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Steve Bruce throws Newcastle players under a bus – Blames individuals for not beating Wolves

11 months ago

His friends claim man-management is the best quality Steve Bruce brings to the table as a football boss.

After his words and actions on Saturday, I would hate to see what they would list as Bruce’s worst qualities…

Steve Bruce electing to throw some of his Newcastle players under a bus, naming and shaming individuals for the failure to beat Wolves.

Newcastle United a goal up and heading for an invaluable three points, having been the better team first half.

Wolves however the dominant side in the second half, pushing for an equaliser to cancel out Lascelles’ 52nd minute opening goal.

Sixty seconds though proving crucial in changing the direction of the game, with Wolves in the end unlucky not to take all three points.

With 72 minutes on the clock, Steve Bruce brought on Matt Ritchie for the injured Emil Krafth, within 60 seconds Wolves had equalised.

Steve Bruce talking about how the equaliser came about:

“The instructions Matty [Ritchie] didn’t get on to the team quick enough on how we were doing it [making changes after Ritchie replaced Krafth].

 “I think he [Martin Dubravka] will be disappointed with the goal.

“First of all, we should stop the cross, that’s the basic for a full-back [like Jamal Lewis].

“It was a great header from Neves but I’m sure Martin [Dubravka] being the type of lad he is, and getting a big hand to it like he did, I’m sure he’ll be disappointed that he didn’t keep it out.

“When the keeper looks at it, could he have done better?”

In his post-match comments, Steve Bruce also picked out Joelinton for criticism, with 10 minutes to go the Brazilian failing to put Newcastle back in the lead. With the Wolves keeper nowhere, Joelinton left with pretty much an open goal from 12 yards, all he had to do was miss the defender running back across goal…

It is funny how Steve Bruce never lists the most obvious person to blame for Newcastle United’s faiings.

This is a dangerous game, especially with relegation staring us in the face and only 12 games to go.

Publicly blaming individuals, naming and shaming them in the media, this can go very badly wrong.

A manager (or head coach) has every right to say all of these things above. However, this should be in private, rather than deciding to make public scapegoats.

Blaming Matt Ritchie for confusion over tactics and formation after he was sent on the pitch and the equaliser coming along only seconds later?

This was over a year and a half on, Steve Bruce’s 64th Premier League match, yet it was so reminiscent of his (Bruce’s) very first one in August 2019.

Newcastle heading for a draw against Arsenal to start the season, Steve Bruce sending on Jetro Willems in a second half substitution and total chaos as the Head Coach hadn’t done his job properly, Willems and others not understanding where they should be playing. During the chaos, Arsenal ran down the pitch and Aubameyang scored the winner.

We all know that the £40m Brazilian striker that Steve Bruce signed, isn’t very good, not when it comes to kicking the ball in the net anyway. That is 58 PL appearances now and only three goals. Even Steve Bruce admitted towards the end of last season that Joelinton is neither a centre-forward or a natural goalscorer. He doesn’t even like going in the penalty area. Steve Bruce publicly blaming him for missing what was almost an open goal, isn’t going to help.

Steve Bruce delayed far too long putting Martin Dubravka back in goal, after over seven months since his last PL appearance, the keeper did really well overall but should have done better with the goal. How does it help the situation or Dubravka’s confidence, when Bruce publicly blames him?

Steve Bruce signed both Emil Krafth and Jamal Lewis. Neither of them are very good defenders and no surprise to watch them time after time skinned by the Wolves wingers, including Lewis for the equaliser. Already looking fragile when it comes to confidence, I can’t see this public calling of him by the Head Coach, helping whatsoever.

When I look back at Keegan, Sir Bobby, Rafa, Hughton…I honestly can’t remember them ever doing similar, making public scapegoats of individuals. Although I do very much remember the likes of Alan Pardew and Joe Kinnear, amongst others, doing so….

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Wolves 1 – Saturday 27 February 8pm



Lascelles 52


Neves 73

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Wolves 53% (68%) Newcastle 47% (32%)

Total shots were Wolves 14 (7) Newcastle 19 (8)

Shots on target were Wolves 4 (2) Newcastle 7 (4)

Corners were Wolves 5 (1) Newcastle 3 (0)

Referee: Mike Dean

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Krafth (Ritchie 72), Lascelles, Clark, Lewis, Willock, Hayden, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin (Murphy 63), Almiron (Fraser 45), Joelinton

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Dummett, Carroll, Gayle, Hendrick, Sean Longstaff

Crowd: 00,000

(Newcastle 1 Wolves 1 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 1 Wolves 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday night’s draw – Read HERE)


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