Acceptable points total this season for Steve Bruce to stay at Newcastle United another year
The Steve Bruce luck returned in dramatic fashion at the weekend.
Tottenham failing to finish Newcastle off and only seconds after Harry Kane failed to make it 3-1 when hitting the post, play swung to the other end and Joe Willock scored a dramatic equaliser with only five minutes left on the clock.
The game immediately following, was Aston Villa v Fulham, three points for the away side would mean Newcastle dropping into the bottom three.
Scott Parker’s side took the lead on 61 minutes and looked to be comfortably heading to a place outside the relegation zone, against a Villa side that struggled to threaten, only for a dramatic late collapse that saw three goals in the final 12 minutes and Steve Bruce’s bacon once again (at least temporarily) saved.
The Premier League table currently looks like this, as Newcastle United have eight games left to play.
As you can see, apart from the fact that the failures of others have for the time being kept NUFC outside the bottom three, the whole situation is shocking.
Whether Newcastle United survive in the Premier League and whether Steve Bruce should stay on, are very definitely two totally different questions / issues.
Averaging less than a point a match is completely unacceptable and Steve Bruce can’t be allowed to continue if that remains the case.
The last 19 Premier League matches (half a season’s worth!) have produced just 12 points for Newcastle United, which over the course of a full season would equal just 24 points. No manager can be allowed to keep his job if continuing such a poor average return, Steve Bruce of course on an overall run of only two wins in twenty one matches in all competitions.
If Steve Bruce and the Newcastle team continue the average points return of the last 19 games, it would see them end the season on around 34 points. Providing Newcastle didn’t lose at Fulham on the final day, that pathetic amount of points could still very well keep NUFC up, with Fulham currently having seven games left and still eight points adrift of that 34 points mark.
Having inherited a very decent side from Rafa Benitez that comfortably finished mid-table both seasons on 44 and 45 points, then Mike Ashley backing him (Steve Bruce) with a net spend on players of over £100m these past 21 months, how on earth could Ashley keep Steve Bruce in the job if he banked only 34 points (or less!!!). Simply because pure luck had meant that feeble points total had been enough to survive?
The reality is for me, to have any credibility whatsoever, Steve Bruce needs to finish on 44 points or higher, which has been the case these past three seasons since promotion.
With the strongest team and squad since that promotion, it follows that there are no excuses for Steve Bruce to fall below that line. It would mean at least 15 points needed in these remaining eight matches at an average of pretty much two points per match. A ‘little’ unlikely.
Even by Mike Ashley’s obscenely low standards, Steve Bruce surely has to get at least 40 points to in any way deserve to keep his job, if we are being very generous and cutting the Head Coach some ill-deserved slack.
That would require eleven points or more from these remaining eight NUFC matches:
Burnley (A), West Ham (H), Liverpool (A), Arsenal (H), Leicester (A), Man City (H), Sheff Utd (H) and Fulham (A).
Can Steve Bruce manage to get as many points in these final eight games as he has got in the last nineteen? Hmmm, well if he doesn’t, if retaining any self-respect whatsoever, Steve Bruce should resign.
A quick look at the Steve Bruce record of this past decade doesn’t exactly fill you with hope…since 2011 the highest Premier League total that Bruce has recorded (other than last season at Newcastle) is 37 points in 2013/14 when at Hull. Hull City scraped survival that season but Newcastle should learn their lessons from what then happened, as Hull stuck with Steve Bruce and got even less points (35) the next season and went down.
The thing is, this shocking Steve Bruce average of less than a point a game at Newcastle goes back far further, if you include the final 20 games of last season, the most recent 50 NUFC PL matches have produced just 48 points. Only 11 wins in those 50 Premier League matches, a feeble win ratio of only 22%, losing a massive 48% of them.
Steve Bruce and Newcastle United are failing, unless the Head Coach finds some far better form in these next eight matches he has to go.
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