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Desperate for attention – BBC pundit claims Newcastle United players are worst in Premier League

4 years ago

This set of Newcastle United players are the worst in the entire Premier League.

That is the claim of David Thompson.

Just in case you haven’t heard of him, he started at Liverpool but after not making it there, he spent his career at the likes of Coventry, Portsmouth, Blackburn, Wigan and Bolton.

He is now one of the desperate scavengers trying to make money from being a pundit, in a competitive market where grabbing attention is what it is all about, he has gone the extra mile.

On top of making (like every other single pundit – when are they going to start a petition) the standard tiresome (incorrect) claim that Newcastle United are better / playing better football under Steve Bruce compared to Rafa Benitez, Thompson had to go that extra step to try and make headlines.

The former journeyman player stating: ‘Newcastle have got the worst squad in the Premier League.’

Worse than any of the other 19 PL clubs and just to make sure we get the message, he added: ‘…a worse squad than Norwich.’

That is Norwich City who are on only 21 points and already relegated in reality.

It is totally laughable, Newcastle don’t have a great squad but it is certainly nowhere near the worse. From what I have seen of Norwich, there are two players who would definitely get in the Newcastle team, Max Aarons at right-back and Pukki instead of Joelinton, maybe as well a creative midfielder I have been impressed by (but can’t remember his name) instead of Shelvey.

I don’t need to go into all the arguments yet again about Bruce v Rafa, suffice to say we all know that it is no contest and Steve Bruce has until very recently had far more defensive tactics than Benitez did, the stats very much proof of that. Plus, his tactics have led to a massive over reliance on Martin Dubravka who has been superb, Bruce then very very lucky with such a small number of goals earning so many fortunate points from minimal chances created.

The thing that really annoys me, is that when pundits make such nonsense comments, they aren’t challenged to back them up, what facts has David Thompson to back up his claims that NUFC have the worst squad or Bruce’s team play better football? It is Fake News!!!

In the final 28 games of last season, Newcastle had the eighth best form in the Premier League. In the final 16 games under Rafa they had the fifth highest number of points and fifth highest number of goals. That coincided with the arrival at last of somebody with quality AND pace up front, Miguel Almiron only managing nine PL starts under Rafa Benitez due to his late signing (last day of January window) and injury.

Steve Bruce inherited a team / squad that was ready to progress, on a very tight budget he had created a very strong and disciplined unit, particularly at centre-back and goalkeeper. In his two full PL seasons, Rafa’s defence was only bettered by two teams outside the top four each season, in terms of conceding fewer goals.

Rafa was desperate for money to be spent on pace and quality up front to top off that strong set-up further back on the pitch. Mike Ashley suddenly allowing £80m to be spent in 2019 on attacking players, with Rafa only getting the benefit of nine PL starts (all from Almiron) from that £80m belatedly spent.

David Thompson speaking to BBC Radio Five Live’s Football Daily:

“I watched Newcastle under Rafa Benitez and I think they [Newcastle] are playing better football now under Steve Bruce.

“Under Rafa I sometimes couldn’t even watch it, if they were playing in my back garden I would have drawn the curtains.

“I actually think that Newcastle have got the worst squad in the Premier League.

“If you were tipping anyone to go down at the start of the season it would have been them.

“I think they [Newcastle] have got a worse squad than Norwich.

“Some of the Norwich players have got more of a chance of getting into the Newcastle team.”


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