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Jermaine Jenas joins lunatic fringe: ‘Steve Bruce has come in and shown he can do a better job’

4 weeks ago
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Jermaine Jenas usually comes across as one of the better (least worst) pundits.

However, he has finally cracked and been recruited.

The former Newcastle United midfielder joining the ranks of the lunatic fringe.

Jermaine Jenas was working for BT Sport on Wednesday night.

He watched on as another of his former clubs, Tottenham, won only their fourth of 18 Premier League matches for the season.

Ironically, this defeat means it is now only four wins in the last 18 PL games for Steve Bruce,  home and away.

Despite this, before kick-off Jermaine Jenas felt himself compelled to utter these bizarre and pointless words: ‘Steve Bruce has come in and shown he can do a better job’ than Rafa Benitez.

Why is this even a thing?

Journalists and pundits desperate to ‘prove’ this, for some unknown reason.

Last season Newcastle ended up with 45 points in 13th place, scoring 42 and conceding 48 goals.

With two games to go, Newcastle have less points (43), currently in 13th place, scored less goals (37) and conceded more (55).

With Brighton away and Liverpool home, there is a chance by every measurement it will show Steve Bruce has done less well, if you want to buy into this competition the media have manically pushed, until it began to look like Bruce might not exceed the points total…

Jermaine Jenas goes for the difficult to measure: ‘put in some really good performances on the pitch’, just as other pundits have claimed under Bruce that the football has been much better than under Rafa. That is simply untrue.

Great performances? In the last 18 PL games the four wins have been a very good 4-1 against a terrible Bournemouth side who are going down, a last second 1-0 over Chelsea after defending all game, plus wins over Sheffield United and Southampton where each time Newcastle didn’t score until the opposition went down to 10 men.

Rafa built a great defensive unit on a minimal budget and was starved of any proper investment in attacking players.

Each of the last two seasons only two clubs outside the top four conceded less goals than NUFC in each of the seasons, this season only two clubs outside the relegation zone have conceded more than Newcastle.

In 2019, Mike Ashley suddenly allowed spending of £80m on three attacking players, out of that Rafa only saw the benefit of nine PL starts from Almiron. Steve Bruce has had Almiron, ASM and Joelinton from the start of the season.

Massive helpings of luck have come Steve Bruce’s way, Newcastle picking up loads of points the displays didn’t warrant.

We have not been relegated and Bruce deserves a certificate saying that but little else when the new owners replace him.

Poor football most of the season and minimal entertainment overall, I would dread another season like this one, especially as his luck has surely ran out now.

Jermaine Jenas speaking to BT Sport just ahead of kick-off on Wednesday night:

“This is a team that in my opinion, has overperformed this season, again.

“Last year the reason was Rafa Benitez apparently…and once he left it was all going to fall apart.

“Well Steve Bruce has come in and shown he can do a better job.

“Also the players, you have got to give them a lot of credit.

“They have had to change the system sometimes.

“They have been criticised heavily for not scoring enough goals.

“They have found a way and put in some really good performances on the pitch.

“Which has been able to give the fans a little bit of breathing space from a lot of negativity surrounding the club.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Tottenham 3 – Wednesday 15 July 6pm

Goals:

Newcastle United:

Ritchie 56

Tottenham:

Son 27, Kane 60, 90

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Tottenham 47% (51%) Newcastle 53% (49%)

Total shots were Tottenham 8 (4) Newcastle 22 (12)

Shots on target were Tottenham 5 (2) Newcastle 6 (3)

Corners were Tottenham 4 (3) Newcastle 5 (4)

Referee: David Coote

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Krafth, Fernandez, Schar, Yedlin (Lazaro 55), Shelvey, Bentaleb (Matty Longstaff 86), Almiron, Ritchie, Gayle (Joelinton 69), Saint-Maximin

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Muto, Manquillo, Atsu, T. Allan, J. Young.

Crowd: 00,000

(Newcastle 1 Tottenham 3 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Wednesday’s defeat – Read HERE)

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