Steve Bruce Holiday Training Camp open for business (3 days out of 9 anyway)
Steve Bruce is making headlines yet again on Tuesday morning.
No, don’t get too excited, he hasn’t been sacked and certainly hasn’t volunteered to walk away without a £4m+ pay-off.
With his run now extended to two wins in the last twenty games, it has become apparent that there appears to be no tipping point at which Steve Bruce would be shamed into resigning, it really is more than possible that on 23 May 2021 he will still be here, having completed a run of two wins in twenty nine matches and Newcastle United relegated.
Three weeks ago, after Wolves snatched an equaliser due to the shambles and confusion Steve Bruce instigated with a messed up substitution (leading to ‘Ritchiegate’), it was revealed that in response to needlessly throwing away two points. Instead of getting the players in to work tirelessly on getting improved discipline and understanding for the absolutely must win game next up against West Brom, instead Steve Bruce gave the players (and himself…) three of the next five days off. No work at all done at the training ground on those three days, astonishing.
Predictably, Steve Bruce and Newcastle went to the Hawthorns and put in a shocking performance against an opposition who were already relegated in all but name, lucky to come away with a goalless draw having barely making the Baggies keeper produce a decent save.
Shameless as ever, it is a case of history repeating itself for Steve Bruce.
The latest in a series of exclusives from The Mail exposing the shambles behind the scenes at Newcastle United, has now revealed the training schedule imposed by Steve Bruce to ensure the team bounces back from that horrific performance and result on Saturday at Brighton.
Saturday 20 March – Brighton 3 Newcastle 0
Sunday 21 March – Day off training
Monday 22 March – Day off training
Tuesday 23 March – Training
Wednesday 24 March – Training
Thursday 25 March – Training
Friday 26 March – Day off training
Saturday 27 March – Day off training
Sunday 28 March – Day off training
Monday 29 March – Day off training
Considering how precarious Newcastle United’s position is AND especially just how shambolic that 3-0 defeat at Brighton was, it is astonishing that Steve Bruce has waited three days until after that humiliating performance to get the players and coaching staff together to work on putting things right.
Then beyond astonishing to be giving in total six of the nine days off, following the Brighton game.
The Mail say that three weeks ago in the lead up to that key match against West Brom ‘players were increasingly concerned at the amount of days off they were being given amid their fight for Premier League survival.’
Now the newspaper says that amongst the squad it comes as no longer a surprise when Steve Bruce has the players training on so few days. Only two outfield players (Fraser, Clark) and Dubravka of the eleven who started against Brighton are away on international duty, so no reason why the team shouldn’t be working full on putting things right against Tottenham.
The Mail reporting:
‘As one source said: ‘The players are used to doing their own training by now. They are not surprised by the schedule.’
But we understand there was shock among the players when club sources let it be known on Sunday that Mike Ashley would be sticking by Bruce.
There is a feeling among some of the squad that the manager wants to be sacked, with the performance at Brighton the biggest indicator yet that he has lost the support of the dressing-room.
Club staff are well aware that a section of players want to see a change of boss, but they are working on the understanding that Ashley will not sack Bruce, who has insisted he will not resign.
Some players believe Bruce’s position is untenable and are confused and concerned by the owner’s stance.
The fact that another four days off have been pencilled in for this weekend has only added to the feeling among some that Bruce has lost faith in the players.’
To Newcastle fans it just seems beyond belief that this is the reaction of Steve Bruce, when relegation is staring he and the squad in the face.
As for the reasoning / justification for such an approach, The Mail add:
‘A club source said the scheduling of training has been taken with the mental and physical wellbeing of players in mind. It is hoped days off will ease the pressure and can be a positive ahead of their return to action at home to Spurs a week on Sunday.’
When the Steve Bruce Holiday Training Camp approach was exposed in the lead up to that match against West Brom, Bruce claimed that it was expert advice that had ordered / told him the players would benefit more from resting after so many matches in a short period of time, rather than working at the training ground.
Hmmm, when Newcastle face Tottenham on Sunday 4 April, it will be nine weeks since NUFC had a midweek match, on 2 February 2021 losing 2-0 at home to Crystal Palace, a game that bizarrely in press conference after press conference, Steve Bruce refuses to acknowledge even happened (Steve Bruce still insisting that last eight games Newcastle had only lost to Chelsea and Man Utd, in the lead up to Brighton).
Since that game on Tuesday 2 February, Newcastle United have played only seven times over what will be a nine week period by the time they meet Spurs, never having to play weekend / midweek / weekend in that time period.
However, since Tuesday 2 February, Tottenham have played exactly twice as many games as Newcastle United, yes, fourteen matches in total and of course playing regularly in midweek.
Ironically, it was Tottenham’s Danny Rose who first exposed how easy life was at the Steve Bruce Holiday Camp, when on loan last season, Rose said he had never seen anything like it, just how many days the Newcastle players and Steve Bruce had away from the training ground. Danny Rose saying that at Spurs under Pochettino they were lucky to get one day off a week and Rose adding that he knew this was the norm at other well run clubs with top managers.
Tottenham of course have Jose Mourinho now as manager…but does anybody believe that things will be any different under him than Pochettino? For players not on international duty, there is no way that Mourinho will have given them six days off out of a nine day period in preparation for this Newcastle match.
Steve Bruce repeatedly comes out with absolute drivel after each poor non-winning performance, talking about Newcastle dusting themselves down, rolling sleeves up etc to put things right. Instead, the reality is more pulling the bed sheets up and having another day lying in bed, dreaming of a club where they are not lumbered with a manager / head coach like Steve Bruce.
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