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These rare outbreaks of football under Steve Bruce this season didn’t end well…

10 months ago

Steve Bruce and his players produced a far better performance on Sunday.

Newcastle United giving Tottenham a good game and NUFC well worth their point.

It was a rare moment this season when you didn’t feel at the final whistle that you’d had another couple of hours of your life stolen from you, when you could have been doing something more worthwhile.

Such as sticking pins in your eyeballs, or doing something on the ever growing list of household jobs the wife compiles and which I studiously ignore.

I read an excellent article on The Mag on Monday – ‘The final proof that Steve Bruce needs to be sacked by Newcastle United ASAP.’

The Newcastle fan (Dale Thompson) who wrote it, made some excellent points and overall argument. Saying that the fact Newcastle United could play so much better as they did against Spurs, pointed to the clear fact that this squad wasn’t as bad as Steve Bruce has made it consistently look, week after week, month after month. Steve Bruce made five changes, players who he has all but totally ignored this season (Ritchie, Gayle, Sean Longstaff, Murphy), changed the tactics / formation (yet again), almost finding a winning combination.

Dale Thompson making the argument that this simply proves Steve Bruce hasn’t got a clue what he is doing, that he makes random decisions on his team selections, formation and tactics, which regularly change, without having a clue as to whether it will work or not. The NUFC Head Coach simply guessing each week and pure luck if it produces the right outcome this time.

I have approached it from a slightly different angle, looking at these rare outbreaks of football under Steve Bruce this season and what happened next…

Steve Bruce and his mates in the media were full of how he’d got things right on Sunday and this suggested he and the NUFC squad could now go on and progress from this Tottenham match, starting at Burnley next weekend.

However, what lessons does this season tell us about those rare moments of where Steve Bruce and / or his players got it right…

Newcastle United have won seven Premier League matches this season, this is what happened after each win:

West Ham 0, Newcastle 2 – Newcastle 0 Brighton 3

Newcastle 3 Burnley 1 – Newcastle 1 Man U 4

Newcastle 2 Everton 1 – Southampton 2 Newcastle 0

Crystal Palace 0 Newcastle 2 – Newcastle 2 West Brom 1 – Leeds 5 Newcastle 2

Everton 0 Newcastle 2 – Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 2

Newcastle 3 Southampton 2 – Chelsea 2 Newcastle 0

There is a ‘bit’ of a pattern.

After six of the seven wins, Newcastle lost the next game. It isn’t even like Newcastle even really came anywhere near following up a victory with another one, or even a half decent performance, in pretty much every case.

The exception was the Palace away game when Newcastle beat West Brom at St James Park but it was a really shoddy performance against the Baggies, United lucky to win with their only real effort on goal in the second half, Gayle off the bench to score in the 82nd minute. That Palace away win wasn’t great either, two late goals when it looked set for a goalless draw.

There has been absolutely no continuity and only one winning run that extended to two games!

Reality is, these rare outbreaks of football (or scraping a win) under Steve Bruce this season didn’t end well…

The next week United turned up and got beat, played poorly, absolutely no continuation.

As no doubt you are thinking, Sunday’s match wasn’t even a win for Newcastle. However, it was a much better display than what we are used to.

What this season tells us is that it will be a minor miracle if Newcastle follow it up with another decent performance at Burnley.

This is life under Steve Bruce, quite remarkable just how limited he is, throughout seven months and counting, can’t get his team playing to a decent level two games in a row.


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