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Opinion

Only way you could come to this conclusion is if you hadn’t watched Newcastle United

5 months ago
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Here we go again with Newcastle United.

In the past, Newcastle fans would be ridiculed for their enthusiasm and optimism whenever the team put together a handful of decent results.

They think they’re going to win the Champions League now, typical Geordies believing they’ve suddenly got team of world beaters etc etc.

Now though, this has all been turned on its head with Newcastle United and the fans.

Our enemies in the media and elsewhere, piling in with the taunts and ‘hilarious’ comments whenever Steve Bruce accidentally stumbles across the odd win or two.

Who better than the most respected (don’t laugh…) man in football punditry to sum this up.

After the 3-2 win over West Ham earlier this month, a second win in ten games and only the fourth victory in the last 24 for Newcastle United…

Richard Keys – 17 April 2021

“It’s great to have The Entertainers back on Tyneside.”

This followed a match in which Newcastle were decent in the first half but West Ham arrived bearing incredible gifts, so much so, they had gifted a two goal lead to NUFC and a man advantage by half-time.

The boss of ‘The Entertainers’ reacted to this laughably generous first half from the visitors by telling his team to go back out and absolutely batter ten man West Ham and give the Newcastle fans sitting at home something to smile about. Sorry, I accidentally typed a few words wrong there, no, the king of the entertainers instead ordered his entire team to drop as deep as possible, defend in numbers against ten men, try to see out the 2-0 win.

Predictably, having now been gifted total control and dominance despite being a man down, the Hammers marched up the pitch and scored twice, could and should have been more. Steve Bruce incredibly lucky to see the bizarrely left out of the team Joe Willock, come off the bench and score in the final minutes to retrieve the win against ten men.

The match was entertaining in many ways, due to the number of goals and changing fortunes, plus mistakes and poor defending at both ends, but a right mess in reality when it came to game management from the NUFC Head Coach.

After Newcastle United very fortuitously got a draw at Liverpool (Willock in the 95th minute this time after the scousers had wasted a ridiculous number of great chances), Robbie Savage and Chris Sutton were predictably at it yet again. The desperate duo (you’re paying their wages!) on 606 taunting Newcastle fans, ‘singing’ along to the Blaydon Races and asking why NUFC supporters aren’t ringing up now that Steve Bruce has got the team in great form now…

I know facts don’t seem to count for a lot these days when it comes to the media but just for the record, these are the last ten Newcastle United matches:

Chelsea 2 Newcastle 0

Man Utd 3 Newcastle United 1

Newcastle 1 Wolves 1

West Brom 0 Newcastle 0

Newcastle 1 Aston Villa 1

Brighton 3 Newcastle 0

Newcastle 2 Tottenham 2

Burnley 1 Newcastle 2

Newcastle 3 West Ham 2

Liverpool 1 Newcastle 1

So three defeats, five draws and just two wins, with 16 goals conceded and 11 scored.

So pretty much the normal you might expect at best under Steve Bruce, averaging roughly a point per match and a goal (scored) per game.

These past four matches have been a bit easier on the eye but surely the really big change has surely been the luck massively returning for Steve Bruce.

Joe Willock now completely sidelined from the first team starting eleven for seven weeks, yet when he has been thrown on late in three games when Newcastle have been on the ropes, has scored in all three games and rescued four points minimum. The exception when Burnley absolutely dominated for almost an hour and should have had the game won, only for ASM on that occasion to get off the bench and save three points single-handedly after Dubravka had kept Newcastle in the game.

Mentioning the keeper, he has also been back to pretty much his best and despite conceding in all four games, six goals in total, without Dubravka I don’t think we would have got many, if any, of these last eight points.

Yes it has been a relief to pick up these points and a couple of wins after so much misery but you can hardly claim there have been any really convincing performances or results. Played kind of ok in bits of Spurs match, ASM destroyed Burnley in a seven minute spell, the first half against West Ham was good, at Liverpool had a few decent breaks but the scousers dominated and had four or five times more chances.

I think on balance of play we didn’t deserve to win any of these four games, much like the half dozen previous matches. The big positive though was that as well as Dubravka keeping the score down, Newcastle had ASM and Joe Willock able to produce at key moments from relatively very few minutes on the pitch.

The likes of Savage, Sutton and Keys go on as though now every Newcastle fan should be writing an apology to Steve Bruce using their own blood, accepting that he is in reality doing a brilliant job supposedly.

The big reality is that Richard Keys, Chris Sutton and Robbie Savage very definitely don’t watch the Newcastle United matches and neither do the audience that they are targeting.

I am relieved that Newcastle United aren’t going to go down but it has been absolutely desperate stuff from Steve Bruce that had dragged this not terrible squad down to a position where they had become favourites for the drop and were playing so badly.

We know that if Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce remain at the club, then we are guaranteed just more of the same next season. So any real enthusiasm or hope, is all pinned on a takeover bringing new owners, new ambition and a new manager at Newcastle United.

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