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Opinion

Steve Bruce talking himself out of the Newcastle United job?

5 months ago
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Interested to read the latest quotes from Steve Bruce.

I must admit, I’m not the biggest fan of the NUFC Head Coach.

There’s no real bias to this, nothing to do with the person, simply based on the fact that his managerial record is so poor and his excuses are beyond tiresome.

The fact that he flip flops between jobs, has a self-proclaimed aversion to tactics (pretty big this one, if you’re a football coach), whilst his historical record in handling injuries is appalling (another big problem). Even the way he came to be at our club was quite distasteful, in the way he treated Sheffield Wednesday. The latter, though a reveal of a person’s character, is none of our business. The way he goes about the job, unfortunately is.

Fans are in for a long period of adjustment when football resumes after the pandemic and it is going to be challenging for ALL teams, no matter which team you are, no matter what the quality of players you have, or which country/league you’re playing in.

For managers and players, the conditions are as level a playing field as they are likely to be for some time.

Over to Steve Bruce declaring:

“It’s not going to be easy.”

As well as saying: “There’s no real advantage playing at home.”

All well and good on the face of it but by the same token there must be no disadvantage playing away. Bruce can’t have it both ways and I sincerely hope he spares us the excuse of it always being tricky away from home the next time we lose an away fixture.

Let’s just get one thing clear, all managers bend the truth to suit their own stance and agenda. If things are going well or look favourable then the positive narrative will be talked up, if things are looking bad then the negative will be brushed under the carpet, whatever small positive can be found will be dragged kicking and screaming. It’s called PR and spin.

Picture the pre-fight press conference of a heavyweight boxer. The scenes are legendary and often quite comical. Both fighters will try and outdo each other in the point scoring stakes long before a punch is even thrown in the actual ring. Loud claims of what each one is going to do to the other will be announced to the assembled media and the race to see who’s the most macho and give off the most bravado is evident and often ends up in a forced show of exhibitionist sparring for the cameras. Once again, PR and spin.

Switch that to Steve Bruce and…oh dear. You certainly wouldn’t back him based on what he says before the ‘fight’. Your money would be on the other fella. He would be going on about trying his best to win, but it’s going to be difficult, and if this goes right and that falls into place etc, etc.

Now it would be reckless and foolhardy of any football manager to come out and say what he and his side intend to do to the opposition BEFORE a game, Bruce has some foolish form on that one. Cast your minds back to when he brought his Mackem mob up to St James Park in 2010 and (after being trounced 5-1) Bruce and his team left the field to ‘Daydream Believer’, he vowed revenge when the sides met later that season, promising to play a song of his own in response.

Thankfully we never got to hear whatever the tune was, as the return fixture ended with a last minute draw, otherwise it would have been a happy six points claimed for the black and whites that season. Maybe it should have been Kylie Minogue’s ‘I should be so lucky’.

If you were going for a job interview and you came out with the type of nonsense Steve Bruce does before a game, you wouldn’t get the job. If you were called in for a disciplinary and used the same sort of Bruce speak, you’d talk yourself into the sack.

The point is, Bruce can’t stop verbally putting his foot in it and he doesn’t seem to have the wherewithal to do anything about it either, before or after the event. He either doesn’t see what he’s saying as blatant excuses, or worse, he believes what he says.

Countless times (after a poor result or defeat) he has praised the team’s ‘resilience’ and that he ‘couldn’t fault the effort’.

Too many times he has blamed a referee, the conditions, the injuries (often made worse by his own failings), but doesn’t seem to focus on why such things occur, or heaven forbid offer a solution to the problems that he and his staff can work on in training. Winging it seems to be a motif throughout his career.

If the prospective new owners are watching him and are taking even the remotest notice of his utterances in his short time at the club, then believe me he won’t be here long…

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