Newcastle United fans need to brace themselves – These cliches are imminent
Welcome to the Newcastle United bumper book of football clichés.
As Newcastle United fans, we are used to football pundits coming out with ill-informed and lazy comments when it comes to our club.
So here are some of the clichés I’m expecting to hear over the festive period (and beyond!).
The Deluded Newcastle United fans
That old chestnut of Newcastle fans expecting to qualify for The Champions League or challenge for the Premiership really p.sses me off as it’s not something I’ve ever heard any Newcastle fans saying, in at least the last decade. It does make you wonder whether these football pundits ever speak to any fans or whether they just exist in their own little bubble (hello Mark Lawrenson!)
Having said all that we have competed for the Premiership and in the Champions League in the past and I don’t think it’s unrealistic for a club with our fanbase, to think we might one day be able to imitate the likes of Leicester City and do so again in the future.
I don’t know what the fans want/expect
It amazes me that so-called football experts such as Danny Murphy or Jamie Redknapp, can watch a typical Newcastle performance under Steve Bruce and aren’t able to answer this question themselves.
How about a coherent game plan, some tactical nous, players knowing what they’re supposed to be doing, some attacking intent and being able to hold on to the ball for starters.
There is one other thing which Danny and Jamie might not appreciate but when you hand over your hard-earned money to watch a football match, whether it’s at a stadium or on TV, you might want a little bit of entertainment in exchange!
When was the last time that anyone looked forward to watching Newcastle United play?
Newcastle can’t expect to compete with the big boys
In the second half of the 2018/19 season we beat both Manchester City and Leicester and were unlucky not to came away with a point against Liverpool, with their goal coming from a disputed free-kick late in the match. It will be interesting to see how we fare against the same three teams over the festive period under Steve Bruce.
Steve Bruce is doing the best with the tools at his disposal
This is precisely what he is not doing!
His Newcastle team is a lot less than the sum of its parts.
He has far more attacking options than Rafa ever had in the shape of Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser, Allan Saint-Maximin, Dwight Gayle, Joelinton, Miggy Almiron and Andy Carroll, yet we rarely threaten the opposition goal. Not only is he not getting the best out of the team but he is also not getting the best out of individuals, as a number of players seem to be regressing under his management.
Steve Bruce is doing as good a job if not better than Rafa Benitez
A favourite of a lot of football pundits but it is based on a very shallow view of how Newcastle are doing.
In terms of points and positions in the table they may have similar records but in terms of chances created against chances conceded it’s a very different story.
If you watched Newcastle United under Rafa and under Steve Bruce you’d also see a very different picture. Under Rafa Benitez Newcastle were a well organised team and the players seemed to understand what their role was in the team, whilst under Steve Bruce it’s the complete opposite.
Despite having a lot less money to spend, Newcastle United improved under Rafa’s guidance and in the second half of his second season we were one of the form teams, whereas under Steve Bruce we are outplayed by almost every team we meet.
Newcastle United is a difficult club to manage
A favourite of Graeme Souness, Kenny Daglish, Sam Allardyce and now Steve Bruce.
Someone I know met Patrick Vieira at SJP and Vieira told him that he always liked playing at St James Park because the fans really appreciated good football, even when it was being played by the opposition team.
Newcastle fans can also recognise bad football and these four managers have served up some dire football during their time at SJP.
Funnily enough, the likes of Rafa, KK and Chris Hughton didn’t seem to find it so difficult, but then all three managers made a real effort to be open and honest and to connect with the fans, who appreciated what they were trying to do and they were able to harness the passion of those supporters to help their teams.
I would have a bit more respect for these football pundits if they said Newcastle United are a difficult club to manage when Mike Ashley is the owner.
That performance was a one-off/ We’re inconsistent
The excuse that’s trawled out after an embarrassing loss and used by Steve Bruce and also by our old friend, Simon Jordan, after the Brentford game. The problem with this is actually the performance against Brentford and Leeds United were fairly typical of how we’ve been playing, it’s just in these games we weren’t saved by Karl Darlow’s goal-keeping heroics, or by a moment of individual magic, or by luck, and we got exactly what most of our performances deserved.
Newcastle are in a comfortable position
After the Brentford game, Simon Jordan said that if we won our game in hand against Villa we could move into 10th position. One of the many problems with this scenario is that we were lucky to take one point from our two games against Villa last season and in the intervening period, they have improved, whilst we have gone backwards.
I would also feel a lot more comfortable about our position if the following things weren’t happening.
Burnley and Fulham appear to be improving and have started picking up points.
We appear to be heading in the opposite direction.
Our next three games are against Manchester City, Liverpool and Leicester City.
Mike Ashley is still the owner.
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