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Opinion

This 12 year Steve Bruce statistic made me laugh proper out loud

1 month ago
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Steve Bruce faces Marcelo Bielsa tonight.

A lot of comparisons made between the two managers / head coaches ahead of the match.

Particularly when it comes to the respective ‘styles’ of football the pair are renowned / known for.

The official Premier League site has, on matchday, put out an interesting fact about each of the rival bosses.

In the Leeds United corner we have:

‘This is Marcelo Bielsa’s 114th match in charge of Leeds in all competitions, the most he has managed at a club in his career.

It surpasses his total of 113 matches with Athletic Bilbao between 2011 and 2013.’

Interesting to read that Bielsa hasn’t tended to stay so long at his clubs, although you also have to factor in that he managed Argentina for six years between 1998 and 2004.

As for Newcastle United’s main man, the Premier League came out with this classic:

‘Newcastle are looking to win three consecutive PL matches for the first time since November 2018.

While manager Steve Bruce hasn’t won three in a row in the competition since a run of four with Wigan Athletic in January 2009.’

Now, this made me proper laugh when I read it.

This isn’t aimed so much at poor Brucey himself, a manager / head coach who is so far out of his depth at Newcastle United.

Instead, what exactly came into my head when I read it, were all the absolute shameful pundits who line up to attack Newcastle fans time and time again, saying what a brilliant boss Steve Bruce is, what a great career etc etc, how it is disgraceful that we (Newcastle supporters) aren’t simply just grateful to have such a top manager as him.

Of course, they never get into any detail or produce any supporting evidence on this, well…because there isn’t any. The likes of Tim Sherwood, Danny Murphy, Simon Jordan, Chris Sutton, Robbie Savage and the rest. All they are in truth really saying / claiming, even though they don’t admit it, is that Steve Bruce is a great manager for Newcastle fans to have because he has been a (unsuccessful!) manager for a lot of years and they (the pundits) think he is a canny bloke.

Instead, the reality is that Steve Bruce has never won three Premier League games in a row at any time in these past 12 years (11 years, 11 months…).

It almost seems impossible doesn’t it, especially when it is this top notch NUFC boss that we are supposed to be so grateful for.

As the Premier League quote, the last time was in Rafa’s final season when Newcastle last won three Premier League matches in a row. Benitez winning all three games in November 2018 to also win PL manager of the month.

The previous (2017/18) season, he (Rafa) actually did it twice! A three game winning run in August/September 2017 and a four match one in March/April 2018.

Indeed, despite Mike Ashley’s shamefully chaotic and zero ambition way of running the club, previous managers at Newcastle have often managed this holy grail of three PL wins in a row.

A five game winning run in Oct/Nov 2014, a four match one November 2013, six wins in a row in Mar/Apr 2012, a three game one in Oct/Nov 2011.

Whilst Chris Hughton managed an excellent three win run after promotion in 2010. In October and November 2010 he oversaw a 2-1 win at West Ham, that 5-1 hammering of Sunderland and then a 1-0 win at Arsenal, his reward was the sack from Mike Ashley only a month later with Newcastle United safely in mid-table.

Just to depress you a little bit further and heading back to the Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby days, funny how you can so quickly take things for granted to a large extent.

Here are the seasons along with how many three (or more) match winning runs they had and how many wins in each one:

1993/93: Four – 3, 6, 3, 4

1994/95: Two – 6, 3

1995/96: Four – 4, 5, 5, 3

1996/97: Three – 7, 3, 3

2001/02: Two – 5, 4

2002/03: Two 3, 3

I honestly do hope that tonight Steve Bruce completes this incredible feat.

I look forward to the sight of him running on the pitch after completing his ‘hat-trick’ and snatching the ball off the bemused referee, then running (very slowly!) a lap of honour holding the ball aloft to the empty stands.

Steve Bruce the hat-trick hero, we salute you, hopefully.

(NB – Now I am sure some of you will be saying, well that’s not totally the full picture because in some of these later seasons Steve Bruce had been constantly managing in the Championship, with three different clubs. However, that surely simply reinforces my point even more. The pundits all saying how lucky we are to have Steve Bruce and yet he had become a manager who no Premier League club would employ! Until Mike Ashley came along out of the blue and landed us with him.)

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