposedly) happened under Rafa Benitez, Newcastle United would be playing on the ‘Front foot’ in every game from now on.
Sadly, that Front Foot turned out to be on the edge of our own box, from the very start Steve Bruce having Newcastle playing the most negative defensive football we have ever seen, far worse than what we saw under Rafa.
Whether it is Man City or Norwich, Liverpool or Watford (Brighton, Bournemouth, Southampton…), Steve Bruce has had the team camped out on the edge of their own box, defending so so deep and leaving Newcastle as the team that creates the fewest chances in the whole of the Premier League.
Only sheer luck and some impressive finishing by Jonjo Shelvey and the defence, has turned the minimal chances created into a credible number of points.
Circumstances often change things though and just as injuries create opportunities, just maybe today we could see Steve Bruce also forced into at last honouring that ‘front foot’ promise.
Newcastle are set to be without Lascelles, Saint-Maximin, Clark, Shelvey, Almiron, Ki and Ritchie today at Burnley.
The tactic of sitting so deep and relying solely on the pacey Almiron and ASM to get the team occasionally up the pitch isn’t viable today.
NUFC don’t have anybody who can replicate what that pair do.
The likes of Atsu and whoever else don’t have the pace or dribbling ability to carry the ball up the pitch. So if Steve Bruce did keep the same tactics, Newcastle will struggle to get out of their own half.
So surely the Head Coach has to accept that today at Burnley he will need to get the team playing 20 yards further up the pitch.
So that there won’t be that yawning gap between the centre-forward and the rest of the team.
We need to have the side pressing far higher and not let Burnley dominate possession and all the play, we need our midfield pushed up, competing for the ball and try to catch them in possession, allowing dangerous attacks to be initiated from high up the pitch. Whilst if long balls are to be played up to Joelinton and/or Carroll, we need players pushed up to support them.
Interesting to see what does happen this afternoon and fingers crossed we do at last see Steve Bruce giving us a ‘front foot’ Newcastle United.
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