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Opinion

Steve Bruce has lost the dressing room

1 month ago
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There was no doubting for anyone other than Steve Bruce, that Sunday’s fixture against West Brom was a must win game.

Going into every game there should always be that mentality, that it’s a must win game, as a professional player / manager.

Yes granted there are some games you may not be expected to win on paper but if football was played on paper, then Liverpool beat Fulham in the other fixture on Sunday.

I agree the game on Sunday hasn’t decided our Premier League future just yet…but the game plan set out, then followed up by the performances, certainly is pointing out to the inevitable come the end of season.

What a glorious opportunity to put a bit of breathing space between Newcastle and the other clubs down there.

The message ahead of the game all week in training should have been one of positivity, buoyed by the thinking on Sunday afternoon we could be six points clear, game in hand, jobs a good un!!

Instead we seem a club over reliant on other teams around us losing and us just staying above the relegation zone. At what point are Steve Bruce, the backroom staff and the players going to realise, not only are we in trouble, but that the future of this club is in their hands and we can’t rely on other teams to get beat. Go and do the job themselves.

Everyone in the club thought that was a good point against a West Brom because they thought Liverpool would beat Fulham at Anfield and we would be four points ahead, with a game in hand, now instead they find themselves only a point clear because we have no belief in trying to win any game.

It has been mentioned lately that Newcastle United were sleepwalking towards relegation, I think it’s safe to say with recent on and off the field issues it’s turning into a full blown nightmare that the club is struggling to wake up from.

When is the club’s management going to stop with the excuses? Injuries are part and parcel of the game, every club has had a COVID outbreak at some point this season, even Fulham if I recall. Let’s just stop with the beating of the same drum and batten down the hatches, group the players together, get some belief going and go with some of the attitude ‘us’ against ‘them’ and show some fight or character. You make your own luck in this game but Newcastle United as a team and as a club look defeated, even before that whistle blows ahead of the game.

Steve Bruce spoke after the game regarding the reasoning behind not playing Dwight Gayle or Andy Carroll and I find it beggars belief he actually said it in public.

Newcastle United have a new game plan which every man and his dog is aware of – but don’t tell me we have players at this club who are incapable of playing different systems against different teams. No doubt Mr Bruce will blame us fans because we wanted to see attacking football and not five at the back, yes Steve you’re right, we don’t against sides like Sheffield Utd, or the other clubs around us, but we are also not naive enough to think we can go and beat Man City with the same attacking intent.

We need to a have an A, B and C plan but right now we only have plan A, which has worked for two games in the last 18 matches. There will be no need for any other Premier League manager to send his scouts to watch us as we have a manager who is so rigid and intent on playing one system from now till the end of the season, how predictable and worrying.

Yesterday’s 30 second cameo role for Andy Carroll suggests to me Steve Bruce thinks he is the mole inside the group and that was his way of embarrassing him…because there was no other reason for that substitution.

Steve Bruce has lost the dressing room, no doubts about that, players like Carroll and Ritchie are big personalities in the club and I am afraid if you start losing those type of players the rest will follow. Any player sitting on that bench watching players like Joelinton or Hendrick playing week in week out must be thinking what do I have to do here to get a game? Is Andy Carroll any worse than Joelinton, definitely not, so why not give him a chance?

Would I rather a Matt Ritchie / Longstaff brother (either!) in the side over Hendrick, 100% I would, why are the same players getting the same chance every week yet others can’t get a sniff?

If Steve Bruce has let the damp in over the last few months around the club, well that has now well and truly turned to rot inside Newcastle United and we are sinking without a fight.

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