Steve Bruce is at it again “There is always a hysteria around Newcastle United”
Steve Bruce just couldn’t help himself.
The NUFC Head Coach speaking after his Newcastle team had demolished Morecambe.
Steve Bruce talking about how it was ‘nice to get the job done’ after Newcastle had experienced so many bad nights in the past against lower league opposition.
No complaints about that, although when it comes to lower league opposition in the League Cup, you don’t get any lower than Morecambe. They finished last season the very lowest in the four divisions of any club that still is in the top four leagues, Morecambe were 89th of the 91 clubs (only 23 clubs in League One due to Bury’s expulsion).
Anyway, it was this Steve Bruce comment that got me going: ‘There is always a hysteria around Newcastle and we need to respond with a good result [at Tottenham on Sunday].’
As always, Bruce keen to make out that the Newcastle fans are the deluded unreasonable ones, always going overboard just because of one poor result and / or performance.
That may be true of some Newcastle fans but not most, supporters were so concerned about that game against Brighton on Sunday, not just because we lost 3-0 and didn’t have a single shot on target, it was due to it confirming the worries of many that this Newcastle team / squad is seriously weak in many places and still appears to have few goals in it.
Ironic saying that of course after last night at Morecambe BUT the fact remains, no effort on target against Brighton, only two efforts on target against Blackburn (one of those a Joelinton passback), only two on target (the two goals) against West Ham, only two on target the final game of last season against Liverpool, only one on target the final away game last season at Brighton…
Yes great scoring for fun against a very poor Morecambe side further weakened by five changes BUT it is completely different to what we have seen under Steve Bruce in the Premier League these past nine months, it is not ‘hysteria’, it is justified concern despite two or three hopefully decent signings this transfer window. If Callum Wilson gets injured or doesn’t really fire, who will get the goals?
Steve Bruce will triumph Newcastle’s cup efforts since he arrived but the reality is that they have lost both games (to Leicester and Man City at home) when facing any team above the Championship.
These past nine months, since 21 December 2019, Newcastle have won only five Premier League matches under Steve Bruce, it isn’t ‘hysteria’ to be concerned when you team wins only five of twenty two PL matches, losing ten and drawing seven. That is very much fighting relegation form.
In these last nine months, Newcastle have actually won as many cup matches as they have won Premier League games. Winning five of the eight matches played.
However, when you drill down, the five wins are two against weakened Championship sides (Blackburn and West Brom, the Baggies made 10 changes), two against League One sides (Rochdale and Oxford) and one against League Two opposition (Morecambe). The other three cup games were draws against League One opposition (Rochdale and Oxford) and that defeat to Man City.
Newcastle fans have seen the lot over the years, the very worst to the very best, when it comes to both managers and players.
Rightly or wrongly they have judged Steve Bruce on his past record spanning over 20 years. A lot of time managing in the Championship and when it comes to the Premier League, he has the worst PL record of any manager to have taken charge of as many matches as he has (432).
Newcastle fans are not showing ‘hysteria’ whenever there is any bad result.
It has been repeatedly shown in the past that if they believe in a manager (or player) they stick with him.
When Kevin Keegan came in to sort the Ashley / Allardyce mess in January 2008, his first eight Premier League games were five losses and three draws. However, the Newcastle fans didn’t get at him because they believed in him and trusted him because of what he had done before, he then turned it around with four wins and two draws in the next six games to make Newcastle safe and looking up again. Only for him to be forced out in summer 2008.
Similarly, Newcastle fans believed in Rafa Benitez, partly because of his trophy laden past, but also on what he’d done in his first two years at Newcastle.
So when Mike Ashley refused him any net spend whatsoever in summer 2018, indeed a £20m+ profit on transfers, even preventing him making key signings such as loan striker Salomon Rondon, the fans understood the position Rafa was in and believed in him to eventually sort it, despite seven defeats and three draws in the first 10 PL games of 2018/19, supporters stayed with the Spaniard.
He responded by producing form over the next (final) 28 games of the PL season that was the eighth best in the Premier League, indeed in the final 16 PL games of 2018/19, it was fifth best in the top tier.
Has Steve Bruce had an unfair deal from Newcastle fans? Maybe so, maybe not.
However, facts are that he took over a very decent team Rafa had created with such a solid keeper and defence that had been seventh best on goals conceded in both 2017/18 and 2018/19.
All that was needed was to add more flair and attacking power and that had started with the belated action of Mike Ashley allowing £20m to be spent on Almiron on 31 January 2019. Since Steve Bruce came in, he has been allowed a £100m net spend these past 14 months.
Newcastle fans aren’t experiencing hysteria, they are simply looking now for Steve Bruce to deliver.
There can be no more excuses.
Bruce will be judged on Premier League matches against the likes of Brighton, Spurs and Burnley who are up next, not on a pleasing but expected demolition of a team that was 89th of 91 league clubs last season.
If Steve Bruce belatedly starts getting the performances and results, he will get growing support from amongst the Newcastle fans. However, if we see simply a continuation of these last nine months form of five wins in twenty two games, can even Mike Ashley think it is a good idea to persevere with him?
Steve Bruce after Newcastle’s 7-0 win at Morecambe:
“There is always a hysteria around Newcastle and we need to respond with a good result [at Tottenham on Sunday].
“We are certainly stronger than we were 10 months ago and my job is to keep moving the club forward.
“It was an awful night, with nobody here, if we hadn’t done things properly we could easily have had a difficult night.
“We have all experienced those nights, especially at a club like ours, so it was nice to get the job done in the way they went about it.
“Some of the football, particularly in the first half hour, was terrific.
“The attitude really pleased me, as we set about them and moved the ball quickly.
“I wished they [Morecambe] had stayed with 11 men because with 10 they really did sit behind the ball.
“It was a good night because too often we have come unstuck, this is why you need a squad of players.
“I hope I can pick the right team [against Tottenham] because two or three [Newcastle players] of these have given me a headache.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Morecambe 0 Newcastle 7 – Wednesday 23 September 7.45pm
Joelinton 5, 31, Almiron 20, Murphy 27, Hayden 45+2, Lascelles 51, Lavelle 90+1 OG
Diagouraga red card 33
Possession was Morecambe 24% Newcastle 76%
Total shots were Morecambe 4 Newcastle 30
Shots on target were Morecambe 1 Newcastle 11
Corners were Morecambe 2 Newcastle 6
Referee: Darren Drysdale
Gillespie, Krafth, Lascelles, Clark (Fraser 45), Yedlin, Ritchie, Hayden (Barlaser 62), Sean Longstaff, Almiron (Carroll 62), Murphy, Joelinton
Darlow, Shelvey, Wilson, Hendrick
(Morecambe 0 Newcastle 7 – Watch official match highlights incl 7 (SEVEN) NUFC goals HERE)
(Derek Adams verdict on Newcastle United “Nights like this tell you what a real football player is…” – Read HERE)
(Eric Morecambe, Thora Hird, Wayne Hemingway…We gave your boys one hell of a beating – Match report HERE)
(Steve Bruce “We blew them away” – Morecambe 0 Newcastle 7 – Read HERE)
(Morecambe 0 Newcastle 7 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Wednesday’s cup demolition – Read HERE)
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]