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Opinion

I feel sorry for Steve Bruce – Playing devil’s advocate here

5 months ago
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Following another ‘good first half performance’ for Steve Bruce, he is once again faced with injury woes.

After Callum Wilson, Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin are arguably, in my opinion, our most important players (goals win games).

Almiron has contributed four goals this season, as well as at least three marathons ran each game. Allan, after recovering from Covid, has without question improved Newcastle’s performances over the last couple of games. The trio combined have 15 out of 27 Premier League goals scored this season.

So, it was inevitable that the duo both had to get injured in the same game.

Playing devil’s advocate here, I feel sorry for Steve Bruce.

It could be suggested, based on his past injury record, that he is at fault for some of the injuries. However, in this case, I believe every team in the premier league are in the same boat- Liverpool for example are fielding U17s at centre back. Apart from Man City of course, who appear to have more players than fans.

The biggest worry now however, is who do we turn to following the injuries?

Newcastle’s squad depth is on par with the shallow end of the swimming pool and between Gayle (five) Carroll (one) and Joelinton (three), there is a staggering nine PL goals scored in the last two seasons. Not very flattering to say the least.

Do we turn to the young academy product Elliot Anderson (18)?

Or rely on the experienced players?

Unfortunately, I feel this is a no win situation for both Steve Bruce and long suffering fans.

If we go with the former, that is a monumental amount of pressure on an up-and-coming player. Of course, it could work and we could end up selling him for 90 million in three years time. Or, most likely, it ruins him.

If we go with the latter, can we really see a drastic change from these last two seasons? Based on the current evidence at hand, I don’t think so. There is always Ryan Fraser to throw in the mix, but even though he provided a delicious cross for Lascelles’ goal, I am still yet to be overly excited with him.

With Callum Wilson in the team, although we don’t create many chances, I was quietly confident we would stay up. I believed that our run of games were, on paper, slightly more achievable than Fulham’s. Now, without the three I am very worried.

Devil’s advocate again, I feel for Steve Bruce at this current moment. Newcastle’s pitiful recruitment in January, which we desperately needed, has placed us up a certain creek, without a paddle… AGAIN. And the responsibility falls this time not on Bruce but those above him.

With all that being said and my ‘support’ for Steve Bruce, I firmly believe that our players shouldn’t be where they are, in this current precarious situation. We have some good players in our team and if managed correctly, should be sitting somewhat higher than they are, or, at least not in another relegation dogfight. That onus, is most definitely Steve Bruce.

If I wasn’t worried before, I am now. Could those two extra injuries be a couple of nails in the relegation coffin? I certainly can’t see a way out.

Very concerning times ahead for Newcastle United.

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