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Opinion

Unbelievably lucky Steve Bruce must do right thing and walk away in four weeks time

5 days ago
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What a game we just witnessed against Liverpool at Anfield!!!

I said it before and I’ve been justified – these players WILL keep us up!

Their sheer intensity and desire not to fail, coupled with stellar individual performances and notable improvements from players who have been “like new signings” (a bit of the ol’ Alan Pardew eh?) have seen us on the brink of safety, barring a Steve Bruce Masterclass in failure.

An incredible day of football saw Newcastle somehow survive 90 minutes being only 1-0 down, only for the GOLDEN Joe Willock to do what he does best. To think he was a reserve at an Arsenal side lacking in cutting edge is just…

Here’s a couple of points I should mention about our current situation at the club:

Desire

Callum Wilson publicly said he did not want another relegation on his CV. He has backed that up with his play on the pitch.

From Joelinton to Dubravka, you could sense the focus from most of the lads today, and their intensity was evident! Do I even need to mention Ritchie? His middle name must be Desire!!

Individual brilliance

Today’s mentions go to Dubravka, ASM, Murphy (pocketed Jota and, on occasion, Mané) and Joe Willock. Between them, we have rescued vital points over the past three games.

Over the course of the season however, Lascelles, Wilson, Almiron and Darlow have also had vital performances in many games that have defined our good fortunes. Between Dubravka and Darlow, we have had incredible goalkeeping which I have not seen since the days of Shay Given and Steve Harper. Our men between the sticks have reached point after countless point and also importantly, kept our goal difference within reasonable limits.

Luck

Despite the recent good results and team spirit, tactics have been largely poor.

Last week’s unbelievable instructions to defend when 2-0 up against a 10 man West Ham side sums it all up, I need not say more.

Steve Bruce must be the luckiest man alive, period, especially after I just watched Mané and Salah blow sitter after sitter only for Willock (who should have started) to get a goal off a wicked deflection. I hope Bruce does the right thing and walks away after saving us from relegation.

The Shelvey Problem

On 60 minutes, Jonjo Shelvey inexplicably delivered one of those Hollywood passes to Dubravka, almost ending up in a goal for Mané. I watched him closely today and I have noted that he is just the English Granit Xhaka. The man is a total liability and is essentially the sixth man in a five man defence.

Someone with access to records please confirm that he isn’t Bruce’s in-law, otherwise I am at a loss as to why he keeps starting games.

Nonetheless, great result. The team today played with confidence of the likes of Rafa’s final season. This “run of form” has been lucky but I’ll take it over EFL football.

Howay!!

Stats from BBC Sport:

Liverpool 1 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 24 April 12.30pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Willock 90+5

Liverpool:

Salah 3

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Liverpool 69% (71%) Newcastle 31% (29%)

Total shots were Liverpool 22 (12)  Newcastle 7 (1)

Shots on target were Liverpool 9 (4) Newcastle 4 (1)

Corners were Liverpool 6 (2) Newcastle 3 (2)

Referee: Andre Marriner

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Murphy, Fernandez, Clark (Willock 64), Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Sean Longstaff, Almiron (Gayle 85), Joelinton (Wilson 60), Saint-Maximin

Unused Subs:

Gillespie, Krafth, Lewis, Manquillo, Hendrick, Carroll

Crowd: 00,000

(Should have been Liverpool 1 Newcastle 2 not Liverpool 1 Newcastle 1 – You couldn’t make it up – Read HERE)

(Liverpool 1 Newcastle 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s dramatic draw! – Read HERE)

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