Sky Sports pundit says big priority for Newcastle United is to offer Steve Bruce a new contract – Bizarre
Speaking to Sky Sports, pundit Charlie Nicholas has given a prediction for the game at St James Park on Sunday afternoon.
He predicts that West Ham’s ‘grit and determination will get them over the line’ against Newcastle United.
Interesting to see what the Sky Sports ‘expert’ bases this on, as ‘grit and determination’ have been in very short supply for the Hammers as far as I can see.
Going into this week, West Ham had lost all of their last three Premier League matches without scoring a goal and indeed had only won once since New Year’s day, losing eight of eleven PL games.
With the usual lack of proper in-depth analysis, Charlie Nicholas bases ‘All of a sudden things are changing’ for West Ham purely due to beating Chelsea 3-2 on Wednesday.
Undoubtedly a very good result but scratching beneath the surface, you would see that the Hammers had only 29% possession, two corners and scored with three of their four shots on target. You would have to say luck was at least as big a factor as any ‘grit and determination’, not to say that they couldn’t follow up with a win against NUFC. Just that the form book over more than one game suggests not.
With Newcastle United, Charlie Nicholas never feels the need to do any proper research or analysis.
His big thing this time with NUFC, is that the club’s big priority has to be getting Steve Bruce to sign another contract ASAP. The Sky Sports man declaring: ‘Until things calm down, they could and should offer Steve Bruce another contract.’
A minimum of research and Nicholas would have known that Steve Bruce still has over two years left of his contract that was signed less than 12 months ago.
Whether the Newcastle United takeover goes ahead or not, the last thing the club should be doing is tying NUFC to Bruce for any longer than the deal that already exists.
With Mike Ashley though you can never say never, the man who presented us with the bizarre stunt of an eight year contract for Alan Pardew, that eight years ironically having just ended in recent days. Pardew having walked out on NUFC since signing that eight year contract and subsequently ‘let go’ by Crystal Palace, West Brom and ADO Den Haag, now back amongst the unemployed / unemployable.
Where Steve Bruce will be in eight years time, or even eight months, is anybody’s guess.
Charlie Nicholas talking to Sky Sports:
“Things are starting to turn again with West Ham.
“They showed tremendous character [to beat Chelsea on Wednesday] and their response to the VAR howler was great.
“They scored goals. Mark Noble has often been at the centre of this but he was not on the pitch.
“Tomas Soucek has done well since he has come into the fold but Andriy Yarmolenko has the pace and movement that causes problems. West Ham have missed him.
“Michail Antonio is their best option up front though – he has pace, power, great enthusiasm, and people who can support from midfield too. All of a sudden things are changing.
“Newcastle are playing with freedom and a smile on their faces – they are looking dangerous too.
“Until things calm down, they could and should offer Steve Bruce another contract.
“Andy Carroll could start against his former club. Joelinton continues to struggle despite getting his goal the other week, while Jonjo Shelvey played well and Miguel Almiron contributed off the bench too.
“A bit of fight in West Ham might cause Newcastle problems though, as it did against Chelsea. West Ham may have started to believe that they are not a bad side once they get going.
“They just need to get better defensively, but their grit and determination will get them over the line in this one.
“Prediction is Newcastle 1 West Ham 2.”
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