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Steve Bruce can’t bring himself to say ‘Newcastle fans’ when talking about issues he faces

11 months ago
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Steve Bruce was on media duties earlier today.

The Newcastle United Head Coach talking to journalists about Monday’s trip to the Emirates.

As well as this upcoming Premier League game against Arsenal, Steve Bruce also reflecting on the defeat at Sheffield United and indeed, his entire eighteen months at St James Park.

As usual, Sky Sports were head of the queue to be spoken to and Steve Bruce was keen to to show that attack was the best form of defence…’From day one it [the criticism] has been personal as far as I am concerned. There are certain people out there who think I shouldn’t be in the job to start with. So, all I can do is accept it, that’s what it is, try not to be too down with it because I know how quickly it changes.’

With what Steve Bruce said today (see below), it looks a classic case of saying he accepts the blame for Sheffield United defeat and recent results BUT at the same time, makes clear he doesn’t really take responsibility.

I do agree with Steve Bruce that it has indeed been ‘personal’ from when he first got the job on 17 July 2019, however, when he says ‘certain people’ thought he should never have got the job in the first place, the words he can’t bring himself to say are ‘Newcastle fans’, instead of ‘certain people’…

Newcastle fans looked at over two decades of managerial failure, winning nothing, never even making top eight in the Premier League, having become an established fixture in the Championship (instead of bouncing between the first and second tier, knowing not a single other PL club would have considered him, Bruce the worst PL record of anybody to manage so many games. Why on earth would anybody think this was a logical appointment, never mind ambitious?

You look at Chris Hughton, no Newcastle fan would have chosen him back in 2009, BUT he showed on and off the pitch that he had been the right choice, albeit by accident from Ashley. As most positive things usually are that happen at NUFC under this owner.

Newcastle fans saw in Steve Bruce somebody desperate for the job, who would prove to be a patsy like so many before under Mike Ashley. Taking the job with no authority/power beyond training and picking the team, the acceptance of the Head Coach title summing it up. The supporters thinking he would be somebody there to deflect as much criticism away from Mike Ashley, ready and willing to say whatever, no matter how ridiculous it sounded, in the style of John Carver and Alan Pardew. Not push Mike Ashley to show any ambition, especially regarding the long-term health of the club and investment in the infrastructure of training ground, academy, St James Park and so on.

The ‘certain people’, the ‘Newcastle fans’ proved absolutely correct, when they would love to have been proved wrong…

Still, on the positive side today, at least we found out where Lee Charnley has been hiding. Steve Bruce saying every single day he has a few conversations with the Newcastle United Managing Director, the mind boggles as to what they actually talk about.

Steve Bruce talking to Sky Sports:

“From day one it [the criticism] has been personal as far as I am concerned.

“There are certain people out there who think I shouldn’t be in the job to start with.

“So, all I can do is accept it, that’s what it is, try not to be too down with it because I know how quickly it changes.

“We knew we were going to have a really difficult run but I have got to be ready.

“As always, I have made a career of never giving in, so I won’t, and I will keep trying my utmost to make us better.

“And accept that the other night [at Bramall Lane] happens too often. Unfortunately my reign here, we are doing ok and then we throw a hand grenade in that blows it all up.

“Unfortunately, that was the same case the other night against Sheffield and a month ago against Brentford in the [League] Cup.

“They were simply not acceptable and as I say, I pick the team, I’m responsible for it. That’s the way it is and I have to accept what is coming my way.

“I don’t think all of it is fair but I can understand it, because if I was a supporter the other day, I would look at it and say do you now what it is, I agree. Simply not good enough.”

‘The owner and you have a good working relationship and your job is safe. Have you had any communication from him [Mike Ashley] this week?’

“No, but I have the CEO [Lee Charnley] every day, we have a conversation two or three times a day in normal. So that won’t change.

“Look, no matter whether you are me in charge of Newcastle, or whoever you are in charge of in the Premier League, we are always under the pump in terms of results, and at the minute results haven’t been good enough for us.

“So it is part and parcel of the game, that you have to accept these days, a few weeks ago it was [Mikel] Arteta, Frank [Lampard] is in the middle of it now, all of a sudden Wolves haven’t won in eight.

“It is part and parcel of the Premier League that if you don’t get enough results, then unfortunately, and we have to accept it, you become the one under pressure.

“Have I lost the dressing room? I’m the wrong person to ask of that, but I see nothing wrong with them against Arsenal, Liverpool and Leicester. But the hand grenade has been thrown in when we’re expected to win has happened too many times on my watch.

“I picked the wrong team on Tuesday, I accept that.

“I understand and accept the criticism, if I was a fan I would feel the same. We have thrown in a hand grenade [bad performance] too many times.

“We were absolutely hopeless on Tuesday but the gloves are off now.”

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