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Loyal Steve Bruce journalist launches incredible defence of failing Newcastle United boss

10 months ago

They say the best form of defence is attack, just a shame that Steve Bruce hasn’t heard of that saying.

Even playing against the likes of Sheffield United (18 defeats and 2 draws in their previous 20 Premier League games), and West Brom (all but already relegated).

Then you have Brighton, one of the other two clubs Steve Bruce is fighting to stay out of the third relegation spot, the Seagulls having beaten Newcastle 3-0 on both occasions this season and the Brighton keeper not having to make a save in over three hours of football.

In that last game before the international break, the defeat at the Amex Stadium saw the usual super cautious approach from Steve Bruce, that has led to Newcastle handing total control to the opposition and inviting them to score first. Only in seven of the twenty nine PL matches so far have Newcastle scored in the first half, Brighton had a massive 75% possession before the break and got the opening goal, before strolling to that final 3-0 scoreline.

Whilst Steve Bryce has repeatedly refused to use attack as the best defence, one of the journalists still 100% blindly loyal to his mate, is Ian Ladyman,

Writing for The Mail, Ladyman does go all out attack on behalf of Steve Bruce.

His article reminds me of being back at school, when you would get asked to write an essay from an unusual and very definite point of view. Where you would be defending something or someone, by pointing out all the positives and simply not mentioning any of the negatives…

This latest article in The Mail is all about portraying Steve Bruce as some kind of victim, rather than what is simply the case – a really poor manager who no other Premier League club would have employed, who has no record of success and has simply failed yet again.

The Mail journalist declares…’Steve Bruce is a good bloke who shouldn’t wait for the lynch mob – he needs to quit Newcastle on his own terms and leave all the misery and aggro to someone else.’

It is the Newcastle fans who have been subjected to the misery and aggro, with Steve Bruce helping to inflict extra helpings on top of what Mike Ashley already does.

How about this:

‘If I were advising Bruce, I would urge him to keep Newcastle in the Premier League — and I think he will do that — then walk away.

Bruce is a good bloke and has been a decent football manager over the years. But management does things to people and the toll can be especially heavy in a place like Newcastle.

Certainly it has impacted on Bruce and his team’s football reflects that now. It is defensive, inconsistent and utterly without freedom and expression.’

What has being a ‘good bloke’ got to do with anything, when it comes to assessing whether a manager is doing a good or bad job? I’m sure pretty most managers are seen as ‘good blokes’ but again, it is irrelevant.

All it tells us is that like any number of other people in the media, this journalist likes Steve Bruce and wants him to do well. The truth simply is that he (Bruce) hasn’t done well, indeed exactly the opposite.

Bruce has a really poor career record as a Premier League boss, the very worst of anybody who has managed the number of games he has. Plus, Steve Bruce spent half his career in the Championship and League One before coming to Newcastle, including his last three jobs before Mike Ashley bizarrely, but all so predictably, chose his latest patsy to replace the top class manager he (Ashley) had forced out.

The article declares:

‘Bruce’s life looks so joyless now but this is a man who knows what glory is, knows what good football feels like. He played for a great Manchester United team, remember.’

The thing is, there are countless brilliant players, legions of them, vast majority of them who were far better players than Steve Bruce, who then are hopeless as managers. Indeed, Bobby Charlton, who played in a far better Man Utd team, is just one of them.

The article continues:

‘That [Mike Ashley sacking Steve Bruce] is unlikely unless Newcastle get so close to Fulham in the one available relegation spot that owner Mike Ashley panics.

Bruce, remember, is fulfilling Ashley’s brief: Keep Newcastle in the Premier League. Ensure this club remains saleable.’

It is like hearing Steve Bruce speak…so divorced from the reality. Yes Newcastle are still two points clear of Fulham BUT they (NUFC) are the bookies favourite to go down, as Bruce’s team have the harder run-in and have the worst form in the entire Premier League.

In the last six matches played by the 20 PL teams, Newcastle are the only club not to win a game.

To sum up this article, especially when it comes to simply refusing to acknowledge the stark realities of what has / is happening. Can you believe that in the entire article, there is absolutely zero mention of Steve Bruce being on a four month run of only two wins in twenty matches! It is likely listening to a typical Bruce post-match press conference, where Newcastle have played so poorly, easily beaten, yet Steve Bruce will refuse to accept all of that and only want to talk about the one chance NUFC had, if only they had scored etc etc…

The man from The Mail declares:

‘Bruce has had a long career and much of it has been progressive.’

This is typical of those who blindly back / defend Steve Bruce in the media, big on grand claims but very short (non-existent!!!) on detail.

In 23 years in management, Steve Bruce has never won anything, got to one cup final, one European campaign (due to being losing cup finalists) that didn’t even last until the end of August, as well as never having finished top nine in the Premier League. What has been ‘progressive’ about it???

Ian Ladyman concludes:

‘He [Steve Bruce] got the job he wanted. He did OK but his road at Newcastle feels as though it should end here.’

Bruce’s mate means his time at Newcastle ending at the end of this season after he has kept Newcastle United in the Premier League…

When Steve Bruce arrived at St James Park, he said it was unacceptable that this club was repeatedly worrying about relegation, or indeed getting relegated under Mike Ashley, and he said Newcastle should be aiming to be at least top ten every season.

Now we are told Steve Bruce would have been a success if Newcastle don’t go down, despite having the benefit of £100m+ of net spending during his time at NUFC, something else that never gets a mention in the article…whereas Rafa Benitez wasn’t allowed a penny of net spend across his three and a bit years under Ashley.

Steve Bruce has done ‘OK’, well seen as Newcastle are favourites to go down and in such atrocious form, I’m not sure how anybody can be claiming this as things stand.

Only two wins in the last twenty games, Newcastle scoring at an average rate of less than 1.00 goals in the PL this season, only one club outside the bottom two has conceded more goals than NUFC this season, whereas Steve Bruce inherited a defence that had been the seventh best in both Rafa seasons in the Premier League. Plus of course Bruce inherited a squad that had been eighth best over the course of Rafa’s final 28 PL games in charge, fifth best in terms of points AND scoring goals in Rafa’s final 16 PL matches.

Yes, Mike Ashley is the massive problem at Newcastle United and always will be until he sells the club, BUT employing managers such as Bruce, JFK, Carver, McClaren etc who are nowhere near the quality needed, makes everything so much worse.


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