The really concerning thing about Newcastle United 1 Manchester United 4
It ended Newcastle United 1 Manchester United 4.
Steve Bruce declared afterwards: ‘The defeat looks worse than it really was.’
He also came out with his now weekly claim that: ‘We have tried to change and with that it will take time.’
We are now well used to Brucey’s denial of reality, he was seemingly relying on ALL Newcastle fans refusing to pay the £14.95 PPV charge and ALL of them not understanding how to access an illegal stream of the match. Somehow hoping that MOTD highlights might not tell the whole picture.
No Steve, the defeat (result) doesn’t look worse than it really was, it actually looks far better than what it could and should have really been.
Man Utd had 28 shots, 14 of them on target.
It was the most shots any PL club has had in a game all season so far AND it was the most shots on target Man Utd have had in an away PL game since 2015.
The visitors could and should have won by five or six goals and just because it took them until the final 10 minutes to finally take advantage of their total dominance and humiliating (for Steve Bruce) shot count, it doesn’t make it somehow unlucky or unfair.
The really concerning thing though is when you dig deeper…
Steve Bruce after Newcastle United 1 Manchester United 4:
“They [Man Utd] were a handful all night, some of their forward players and their movement we found it difficult.
“It is work in progress for us.
“We have tried to change and with that it will take time.
“The defeat looks worse than it really was.
“We found it very difficult, there’s no disputing that. They [Man Utd] will do that to teams.
“If you leave them space they have lightning pace at the top of the pitch.”
So who were these superhuman Manchester United players?
Well their front six was Fred, McTominay, Mata, Fernandes, James and Rashford.
If you compare that to 12 months ago and Newcastle’s 1-0 Matty Longstaff victory, Man Utd then had a front six of Fred, McTominay, Mata, Pereira, James, Rashford.
As you can see, only one difference. Fernandes is an excellent player but as it happens didn’t have a great game on Saturday apart from his late goal, often giving away possession and missing that dodgy awarded penalty. Otherwise the other five of the front six were the same.
These are the stats from that 1-0 win for Newcastle in October 2019: Total shots were Man Utd 12 Newcastle 12, Shots on target were Man Utd 3 Newcastle 2, Corners were Man Utd 6 Newcastle 4.
Man Utd with 12 shots compared to the 28 on Saturday, only 2 on target compared to the 14 on Saturday. In actual fact, in that October 2019 match, Newcastle had the same number of shots (12) and actually more (3) on target. They also managed 4 corners to Man Utd’s 6, compared to the 7-0 in favour of Man Utd this time. (Look at these comments HERE from Man Utd fans, they clearly aren’t fooled into thinking these players were suddenly so much better than they know them to be).
If you look at the teams / stats below, you will see that back in that October 2019 match, Steve Bruce had two of his own permanent signings (ASM, Joelinton) and a temporary one (Willems).
Now 15 months into his reign and with a £100m net spend, on Saturday Steve Bruce actually had nine of his own personal signings in the squad, six starting (ASM, Joelinton, Krafth, Lewis, Hendrick and Wilson) and three on the bench (Fraser, Carroll and Gillespie).
This is the really worrying thing…
A year ago Steve Bruce sent out his Newcastle team out to try and play a bit in that match, not to be camped around their own box most of the game, at least press to an extent the opposition.
Yet a year later against an all but identical attacking threat from Man U, Bruce claims his team were up against superstar attacking threat and could do nothing but defend very deep for their lives.
Juan Mata has been a great player but at the age of 32 he will only do what he did on Saturday if you hand total domination over to the opposition, never the quickest, Mata would have hated if he had had Newcastle midfielders snapping at his heels, rather than docilely waiting on the edge of their own box.
That Manchester United team on Saturday were no better and should have been no more of a threat than the side they put out in October 2019.
Yet because of Steve Bruce’s clueless and negative tactics, he gifts the game to the opposition, even after benefiting from the ludicrous luck of that early own goal.
The more time he is allowed to spend with the players and the more money he is allowed to spend, Steve Bruce makes the team worse.
These players in the NUFC squad are far better than we see them under Steve Bruce, with a competent manager they would do far better, with an excellent manager who knows what they could do with a few more additions in the right places?
Manchester United weren’t far better and had more of an attacking threat when they turned up on Saturday, instead it was a case of facing a far worse Newcastle United opposition due to the tactics and the training that goes on between matches.
If ever there was a match where a team ends up beating itself, it was all too apparent in Newcastle United 1 Manchester United 4.
Steve Bruce says he needs more time and change is so difficult etc etc, just imagine how much worse he can make NUFC if he given another 15 months and another £100m net spend?
Newcastle United 1 Manchester United 0 (6 October 2019)
MUFC starting eleven:
De Gea, Dalot, Maguire, Tuanzebe, Young, Fred, McTominay, Mata, Pereira, James, Rashford
NUFC starting eleven:
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles, Clark, Willems, M Longstaff, S Longstaff, Saint-Maximin, Almiron, Joelinton
Newcastle United 1 Manchester United 4 (17 October 2020)
MUFC starting eleven:
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw, Fred, McTominay, Mata, Fernandes, James, Rashford
NUFC starting eleven:
Darlow, Krafth, Fernandez, Lascelles, Lewis, Shelvey, Hayden, Hendrick, Joelinton, Wilson, Saint-Maximin
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle United 1 Manchester United 4 – Saturday 17 October 8pm
Shaw OG 2
Maguire 23, Fernandes 86, Wan-Bissaka 90, Rashford 90+6
Stats in brackets are from half-time:
Possession was Man Utd 64% (64%), Newcastle 36% (36%)
Total shots were Man Utd 28 (13) Newcastle 7 (2)
Shots on target were Man Utd 14 (6) Newcastle 4 (2)
Corners were Man Utd 7 (5) Newcastle 0 (0)
Referee: Craig Pawson
Newcastle United team v Manchester United:
Darlow, Krafth, Fernandez, Lascelles, Lewis, Shelvey, Hayden (Schar 49), Hendrick (Almiron 88), Joelinton (Fraser 72), Wilson, Saint-Maximin
Gillespie, Carroll, Manquillo, Murphy
(Alan Shearer refuses to mention biggest issue as slates Newcastle after Man Utd humiliation – Read HERE)
(Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explains how his weakened team hammered Newcastle United – Read HERE)
(Steve Bruce excuses are worse than his tactics after Newcastle United 1 Manchester United 4 – Read HERE)
(Newcastle United 1 Manchester United 4 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s defeat – Read HERE)
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