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Opinion

The longer Steve Bruce has with players the worse they become – Is it just my imagination?

3 weeks ago
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Am I the only one who thinks, that the more players work with Steve Bruce and his coaching staff, the worse these players become?

Plus, we are also carrying, again, an extensive injury list.

Perhaps it was fortunate but I was spared most of the debacle at Newport due to a power cut in the flat.

However, what I had seen until around 25 minutes in, was dispiriting.

It seemed that the only tactic was punt the ball up to Carroll and hope that someone, anyone, was close enough to catch the rebound. Newport came out to play and win, they were sharp, incisive and committed. Shelvey’s early yellow card said it all: reckless, petulant, unnecessary.

This is a squad which now has a considerable value, based on what was paid for them. It is invidious to single out Lewis but from a stellar performance against West Ham, he has looked less accomplished with every game. Players are unfit, brought back from injury too soon, or pick up injuries in training.

We did well against West Ham because they play like us, an antiquated style of football. Where teams play in a more fluid, creative way we flounder.

There are Newcastle players who can create and with the greater depth we now have, there is scope to adopt a more fluid style which capitalises on speed, flair and the ability to do something unexpected.

I don’t relish always being negative and critical, each match day I try to find grounds for optimism.

Last night I was proved wrong eventually, my prediction was we go down 0-2 with Newport getting (as they did) an early goal, then we concede a second in a despairing attempt to save the game. This didn’t happen and in fairness to Shelvey, he scored a good goal, but really, is that what we are prepared to accept?

I don’t have an instant solution and perhaps substantial change will depend on a change of ownership so that a new team can come in to support a long-term vision for the club and the team.

It was a similar situation when Allardyce was appointed, despite reservations I argued that he should be given time to try to build something credible by addressing fundamental problems, particularly injuries.

We all know how that turned out.

As things stand, any improvement under Steve Bruce will only be incremental at Newcastle United but my central premise is that the coaching, conditioning and motivation of the players needs to be addressed urgently.

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