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Opinion

A critical period for Steve Bruce but blissfully unaware of the alarm bells ringing

2 months ago
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My word, this is getting painful.

Not content with stinking the club out with abject performance after abject performance, we also seem to be treading a well worn path with certain previous Newcastle United managers, where results take a massive decline and defeats become the norm.

How Newcastle United have arrived at 11 points is anyone’s guess, although two of those points (Spurs and Wolves away) were more than fortunate.

You could say we were good against Burnley but that’s being slightly economical with the facts. A win is a win and a point is a point no matter how they come but sometimes results cover a multitude of sins. We’ve more stumbled to 11 points rather than arrived but when the results fail to materialise, that’s when a manager should be worried and I don’t think Steve Bruce is at all worried…yet.

He seems to be blissfully oblivious to what is going on in front of him and with the pre-prepared excuses already rehearsed and ready to utter to whichever negligent journalist asks him the next question. If these media men don’t want to earn their corn and ask the difficult questions then I suggest they high tail it out of the profession.

If Bruce is indeed doing “a good job” as many people keep telling us “deluded” Newcastle fans then let’s not let facts and figures get in the way of things.

The truth is, Bruce is currently seven points worse off against the same fixtures from last season and with each passing fixture this extends further and yet no journo wants to highlight this? All well and good if the Head Coach wasn’t afforded any players in the three transfer windows he’s had in charge but he’s had £100m’s worth, minus the now joke of a disclaimer used against Joelinton, but backing all the same. How much more will he require to get us playing on that “front foot” that he keeps saying he wants to see us play? It’s been nigh on 16 months and it’s getting markedly worse.

Can any pundit favourable to Bruce really claim that another manager couldn’t get a better tune out of the players he has at his disposal?

Granted they’re not world beaters but to throw these standard of ingredients together and get the equivalent of a microwavable TV dinner is criminally underachieving.

I could sympathise if performances were good and we were just falling short of a result here and there but they are most certainly not. We rank bottom or thereabouts in all the worst sort of stats and with nine games played and performances worsening, that should set alarm bells ringing if not in the mind of Bruce, certainly in the ranks of Newcastle United based media and pundits.

Those who back Steve Bruce will point to the fact we are only nine points of top spot (don’t laugh, it’s true) and those with more reason behind an argument will say we are also only ten points off bottom and only eight off a relegation spot. The ups and downs of only being in the relatively early stages of the season.

We are currently entering a critical period for Steve Bruce. Our next five fixtures are as follows:

Crystal Palace (a)

Aston Villa (a)

West Brom (h)

Leeds (a)

Fulham (h)

Ordinarily I’d expect us to win two of those (likely the two home games) but these are not normal times. Confidence is rapidly draining away from the players with whatever passed for tactics and defensive soundness long since evaporated.

I suspect we’ll pick up four points from the next five games which will take us to 15 points and scarily, that will probably be enough to keep our heads above water.

It really is that poor a Premier League where we can be as bad as we undoubtedly are, yet be relatively safe due to the absolute dross at the bottom because I’ll admit, I don’t see Sheffield United, Burnley or West Brom getting to our current eleven points this side of Christmas and with that we will highly likely avoid relegation this season because for those bottom three teams, it’s a long way to safety.

Job done for Mike Ashley’s S****s D****t FC.

As for Bruce, he can mislead and waffle his way through the campaign, keep his head stuck in the sand, safe in the knowledge that his shocking management will unlikely see the club go down, unless opposition teams at the very bottom get their collective acts together.

So his unfathomable “work in progress” will continue unchecked by his superiors, unwilling / unable to take incompetent people such as him to task.

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