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Alan Shearer says massive Newcastle relegation problem is Steve Bruce not choosing signings

9 months ago
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Alan Shearer has been doing a question and answer session ahead of Newcastle United’s crunch game against Wolves.

Steve Bruce somehow not sacked despite a run of 16 matches with 12 defeats and only two wins (plus two draws).

As well as two cup exits, this 16 match run has seen Newcastle United only pick up eight points in these last eleven weeks, meaning a drop to fourth bottom and the grim possibility of dropping into the relegation zone this weekend.

If Steve Bruce makes it 13 defeats in his last 17 games on Saturday night, then Fulham beat Crystal Palace on Sunday, Newcastle will be bottom three and favourites to go down along with Sheffield United and West Brom.

Though the questions posed weren’t all about the desperate situation at the club he supports, answering questions for The Athletic ahead of the weekend, Alan Shearer still had a fair share to answer about Newcastle United, potential relegation and his mate Steve Bruce…

If you were in charge of the current Toon squad, what changes would you be making? Steve Bruce, stick or twist?:

“In terms of changes that could be made now, it’s a problem. I don’t think the squad is full of answers.

“Steve [Bruce] had no input in the players signed by the club during his first summer window and I can’t for the life of me see what the strategy was.

“Signing Joelinton for £40 million and giving him the No 9 shirt when he isn’t a centre-forward? What was the thinking there?

“Steve has had to try and find a way of playing and it hasn’t been easy.

“The key thing is getting Wilson back as soon as possible, because without him you only have to consider the numbers.

“Who scores goals? Miguel Almiron has looked a better player higher up the pitch, but his numbers are still poor. Allan Saint-Maximin scored against Manchester United, but it’s the same with him. Dwight Gayle, Andy Carroll, Joelinton — look at their stats, too.

“Newcastle’s season is the next four or five games. That’s what it boils down to.”

You always feel sorry for Alan Shearer when having to talk about Steve Bruce, with Bruce nowhere near the quality needed to be Newcastle United manager (or head coach).

These Shearer’s claims about how transfers were made, intended at least in part to dilute the blame Steve Bruce owns for the shambles at Newcastle United and possible / likely relegation.

However, this opens up another can of worms as it appears to contradict what Steve Bruce himself claims about the signing of Joelinton and others…

Steve Bruce after being named Newcastle United Head Coach back on 17 July 2019:

“Am I going to sit here and be a puppet? That won’t happen. I am in charge of transfers.

“It’s like most football clubs – I will have the final say on transfers. I have read all kinds of nonsense that I won’t, but I will work hard to make sure I work with the chief scout.

“The policy is like most other clubs – identifying the players and making sure we fit in. I will have control of who we bring in.

“We want to make a couple of acquisitions at least. Make no mistake, we are active as we speak.

“I know in some people’s eyes I’m not Rafa.

“I understand there are big shoes to fill, but I’ll give it everything I possibly can.

“I knew it was going to be difficult. The easy thing would have been to say no. I just hope that people will show respect, which obviously you only gain by getting a few results and doing the job, but hopefully that will go hand in hand.

“I accept I am not everyone’s cup of tea, but judge me over a period of time. I am quietly confident I will do okay.

“I’m going to need all of my 20 years’ experience to get my way through choppy waters. But I’ve got skin as thick as an elephant.”

I suppose like so much at Newcastle United things aren’t always black and white, often grey instead.

However, Steve Bruce can’t have it all ways.

Is he in charge of transfers or is he a puppet?

Whichever way you look at it, it is an inevitable disaster heading our way when Mike Ashley yet again brings somebody in who is not good enough for the job.

Steve Bruce will own this relegation if it happens. Mike Ashley runs the club in a shameful fashion and of course carries overall blame, however, any decent manager would not have Newcastle United in the precarious position they find themselves in with 13 matches to go and relegation staring us in the face.

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