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Steve Bruce “Can we improve on last year’s points tally…that is always in my thoughts”

4 months ago

It is quite astonishing really just how often Steve Bruce moves the goalposts and the friendly media don’t question it.

When he arrived at Newcastle United 20 months ago, Steve Bruce said that NUFC should always be aiming for a top ten finish as a minimum, not worrying about fighting relegation in the bottom half.

Then at the end of last season Steve Bruce said (see below) that he would have taken 13th place if offered it before a ball was kicked ‘BUT that is not enough. We want to push for the top ten on a regular basis.’

Only eight weeks ago (22 January 2021)before Newcastle played away (and lost) at Aston Villa, Steve Bruce made his embarrassing ‘Mighty Rafa’ comments (see below). Bruce saying he’d matched Benitez, which wasn’t actually true as Rafa despite getting minimal support from Mike Ashley and actually making a profit on transfers during his time at Newcastle, finished with a point more in 2018/19 than Steve Bruce did in 2019/20. Not that any Newcastle fan would claim 45 points as some kind of success.

In those quotes eight weeks ago, on 22 January 2021, Steve Bruce was talking about still aiming to finish top ten this season.

Then five weeks ago Steve Bruce was once again moving the goalposts when it came to targets and what would equal success, speaking before losing to Chelsea it appears that 35 Premier League points is what Steve Bruce is focusing on AND if that turned out to be enough to avoid relegation, then no doubt Bruce and his media mates would claim that as a successful campaign for the NUFC Head Coach. However, rather bizarrely, at the same time Bruce was also still leavijng it open about maybe getting 45 points or more…’Can we improve on last year’s points tally, can we improve on last year’s position…that is always in my thoughts.’

Steve Bruce always talks a good game about his ‘successful’ management career and the media question nothing he says, what is the truth though?

Well, down below, I have gone through Steve Bruce’s entire management career to see exactly how many Premier League points he has picked up in each season…

Steve Bruce asked ahead of this match at Chelsea, about his ambitions for the season and how many Premier League points would be needed to stay up – 14 February 2021:

“The key was always 40 points…38 points…35 points has been enough in the last decade.

“As I have said all along, it is always your accumulation of points, what you need and what you require.

“So we still have a bit of work to do yet, before we get to the magical figure.

“For me, it is always about can we improve?

“Can we improve on last year’s points tally, can we improve on last year’s position…that is always in my thoughts.”

Steve Bruce talking on 22 January 2021 about Premier League points and what equals success…:

“I would ask the question, what do you gauge as success?

“I gauge success last year as matching Rafa’s tally of points, of where we finished.

“Can we aim towards the top ten?

“We are three, four points adrift of that.

“Would that be an achievement? In my eyes, probably yes.

“We matched the mighty Rafa last year.

“We will try to do the best we can again this year.”

Steve Bruce 27 July 2020 after ending 2019/20 season with 44 Premier League points and 13th place:

“We are disappointed not to overtake last year’s tally.

“But if someone said at the start of the season ‘would you be happy to finish with seven teams below you?’ we would have taken that.

“But that is not enough.

“We want to push for the top ten on a regular basis.”

Number of Premier League points Steve Bruce has accumulated in management each season throughout his career:

1997/98 (Zero Premier League points) In second tier with Sheffield United.

1998/99 (Zero Premier League points) In second tier with Huddersfield.

1999/2000 (Zero Premier League points) In second tier with Huddersfield before sacked, then spent rest of season in third tier with Wigan.

2000/01 (Zero Premier League points) In second tier with Huddersfield before sacked in October 2000, Huddersfield going on to be relegated to the third tier. Joined Wigan in the second tier late on that season.

2001/02(Zero Premier League points) In second tier with Crystal Palace before forcing his departure to join Birmingham mid-season, who were also in second tier.

2002/03 (48 Premier League points) With Birmingham.

2003/04 (50 Premier League points) With Birmingham.

2004/05 (45 Premier League points) With Birmingham.

2005/06 (34 Premier League points) With Birmingham who were relegated.

2006/07 (Zero Premier League points) With Birmingham in second tier.

2007/08 (11 Premier League points in 13 games before leaving Birmingham who ended up relegated) Joined Wigan mid-season and got 32 points from 25 games

2008/09 (45 Premier League points) With Wigan.

2009/10 (44 Premier League points) With Sunderland.

2010/11 (47 Premier League points) With Sunderland.

2011/12 (11 Premier League points in 13 games before sacked) With Sunderland.

2012/13 (Zero Premier League points) With Hull in second tier.

2013/14 (37 Premier League points) With Hull.

2014/15 (35 Premier League points) With Hull.

2015/16 (Zero Premier League points) With Hull in second tier.

2016/17 (Zero Premier League points) With Villa in second tier.

2017/18 (Zero Premier League points) With Villa in second tier.

2018/19 (Zero Premier League points) With Villa in second tier before sacked, later that season joined Sheffield Wednesday in the second tier)

2019/20 (44 Premier League points) Newcastle United

2020/21 (28 Premier League points after 29 games)

What can you say?

Steve Bruce, what an…uninspiring, truly mediocre to rubbish management career.

Before coming to Newcastle United, Steve Bruce managed for 22 seasons and this is his entire Premier League points totals…48 (2002/03), 50 (2003/04), 45 (2004/05), 34 (2005/06), 43 (2007/08 with Birmingham and Wigan), 45 (2008/09), 44 (2009/10), 47 (2010/11), 11 (2011/12), 37 (2013/14), 35 (2014/15).

It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so serious for Newcastle United fans.

Steve Bruce has had a total failure of a management career, never winning anything, BUT just look at the eight seasons immediately before Mike Ashley took him on. His only Premier League points in that period were three seasons of 11, 37 and 35.

Yet Newcastle United fans are deluded for wanting / expecting a better calibre manager than Steve Bruce, somebody with a better track record. To be honest, it would be difficult (impossible) to find anybody with a worse record…

Steve Bruce has never managed a club to top nine in the Premier League, the pinnacle of his career was finishing tenth, once with Birmingham (2003/04) and once with the Mackems (2010/11).

Rafa Benitez wasn’t claiming 45 points in 2018/19 as some kind of brilliant season, or even acceptable, for Newcastle United, nor were the fans, simply seeing it as a means to an end before Mike Ashley actually backing him in any way in the transfer market, or preferably new owners.

Yet here we are after that shocking 3-0 loss to Brighton, Steve Bruce sitting on 28 points after 29 games.

This is how the Premier League table looks on Monday morning:

With 28 points from 29 matches so far, if Steve Bruce kept that average points per game up, NUFC would finish the season with 36 points.

However, these past 18 PL matches have seen only 11 points picked up (Two wins, five draws and eleven defeats), averaging only 0.6 points per game these past three and a half months, if that 18 match form continues, then it would only add another five points to the total, Steve Bruce ending the season with 31 points.

That total not even enough to catch Brighton’s current number of points!

You would then be left with Fulham, they have a better goal difference so could / would they pick up five points or more in their remaining eight matches?

Fulham play Villa (A), Wolves (H), Arsenal (A), Chelsea (A), Burnley (H), Southampton (A) and Man Utd (A) in their next seven matches. I think fair to say they stand a decent chance of picking up points in at least four of them – the games against Villa, Wolves, Burnley and Southampton.

However, if indeed they did only need five more points for survival, a couple of draws would then leave them needing to just beat Newcastle on the final day of the season to finish above Steve Bruce’s team.

Whilst Steve Bruce was still bizarrely but predictably claiming on Saturday night that pretty much all of the bottom half of the table were still in the relegation fight, for me, I am not even seeing Brighton as a team that could be dragged back into it.

I really think it is only us or Fulham and these are the remaining Newcastle United fixtures: Newcastle United – Tottenham (H), Burnley (A), West Ham (H), Liverpool (A), Arsenal (H), Leicester (A), Man City (H), Sheff Utd (H), Fulham (A).

After watching that rubbish on Saturday night against Brighton and clearly a team who have finally, like the fans, totally given up on Steve Bruce, I struggle to see any chance of points if Steve Bruce stays on, apart from probably against Sheff Utd AND they have already beaten a very negative and clueless Bruce overseen Newcastle team in January.

With Steve Bruce refusing to resign and forsake a massive pay-off, Sky Sports then telling us that Mike Ashley is not going to sack the NUFC Head Coach, the cunning plan clearly appears to be just hope that Fulham totally implode and pick up next to no points in their final eight games.

It was astounding to hear Steve Bruce after the Brighton humiliation, revealing that all week they had been working on really pressing Brighton high up the pitch, taking the game to them. It just proves how desperate the management and coaching is at Newcastle United then, when not a single NUFC fan would have guessed after the 3-0 defeat that this had been the cunning Steve Bruce plan and preparation.

As is so often the case, reality being something very different to what Steve Bruce thinks and says. Brighton allowed to easily control the entire first half with 75% possession!

I can’t wait to hear / see the ingenious Steve Bruce plans on how to get the better of the likes of Man City, Leicester, West Ham, Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal in these remaining matches.

Just how far will Steve Bruce be able to drag the goalposts by the end of the season, in claiming it has been a successful season?

He is such a chancer that even if Newcastle are relegated on the final day of the season, Steve Bruce could even have the nerve to claim that as a positive, taking it to the very last match and how much bad luck NUFC had in that final game at Fulham.


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