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Jamie Carragher full explanation on total chaos and goal conceded after Steve Bruce substitution

9 months ago

Jamie Carragher has been looking back on the 1-1 draw at St James Park on Saturday night.

The match ending 1-1, Jamaal Lascelles giving Newcastle United a 52nd minute lead.

Only for Neves to equalise on 73 minutes, a point each was probably fair by the end of the match.

However, Jamie Carragher was very much of the opinion that this equaliser could and should have been avoidable…

Jamie Carragher talking to Sky Sports about the chaos caused when Steve Bruce replaced Emil Krafth with Matt Ritchie on Saturday night, helping Wolves to equalise within a minute of the substitution:

“The substitution is basically Krafth coming off, he had an injury and was playing right full-back in a back four, Matt Ritchie to come on.

“The two players to look at, whose position really changed, was [Isaac] Hayden and [Jacob] Murphy, they are the two players who should go to right centre-back and right wing-back.

“Matt Ritchie comes on.

“Newcastle fans, because they’re not the biggest lovers of Steve Bruce, will say it’s Steve Bruce’s fault for not getting the message on.

“Let’s not forget, Graeme Jones is there, who they [Newcastle fans] have lauded, and changed to a different formation.

“So he [Ritchie] has come on and has to pass the message…and this is the problem for a manager.

“Matt Ritchie comes on and says something to Joe Willock, maybe telling him to go a bit deeper.

“Now he [Ritchie] walks over to Hayden and he’s telling him something, but then Jonjo Shelvey takes a free-kick, then the ball is in play and he [Ritchie] hasn’t told Jacob Murphy anything.

“He’s told Hayden something and the ball is in play, so watch Hayden’s reaction [suddenly stops running forward and instead goes back], oh no I’m centre-back…

“The problem is, he [Shelvey] took the free-kick quickly, Matt Ritchie has not been decisive enough when he has gone on the pitch, [should have been] screaming at Jonjo Shelvey, Murphy, Hayden this is what you need to do.

“The ball is then in play…and the really frightening thing is that is your right wing-back [Murphy up in the very top left corner of the pitch] and he couldn’t be any further away from the position he should be in, because the message has not been sent on.

“The big problem is that the ball hasn’t gone out of play and maybe then more a case of from the sidelines screaming to get the message on.

“Look at Hayden, really worried about Traore in that right-back position…our little mate [Jacob Murphy], the right wing-back still on the left wing. When the ball is in play, very difficult to get the message on.

“Steve Bruce has mentioned that other people made mistakes, that they needed to stop the cross and the header, I get all that, but I believe that if this had been a back three [with Murphy at right wing-back] they would have stopped the goal.

“Hayden doesn’t need to look at Traore if there is a right wing-back there and he would have just concentrated on filling the space [and marking Neves who has made a run into the box], Newcastle should have this guy [Murphy] here [right wing-back marking Traore] but it’s not his fault, he hasn’t been given the message.

“[After the goal goes in] You look at Hayden with his arms out because he doesn’t know what has gone on, Shelvey as well.

“You then see Graeme Jones trying to now get the message on and he’s shouting at Jacob Murphy, who is so far away [still on the left wing]. He [Murphy] has actually got his arm on his chest, that one where you think ‘what, me, you’re talking to me?’

“I sound like Robert de Niro ‘You talking to me?’…”

For Newcastle fans it was all very reminiscent of Steve Bruce’s first Newcastle match nineteen months earlier. NUFC set to pick up a point in a goalless draw with Arsenal, only for a Jetro Willems substitution to deliver a few minutes of chaos with a number of players out of position and not knowing where there were supposed to now be, Aubameyang taking advantage to score the winner.

Jamie Carragher says it is not always the manager’s fault, however, when you are in charge and make such a change, the buck does then stop with you in the final analysis.

For me, one of two things should have happened.

Either Steve Bruce makes sure Jonjo Shelvey delays the free-kick (suddenly finds he needs to retie bootlaces etc etc) and allows Matt Ritchie time to get the instructions / changes handed out.

Alternatively, Matt Ritchie fills in at right-back until a suitable chance / break in the game for the sub to pass the info / changes on.

With such a major switch around of roles, Steve Bruce should have made sure that Matt Ritchie would follow one of the two paths laid out above.

It was amateur hour the way it panned out and the NUFC Head Coach has to take the majority of the blame for the dropped two points.


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