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Maybe strangest one yet from Gabby Agbonlahor in backing Steve Bruce to extreme lengths

6 months ago

Gabby Agbonlahor has managed to grab some attention through the media recently.

The former Aston Villa player attempting to make it as a pundit but embarrassing himself repeatedly, time after time, in the process.

His specialist area of ‘expertise’ has been Steve Bruce.

A friend of the Newcastle United Head Coach and having played under him at Villa, Gabby Agbonlahor has repeatedly talked up Steve Bruce (see below) and slaughtered the Newcastle fans relentlessly. That despite Steve Bruce having had a run of 21 games with only two wins, this extended now to four wins in the last twenty four matches for Bruce.

This though is maybe the strangest one yet, as Gabby Agbonlahor explains to the deluded Newcastle fans just how brilliant Steve Bruce is with his cunning management….

Gabby Agbonlahor talking to Football Insider, asked what he thinks will happen with Joe Willock after this season, which club the player sees his future at:

“It’s hard, to be honest.

“He might also think to himself ‘I want to go back to Arsenal and have a go.’ He’s gone out and proved himself. He’ll always have in his mind that he wants to go back and play.

“I don’t think he’ll go back to Newcastle permanently.

“I think he’ll want to go to Arsenal and fight for his position.

“I don’t think he will start games for Newcastle.

“I don’t think Steve Bruce will change it.

“He’s come on and scored so many important goals.

“If I’m a manager I’m thinking ‘Bring him on next game at the same time, 20 minutes to go, he’ll probably score another important goal.’

“I don’t see him starting because to come on and score so many late goals they’ll want him to do it again.

“He’ll be frustrated.

“Steve Bruce is the sort of manager that doesn’t care if you’re from Arsenal on loan, he’ll play the right team to win a game.”

Talk about fitting the statistics / facts to suit your argument after the event!

If you have a midfielder capable of regularly scoring goals and the rest of your midfield never score any, how is it brilliant management to keep that goalscoring midfielder off the pitch for almost the entire match?

Against the likes of Spurs and West Ham, Steve Bruce never thought he was keeping Joe Willock only for the final stages because he thought that would massively increase his chances of scoring, it was simply pure desperation when he eventually put him on the pitch.

Willock was only given the final 11 minutes against Spurs and 10 minutes against West Ham, quite bizarre to claim this is clever management.

Even more bizarre that if Steve Bruce honestly wants to try and keep Joe Willock after this season, why on earth would you not play him???

By the time we get to Leicester away next Friday, it will be seven weeks since Willock last started a match, how on earth is this convincing him, even remotely, that his future is at St James Park?

Gabby Agbonlahor talking to Football Insider – 13 April 2021:

“I’ve said this all through the season that Steve Bruce deserved people to get off his back.

“He’s had a hard season with injuries, coronavirus affected his squad the most with players missing games.

“Once you get Callum Wilson back, once you get Allan Saint-Maximin back they’ll be a different team and it’s shown already.

“Newcastle will be absolutely fine, they’ve got no chance of going down. They will continue to get wins.

“Newcastle fans will owe Steve Bruce an apology for the way they’ve treated him.

“Hopefully the Newcastle chairman will give him some money in the summer to build an even better team.

“I’m happy for him and I’m happy that he’s got those players back.”

Gabby Agbonlahor speaking to Football Insider – 25 March 2021:

“Everyone’s slating Steve Bruce but I back Steve Bruce.

“He put out a team [at Brighton] to go out and perform but there’s only so much a manager can do.

“The players need to hold their hands up and make it right.

“You look at Joelinton, he hasn’t turned up all season for Newcastle.

“He’s still not turning up.

“For me, Steve Bruce has now got to work out what 11 players are going to fight for him and fight for the club and pick them.

“If that’s Dwight Gayle, if that’s Andy Carroll, if that’s Matt Ritchie, if that’s the Longstaff brothers in midfield.

“Whoever is going to fight for him and the club – that’s what it’s about now.

“Certain players are letting him down, the likes of Ryan Fraser, the likes of Joelinton, they’re not doing anything, they’re not showing any hunger, they’re not showing any fight.

“I’m sure Steve Bruce will be making changes for the games coming up.”

Gabby Agbonlahor speaking to Talksport – 20 November 2020:

“Newcastle fans are quite deluded.

“Steve Bruce is doing a great job with the players that he has available.

“If they play expansive and open football they will get beat 6-0 every game.

“He’s playing the right formation with the players that he’s got at his disposal, I think that he’s doing a great job there.

“If Rafa Benitez had done the job Steve Bruce has done, they [Newcastle fans] would be saying he’s a tactical genius, that Rafa is doing an amazing job.

“But for some reason, because it is Steve Bruce, it’s boring.

“For me, it’s not boring.

“He is still playing the likes of Saint-Maximin.

“He has brought in Callum Wilson, who is a great striker.

“He has got [Ryan] Fraser as well, he has brought in these great players who are attacking.

“I just think these Newcastle fans need to be careful what they wish for.

“Do they want to be in the position that Burnley are in?

“It’s frustrating to hear [what Newcastle fans are saying] and needs to stop.

“Do they want him to play like Norwich did last season?

“It is good on the eye, they play from the back…lose it in midfield and concede four or five a game.

“That is not what Newcastle fans are going to want in the long run because they don’t want their team to go back down.

“If Steve Bruce had the players to play the way Newcastle fans want, I think he would do it…no offence to Shelvey or Hayden.

“I think Saint-Maximin can be Neymar one day and then Julian Joachim the next day and that can be so frustrating for a manager, he doesn’t do it consistently and that is what he [Steve Bruce] wants from Saint-Maximin – to do it week in and week out.”


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