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Opinion

Journalist finally breaks ranks to give truth on what’s actually happening at Newcastle United

9 months ago
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It is not often anybody breaks ranks in the media when it comes to writing/talking about Newcastle United.

It is very much a case of usually talking with one voice.

That one voice is usually towing the party line, simply lazily repeating the club’s PR message time after time.

The only exception is when things get really really bad, when a line is crossed that even the NUFC journalists can’t ignore.

Amusingly, even then they tend to move as one mass, a point reached where they pretty much all agree to swing the other way and call out the latest shambles that Newcastle fans have already been pointing at repeatedly for days, weeks, months, or even years at times.

Which brings us to now.

This season has been bizarre for Newcastle United.

The story the NUFC journalists are reporting, is basically, Newcastle United now have 30 points which is six more than this point last season (under Rafa…), yes it is a little strange how a lot of these points have come about but points is what it is all about etc etc…and this is proof that things are alright at the club. Yes a little unorthodox what is happening in matches but the results/points prove Steve Bruce is doing well and by association, the club are doing ok.

Anybody who suggests scratching below the surface is instantly slaughtered by the media, especially the local newspapers. Reminded yet again about the points total, told that you need to forget about Rafa Benitez (even when you haven’t mentioned him) and if you point out that there is still zero investment in the infrastructure, no new training complex (promised by Mike Ashley seven years ago now…), no proper investment and overhaul of the Academy, Ashley still selling what he can to make extra personal profit (such as selling the land at Gallowgate for development of offices/hotels etc that will prevent any future increase of St James Park capacity), you are once again reminded to look at the points total….

So with that backdrop, great to see this excellent Newcastle United piece in The Mirror.

Brian Reade giving a truthful overview of what exactly is happening at the club…

Brian Reade writing in The Mirror:

Steve Bruce has Newcastle squirming to safety on the cheap – but it’s an unjustly reward…a slim, grim survival will be hailed as a major success for Ashleynomics

…a former Sunderland boss with a joke of a track record compared to Benitez’s, who was seen as another bargain basement Sports Direct purchase…he has confounded footballing logic.

His small, injury-battered squad sit in mid-table on the same points as Arsenal despite playing football that’s almost as dire as the statistics which have them at the bottom of charts for expected goals, expected points, passes, possession and shots on goal.

…rode their luck against a wasteful Chelsea and scored with their one serious effort on target in the 93rd minute…against Everton they had one chance in 90 minutes before substitute centre-half Florian Lejeune snatched two stoppage-time goals and stole a point. The word “inexplicable” appeared in every report and even captain Jamaal Lascelles called it “the weirdest game.”

But Bruce doing well is a double-edged sword for many. To the thousands of season-ticket holders boycotting St James’ Park, his grinding out of results through doggedness and fortune is a painful scenario.

Squirming to safety on the cheap, with ugly smash-and-grabs, unjustly rewards the poverty of ambition which has held the club back throughout Ashley’s tenure.

They are still under-resourced, scraping around for loans in this transfer window when the squad is crying out for quality.

The academy, training facilities, commercial side and support staff are still in dire need of investment.

The main beef with Bruce is his acceptance of Ashley’s status quo. He gets the players he’s given, based on how cheap they can be brought in not the suitability for squad progression, and he makes the best of it.

A model that Benitez ultimately refused to go along with as did all other elite coaches approached to replace him. But Bruce, back in his home city and back in the Premier League signed up without question.

The fear among those who have ambition for a club with such huge pride and potential is that a slim, grim survival will be hailed as a major success for Ashleynomics and they’ll have more of the same under Bruce next season.

They know he will only turn water into wine for so long. As they’ve seen before with every manager under Ashley who has enjoyed a decent run. The lack of quality on the pitch and the lack of intent to improve it, eventually catches up with them.

It’s a dilemma for any Geordie who believes Bruce is doing a great job against horrendous odds, but who sees their club as something better than a Premier League water-treader whose only purpose is to act as a Sports Direct billboard.

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