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Opinion

Charlie Nicholas needs help – Declares Steve Bruce did better than Solskjaer, Lampard, Nuno and Rafa

4 months ago
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Charlie Nicholas and friends had it all ready.

Once Steve Bruce passed the points total that Rafa’s Newcastle team accumulated  in 2018/19, they would really go to town / toon.

Only one problem, Steve Bruce fell short of Rafa’s points total.

However, you can never keep a good man (or Charlie Nicholas) down.

When you don’t have facts to back you up, there is just one option.

You make it up!

Charlie Nicholas has been rating the jobs each Premier League manager and club have done this 2019/20 season.

The Sky Sports pundit reckons only Jurgen Klopp and Chris Wilder did a better job than Steve Bruce.

Quite bizarrely, Charlie Nicholas claims Bruce has done a better job this past season than Nuno, Rodgers, Solskjaer, Lampard, Hasenhuttl and many others.

I had to have a glance at the final Premier League table just to prove that I hadn’t dreamt it…

The really mad thing though, is that Charlie Nicholas is still banging on about Steve Bruce having done a better job this season than Rafa did in 2018/19.

Nicholas’ justifies his madness by measuring it on the basis of…’I think he [Steve Bruce] has been more attacking than Rafa…He ended up playing a decent attacking style which Newcastle fans would, if they’re sitting over their beer in the stadium, say he did a good job but not as good as Rafa – you’d say really?’

So what stats does Charlie Nicholas refer to, that backs up the ‘more attacking’ claim?

Well, errr, he doesn’t.

Could that possibly be because there aren’t any…?

It was 1997/98 when Newcastle last scored less Premier League goals than Bruce’s team (38) this season.

In nearly every single attacking stat, Newcastle United under Steve Bruce are the lowest or one of the lowest at best – goals scored, expected goals, possession, number of touches in opposition box, number of corners, shots, shots on target, expected goals.

Nobody claims that Rafa’s NUFC team were brilliant entertainers but it was still far more attacking over the season than the boring rubbish we have viewed for the vast majority of the 2019/20 season. Plus, in Rafa’s final 16 games with Newcastle, the team were fifth highest in terms of points AND fifth highest in terms of goals scored:

Charlie Nicholas talking to Sky Sports about Steve Bruce and Newcastle United:

“Newcastle United – B

“Some Newcastle fans are questioning how dare we suggest Steve Bruce has done as good a job as Rafa Benitez, but come on guys, he has.

“A lot of people didn’t want him there, didn’t like the style, but I think he’s been more attacking than Rafa.

“Not as well-drilled defensively, but for what he had, and what he’s done, Allan Saint-Maximin’s been a good signing, Miguel Almiron has enjoyed himself, Joelinton’s been a bit of a disaster though.

“He ended up playing a decent attacking style which Newcastle fans would, if they’re sitting over their beer in the stadium, say he did a good job but not as good as Rafa – you’d say really?

“The position he finished in the league?

“There wasn’t even one bit of sweat on the brow about going down, which you got with Rafa.”

In 392 Premier League games as a manager before he arrived at Newcastle, Steve Bruce’s teams averaged only 1.03 a game, with Newcastle he has gone even lower with 1.00.

Now that’s what I call attacking football!

Charlie Nicholas 2019/20 Premier League club grades:

A+ Liverpool

B+ Sheffield United

B  Newcastle United, Leicester, Man City, Burnley

C+ Villa, Chelsea, West Ham, Wolves, Man Utd, Southampton

C Brighton, Tottenham

D Arsenal, Palace, Everton, Norwich, Watford

E Bournemouth

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