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Steve Bruce making Newcastle United changes – Faces one massive problem and two others

2 years ago

All the talk is of what changes Steve Bruce is going to make.

Burnley at home on Saturday and the NUFC Head Coach up against a team that has four wins (including beating Man Utd at Old Trafford and winning against Leicester) and a draw in their last five matches.

In contrast, Bruce’s team have won only one of their last nine Premier League matches and scored only seven goals in the last eleven.

Last week in the lead up to Crystal Palace, Steve Bruce talked repeatedly about possible changes, in the event it was only the enforced Schar for the injured Clark that happened.

After the lame defeat which could and should have been a hammering, the Head Coach said that his cunning plan had been to give those who got hammered 4-0 by Arsenal, another chance.

This week the volume has turned up further, Steve Bruce louder and more regular in his claims of potential changes to tactics, formation and team selection.

Difficult to think that he won’t make changes this time but what can we expect them to be and more importantly, will they have any positive impact?

I see one massive problem and two other significant ones.

The two significant ones that I see are:

Firstly, has Steve Bruce got any choice when it comes to whether Joelinton starts or not? Has he got the free will to decide for himself whether to choose the Brazilin or drop him?

The evidence suggests he doesn’t, that where Mike Ashley’s £43m purchase is concerned, the orders are that he plays regardless. Joelinton has started 26 of Newcastle’s 27 Premier League matches and all four FA Cup games.

This is despite him being woeful for much of that time and offering zero goal threat pretty much all of the time. Yes at times he has been the only fit forward but plenty other times Steve Bruce has had a number of options, yet Joelinton ALWAYS starts no matter how poor he has been the last game(s).

Secondly, has Steve Bruce got any choice on whether the January loan players start or not? A lot of fans are under the impression that Ashley / Bruce / Newcastle United have got themselves into an arrangement whereby Rose, Bentaleb and Lazaro have to start every single game they are available for.

Saturday is the big test. Lazaro is out due to suspension but surely if Bentaleb and Rose start ahead of Hayden and Rose, then that is the only conclusion we can draw, unless Steve Bruce is even more clueless than most of us suspect…

None of the January loans look fully fit and have done nothing that should say keep their place(s) in the team. If they start against Burnley then that it a certainty in my book, they will start every other Premier League match as well unless injured or suspended.

Then we have the biggest problem of all…

No matter what changes are made in terms of team selection, tactics and formation, it is still the same Steve Bruce and his coaches who will be preparing the team.

Over the course of the season, no matter which players he chooses, how the team is set up on kick-off, it immediately/quickly becomes just exactly the same mess. The team defending so deep, hoping to minimise the number of chances for the opposition and for Dubravka to perform miracle, then a goal to magically appear from somewhere at the other end.

The problem is as well, during matches, Steve Bruce and the other Steves have absolutely no idea how to change things as the team struggle. Very quickly you could see Palace had NUFC outnumbered in central midfield, yet the dummies in the dugout jut watched it continue.

So many matches Newcastle struggling and Bruce has no idea what to do. That despite a 20+ year career of managing in the Championship and failing in the Premier League. What a surprise.

That is my big worry on Saturday, that no matter what changes Steve Bruce makes against Burnley, we will see just exactly the same mess on the pitch.

I hope he can prove me wrong but I wouldn’t put even bet with your money on that happening.


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