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Steve Bruce asked after Rochdale whether trying to sign a goalscorer in January – Believe it or not?

10 months ago
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Steve Bruce always has plenty to say.

Just like the previous patsy managers/head coaches such as Pardew, JFK, Carver and McClaren, being the club’s only spokesperson to the media is a key task, especially with propaganda on behalf of  Mike Ashley.

Lee Charnley averages around one media interview per year or less, with usually Ashley’s people just releasing quotes in Charnley’s name, otherwise Charnley and anybody else at the club are conspicuous by their absence/silence. Apart from that is, when Mike Ashley himself decides to intervene personally.

With this January transfer window we are now getting a running commentary from Steve Bruce but what can you believe?

In the weeks/months leading up to this current window, Steve Bruce was keen to say there was unlikely to be any major signings, happy with his squad etc etc.

If there was to be a major signing, Steve Bruce said that central midfield was the area where he was most interested in bringing in better quality.

Now we have reached January, Steve Bruce is adding to the (mis?)information at every single press conference.

Ahead of Saturday’s draw with Rochdale, Bruce said (see below) ‘They are really really good top, top players who I have gone for’ and that the end of January was most likely for signings to be made.

Less than 24 hours later and after the game at Rochdale, Steve Bruce said that Newcastle have already failed with bids for players, happy to confirm that they were strikers NUFC had allegedly had ‘knock backs’ on.

It is such a mess and with Mike Ashley clearly having chosen the signings in the summer, it is very very difficult to imagine that having changed now.

The Ashley-inspired mess saw Newcastle lose their only two goalscorers without the owner trying to do anything to convince them to stay, insisting on his bizarre determination to (allegedly) pay £40m for Joelinton who has never regularly scored goals and free transfer Andy Carroll who rarely is ever in a position to start a football match (has started 14 PL games in the last 33 months).

Will Steve Bruce honestly have the freedom to drop Joelinton? Well it doesn’t appear that Mike Ashley has allowed him to yet.

With Almiron and Saint-Maximin sure starters if/when fit, would Ashley honestly be happy to allow more spending on a striker and Joelinton to go and sit on the bench?

Do I believe that Newcastle/Ashley/Bruce have gone for ‘top, top players’, well it would take some believing.

I would be amazed if we don’t end up, at best, with scraping the bottom of the barrel for a striker on loan at the very end of January, as was the case in 2018 when an injured Islam Slimani arrived and started only one game, playing 130 PL minutes for Newcastle in total.

It is 100% obvious to any fan that Newcastle are desperate for a goalscorer but as for Mike Ashley believing it, that is a totally different matter.

Accepting Joelinton has been a disastrous signing and that he (Ashley) is to blame and a quality goalscorer instead is needed…

Asked about the January transfer window ahead of this weekend and whether Newcastle will sign players in January, Steve Bruce responded:

“I hope so.

“They are really really good top, top players who I have gone for.

“When that happens, you have got competition…but we will try.

“We have a couple of plates spinning who would be of interest.

“But in my experience, the end of the window may be when things happen…”

Asked after the 1-1 draw with Rochdale, specifically about whether going to sign a striker in January, Steve Bruce stated:

“We have had a couple of knock backs already.

“So we will keep working away.

“It’s very, very difficult, as I have said.

“Especially at that end of the pitch.

“To get something and to get something which is going to make you better, is difficult.

“So I won’t just bring in players for the sake of it.

“Just adding to the squad, I don’t think that makes any sense.

“So we will see what the next two or three weeks brings.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Rochdale 1 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 4 January 12.31pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Almiron 17

Rochdale:

Wilbraham 79

Possession was Rochdale 34%, Newcastle 66%

Total shots were Rochdale 11, Newcastle 18

Shots on target were Rochdale 4, Newcastle 5

Corners were Rochdale 3 Newcastle 12

Crowd: 8,593 (3,200 NUFC)

Referee: David Coote

Newcastle team v Rochdale:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Krafth, Fernandez, Hayden, Atsu, Matty Longstaff, Sean Longstaff, Almiron (Ritchie 64), Muto (Ki 53), Joelinton

Unused Subs

Darlow, Lejeune, Allan, Sorensen, Cass

(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Rochdale 1 Newcastle 1 – Read HERE)

(Rochdale 1 Newcastle 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s draw – Read HERE)

(Mike Ashley on how it ended with Rafa Benitez “Joelinton was the test” – Never forget : Read HERE)

(Steve Bruce says mission accomplished “The idea was to come here and still be in the draw afterwards” – Read HERE)

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