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Steve Bruce now claims credit for Allan Saint-Maximin impact – Shameless?

3 weeks ago
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Steve Bruce has been talking about Allan Saint-Maximin.

The player at the centre of a row this past week which saw Mike Ashley ban a reporter for his negative coverage.

As well as saying a number of players were unhappy with Steve Bruce’s tactics, Craig Hope of The Mail said that his sources had told him that Allan Saint-Maximin had been fully fit and available to play against Burnley. Steve Bruce having left him on the bench until the final 12 minutes of a poor 0-0 draw, choosing to play Joelinton on the left instead of ASM.

Then in his press conference on Monday, Bruce had stated Saint-Maximin was a big doubt for West Brom because of back and hamstring issues, once again Hope said that his sources told him the player was fully fit and available.

In the event, ASM started at West Brom and he and Almiron were by a distance the best players, creating and scoring the goals, then of course Allan Saint-Maximin got the winner at Southampton.

Not content with just talking about what the players did on the pitch, Steve Bruce has shamelessly claimed credit for ASM’s contribution: ‘What a wonderful decision it was (by Steve Bruce) to leave him (ASM) on the bench last week (for the 0-0 draw with Burnley). I thought he wasn’t quite physically right and I gave him a break from it. Now he he has scored one and made two in the cup-tie (against West Brom).’

Little surprise that it was indeed Allan Saint-Maximin positively involved the past two games, seen as he has been pretty much Newcastle’s only threat all season, until very recently when Steve Bruce has belatedly allowed Almiron to play further up the pitch.

Newcastle have only won one Premier League game this season when Allan Saint-Maximin hasn’t started and in the FA Cup a similar story. The previous round looked certain to be a spot-kick lottery after Newcastle had failed to beat League One Oxford in two lots of 90 minutes, only for ASM to score a solo class winner a few minutes before the end of extra-time.

Who knows what the truth is about Allan Saint-Maximin and that Burnley game (where incidentally, ASM in 12 minutes provided more threat than Joelinton did in 78, a hard low shot that was only one of four on target in the whole game and then initiated the move when Ritchie wasted a last gasp chance to win it. So if ASM had played from the start…). Steve Bruce refused to answer after the West Brom game when Craig Hope asked him if ASM had told Bruce he was fine to start that Burnley match.

What I do know is that Steve Bruce would do himself a favour if he just allowed players to take the credit when Newcastle win the odd Premier League match, rather than making cheap embarrassing comments like this.

Steve Bruce talking after Allan Saint-Maximin scored the winner at Southampton:

“What a wonderful decision it was to leave him on the bench last week (for the 0-0 draw with Burnley).

“I thought he wasn’t quite physically right and I gave him a break from it.

“Now he he has scored one and made two in the cup-tie (against West Brom).

“I am delighted for him and I have said since day one he is always going to please everybody.

“If you haven’t seen him play, then you’re going to enjoy watching him, because he is a natural footballer.

“Which don’t come around too often.

“He has got frightening pace and great balance and got that thing where he wants to beat you and we don’t see that too often anymore.

“He can be a bit frustrating at times and he has to learn, but if he learns, he has got a big, bright future ahead of him.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Southampton 0 Newcastle 1  – Saturday 7 March 3pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Saint-Maximin 79

Southampton:

Red card Djenepo 28

Possession was Southampton 38% Newcastle 62%

Total shots were Southampton 6 Newcastle 14

Shots on target were Southampton 3 Newcastle 7

Corners were Southampton 5 Newcastle 8

Referee: Graham Scott

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Manquillo (Lazaro 72), Fernandez, Lascelles, Rose, Hayden (Sean Longstaff 79), Shelvey, Ritchie (Joelinton 61), Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin, Gayle

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Schar, Yedlin, Bentaleb

Crowd: 30,096 (NUFC 3,000)

(Steve Bruce reacts “Why’s everybody getting their knickers in a twist? The decisions are right.” – Read HERE)

(Ralph Hasenhuttl says Newcastle United didn’t have any idea how to score against Southampton’s 10 men – Read HERE)

Southampton 0 Newcastle 1 – Watch official match highlights here including dramatic late ASM winner! – Watch HERE)

(Southampton 0 Newcastle 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s incident packed win – Read HERE)

(Southampton 0 Newcastle 1 as Steve Bruce’s luck well and truly returns with VAR assisted victory – Read HERE)

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