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Opinion

This is papering over the cracks at Newcastle United

5 months ago
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The last few weeks as a Newcastle United fan, have in terms of results been a welcome relief, as we can now relax a little and ‘nearly’ remove the worry of relegation from our minds for this season finally.

Steve Bruce and the rest of the Steves…and Graeme Jones, have managed to assemble enough points to just about fall over the line.

Something which has distracted from the fact Newcastle United have been utterly abysmal all season tactically, visually and lacking any form of identity.

With that in mind, especially with our recent upturn in fortunes and as usual certain media representatives resurfacing from their caves (we all know who they are), saying we should stop giving Bruce such a hard time as he’s doing a good job etc etc. I feel the need to reiterate that we have been absolute garbage all season and I remind everybody just how much luck has played an extremely significant part in our quest for safety.

Take this Liverpool match, the home side should have been out of sight before they panicked and surrendered in a style Newcastle United fans are all too familiar with.

West Ham last week, the Hammers allowed back into the game with 10 men but luckily though we scraped a winner.

Against Burnley only the brilliance of ASM bailed us out.

All these games could easily have been lost on another day.

In most of these games (many draws) in our recent improvement of form (last nine – two wins, five draws, two defeats), we have been regularly battered by the opposition due to Bruce’s lack of tactical understanding of the opponent / repetition of any system that happened to work the week before and praying to god that it works again.

Before Steve Bruce ends up getting a 25 year contract, it is essential that we as fans don’t forget how bad it has been at the hands of this NUFC Head Coach. The hard thing in football is mediocrity often gets forgotten as soon as the results improve, regardless of the nature of why or how.

I don’t think I’m alone in thinking Bruce has fluked his recent success and relied on the failure of three worse teams to achieve his hefty goal of 17th place.

So many head scratching scenarios we see weekly…

Why is Shelvey still playing? Why is he playing centre back?

Why is Willock not starting?

Why is Joelinton not training with the under 18s? Can Joelinton even hold his own at under 18 level? Why does he have the sacred number 9?  Why can’t he hold the ball up, shoot, pass, or show any desire or application? The biggest question is why does Bruce insist on picking him? Against Liverpool there were clear instances where players opted for alternative options rather then pass to him.

I believe there shouldn’t be this many questions over the management of a team by its fans. It’s absolutely baffling. I know it won’t happen but Bruce needs to go at the end of this season and be replaced by someone that isn’t as susceptible to dying out like the rest of his Jurassic species. It’s aimless and carries no logic. It’s a ship that’s going nowhere. I know he is a symptom of the greater problem but there are better options than him.

I’ve never had a manager in my lifetime who has had less fan support and confidence than Bruce.

Let’s just hope next season isn’t another scenario where Bruce, inspired by Homer Simpson, uses a rhyme to help decide which button to press to prevent a nuclear meltdown because personally, I can’t see any other way he could be achieving his success, it certainly isn’t his own initiative….if that (success) is what 17th place is for us.

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