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Opinion

Newcastle United loan star can’t believe how easy life is under Steve Bruce – Training on so few days

6 days ago
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Steve Bruce has now been at Newcastle United for 10 months.

In that time, fair to say there has been plenty of discussion as to the relative merits of the NUFC Head Coach compared to former manager, Rafa Benitez.

Various journalists and pundits saying that Newcastle having 35 points and being outside of the relegation zone in 13th place is ‘proof’ of what a great job Steve Bruce has done.

Whilst Newcastle fans point to terrible negative football and tactics and massive amounts of luck in so many games where NUFC have been seriously outplayed and yet somehow picked up points, the lowest goals scored total in the Premier League despite £80m spent on the forward trio in 2019, plus Rafa Benitez had the fifth best form in the PL in his final 16 games and the eighth best form over his last 28 PL matches.

One feature of this season though has been the number of Newcastle players going to great lengths to claim how brilliant Steve Bruce is as a manager and indeed, how he has to be kept on even if ambitious new owners come in.

Interesting then to see (the very talkative) Danny Rose giving us some extra insight on this.

Rose says that at Tottenham, players were lucky to get even one day a week off under Mauricio Pochettino. The defender talking about how strict he was and that he had heard the same about other foreign managers at Premier League clubs, such as Antonio Conte at Chelsea.

In contrast, Danny Rose says that since arriving at Newcastle, he can’t believe how easy life is, the left-back saying they get loads of days off training, sometimes as many as three a week (obviously talking about before the suspension of football in early March).

Which brings us back to Rafa Benitez…

The players often talked about how hard he worked them but pointed to that hard work and attention to detail from Rafa, as the reasons for the relative success of 10th and 13th place finishes despite Mike Ashley refusing to properly support him in the transfer market.

Little wonder so many of the Newcastle players aren’t wanting to see the back of Steve Bruce after the picture Danny Rose paints.

When players have been doing interviews during the suspension of football, we saw Matt Ritchie saying how good he believed Jonjo Shelvey could be if only he didn’t spend so much time playing golf, Ritchie saying the midfielder regularly played it three times a week.

Once the takeover does happen and Steve Bruce is replaced, I think safe to say that whoever is appointed as manager, we won’t be seeing Newcastle players with the time or energy to play a round of golf three times a week…

Danny Rose talking about how strict (or not…) managers can be, to The Lockdown Tactics podcast:

“I heard [Antonio] Conte had a strict regime when he came in at Chelsea, I heard that he wasn’t willing to compromise in any shape or form.

“Even [at Tottenham] under Poch [Mauricio Pochettino], he had a different culture to the British.

“It wasn’t that he didn’t understand it, you [he] know the British like to have a drink, it was just something he couldn’t get his head around.

“Even after we beat Ajax in the Champions League semi-final and it was obviously the biggest night of our careers, on the flight home we weren’t allowed a drink.

“It was ‘no you are training tomorrow, you are up at 9am’….so it is just one of those things.

“He was like ‘no we have got a game on Saturday’ – the night was over.

“I do fully respect what he [Pochettino] has done but at the same time, with that Champions League semi-final we had been together since we were 22 or 23.

“So for me, that’s all I’d known for the past five or six years, you would play and then get one day off if you are lucky and that’s it, you’re grafting for the rest of the week.

“So now I’m at Newcastle [with Steve Bruce], you are getting two or three days off a week if you win.

“So I’m thinking what’s going on here then?

“It’s a shock to the system.

“We would only get one day off if we were lucky under Poch.

“Even in international breaks, he would see the ones who would go away as having a holiday because training isn’t as hard with your national team.”

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