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Words I thought I’d never say – I can’t wait to hear Steve Bruce speak today

1 month ago
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I’m really looking forward to seeing what Steve Bruce has to say later today.

Yes, honestly, I can’t believe I’m saying this.

However, at this most shambolically run of football clubs, that is what I have been reduced to.

Steve Bruce last communicated with media and fans on Friday 26 November, that was the usual contractual obligations of having to speak to TV and journalists etc after the game at Crystal Palace.

As well as the win over Palace, Steve Bruce also talked about the escalating virus crisis at the club.

Now fourteen days later, there is still nobody from Newcastle United who has spoken about the issue. No explanations, no updates from anybody on exactly how bad or not the problem is, what improvement has been shown – if any, not even whether Saturday’s match is actually going ahead or not. Actually, I am only assuming that Steve Bruce is indeed doing a pre-West Brom press conference today…

No other major, or indeed, minor football club would act like this.

All we have had from the club in these past two weeks was a statement on 1 December saying that the Premier League had agreed to call the Aston Villa match off.

Then on Tuesday 8 December the club Tweeted that the training ground had reopened, before later today putting an article up on their official website. Well I say article, the reality was that when you clicked in to read the ‘full story’ it simply took you to that Tweet they had put out earlier.

Then on Wednesday 9 December, the club Tweeted that full group training was starting again, then once again put an article up on their site, once again when you clicked in to read more it just took you to that earlier Tweet.

It would be laughable if it wasn’t for the fact that it simply exposes just how amateur the running of this football club is under Mike Ashley, how even the most basic standards are not remotely reached.

Not often I feel sorry for Steve Bruce, a man totally out of his depth in the job at Newcastle United, but I do today.

The NUFC Head Coach having to face the media and tasked with answering anything and everything about the virus situation or whatever, plus the West Brom match tomorrow, if indeed it is happening. All of this whilst Mike Ashley and his minions such as Lee Charnley and Justin Barnes hide out of sight.

The thing is as well, whilst you would expect Newcastle to beat a poor West Brom tomorrow, with Bruce’s woeful lack of tactical nous and simple reliance on a plan of everybody hanging around their own 18 yard box, you can never be confident in any match where even Steve Bruce thinks he has to let the team try and attack a little bit.

Put on top of that just how many players might be ruled out of the match, Sky Sports say a ‘handful’ whilst The Telegraph say it could be as many as 12, then beating the Baggies might not be so straightforward.

We have already seen a number of times in the 17 months he has been here, Steve Bruce really struggle when put under pressure.

A bad result against West Brom and the pressure could really be on, as Newcastle now move from a period of only two matches in the past five weeks, to at least 10 (11 if beating Brentford) in these upcoming five weeks.

Just look at the schedule below.

If things go the wrong way, I have an image in my head of Steve Bruce staggering from press conference to press conference, match to match, as usual saying he won’t make excuses but then…making a lot of excuses. I can hear him already pointing to the virus impact, growing number of injuries (how many due to bad management?), so many games, so little time to prepare etc etc. Even though all clubs / managers face much the same challenges, apart from this current / recent level of virus impact.

Of course, a win over West Brom would do much to settle any nerves, particularly as there is currently an eight point gap to the relegation zone.

However, if not able to beat the Baggies, going to Leeds on Wednesday looks such a tough one with their attacking style very likely to expose Bruce’s appalling negative tactics, that then potentially leading to a massive game on the Saturday before Christmas against Fulham at home, Scott Parker’s team now finding their feet and starting to put on performances and points.

That then leads into a tough tough period of Brentford away in the cup followed by Man City, Liverpool and Leicester in the league, before a potential League Cup semi-final and then FA Cup away at Arsenal.

This match tomorrow is massive, a win and it ensures a lot of breathing space, a defeat though puts current 19th place West Brom only five points behind Newcastle with that so tough schedule looming for Steve Bruce and his players.

At this moment in time and the past two weeks he could have done with those running the club stepping forward and showing leadership during this virus crisis, taking the weight off his shoulders. Instead, Steve Bruce is thrown head first back into the mix today and I can’t wait to hear what he comes out with…

Newcastle United upcoming matches:

Saturday 12 December 

Newcastle v West Brom (3pm) – Sky Sports

Wednesday 16 December

Leeds v Newcastle (6pm) – Amazon Prime

Sat 19 December

Newcastle v Fulham (8pm) – Sky Sports

Tuesday 22 December

Brentford v Newcastle (5.30pm) Sky Sports

Saturday 26 December

Man City v Newcastle (8pm) BT Sport

Wednesday 30 December

Liverpool v Newcastle (8pm) – Amazon Prime 

Saturday 2 January (TV choices not announced so far, so could move)

Newcastle v Leicester

Tuesday 5 January / Wednesday 6 January

***If Newcastle beat Brentford, their League Cup semi-final would be played on one of these nights.

Saturday 9 January (TV choices not announced so far, so could move)

Arsenal v Newcastle (FA Cup third round)

Tuesday 12 January (TV choices not announced so far, so could move)

Sheffield Utd v Newcastle

Saturday 16 January (TV choices not announced so far, so could move)

Arsenal v Newcastle

(There is a special offer on Amazon Prime for new customers where you can get a 30 days free trial, click HERE to see how to sign up for the 30 days trial to watch Newcastle’s games against Leeds and Liverpool and other PL matches for 30 days, plus you get free standard delivery on all goods you buy from Amazon in that time period when you are signed up, just unsubscribe before you go beyond the 30 days free trial if you don’t want to pay £7.99 for the following month.)

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