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Opinion

Today was the first time I have ever felt sorry for Steve Bruce and then I woke up

3 months ago
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Steve Bruce was a shocking appointment for Newcastle United, nothing changes with that.

I am quite happy to lay my cards on the table.

Just because he has fluked a handful of wins doesn’t/didn’t change anything.

We all want Newcastle United to win games of course but only real dopes or fraudsters are refusing to acknowledge that the head coach has/had carried ridiculous luck so far.

Before facing Leicester, Steve Bruce had taken charge of 21 games and had so far won seven and accumulated 25 points in the Premier League.

On the actual play in the matches and the small matter of chances at both ends, I reckon we have probably actually deserved to win a couple of those.

Today it was Leicester City at home.

If ever there was a match to simply write off it was this one.

The Foxes had made nine outfield changes at the weekend yet still won at West Ham.

On the other hand, Newcastle are totally knackered and have any number of first choice players with knocks and/or fatigued.

As I say above, I started to feel sorry for Steve Bruce because of the injury/fitness issues BUT then I saw the team selection.

Carroll was never going to start again after playing the entire game against Everton, yet the only other change was Manquillo (who last week Bruce said was carrying an injury) for Yedlin.

When are the likes of Krafth and Atsu ever going to be used?

Surely ideal for young lads like the Longstaffs to use their legs/stamina, especially as they have already played?

Kelland watts has trained with the first team this week, why not get him involved?

Get Gayle on instead of making  Joelinton and Almiron play every minute why not?

No surprise then that four players (Manquillo, Schar, Shelvey and Willems) ended up knackered and forced off, whilst very lucky that others such as Lejeune, Joelinton and Almiron appeared to make it through ok.

Steve Bruce will talk about bad luck but he has to hold his hands up for the incompetence that has led to so many injuries, just look what happened with Allan Saint-Maximin twice, out for far longer after being rushed back and overplayed when carrying an injury.

Yes there has been bad luck on the injury front but playing people carrying knocks and rushing players back too quickly has made the problem so much worse.

I dread hearing the excuses Steve Bruce comes up with this time but no doubt as usual he won’t be holding his hands up to anything.

Stats (half-time stats in brackets) from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Leicester 3 (Newcastle 0 Leicester 2) – Wednesday 1 January 3pm

Goals:

Leicester:

Perez 36, Maddison 39, Choudhury 87

Possession was Leicester 77% (71%), Newcastle 23% (29%)

Total shots were Leicester 16 (9), Newcastle 5 (4)

Shots on target were Leicester 9 (5), Newcastle 2 (2)

Corners were Leicester 5 (4), Newcastle 4 (3)

Crowd: 52,178 (3,000 Leicester and 10,000 free NUFC season ticket holders, although a massive  number of empty seats all around St James Park)

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Newcastle team v Leicester:

Dubravka, Manquillo (Krafth 45+3), Schar (forced off on 51 minutes and NUFC down to 10 men), Lejeune, Fernandez, Willems (Yedlin 45), Hayden, Shelvey (Sean Longstaff 46), Almiron, Muto, Joelinton

Unused Subs

Darlow, Atsu, Carroll, Gayle

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