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Brendan Rodgers ‘interesting’ comments on Steve Bruce have now been fact checked

6 months ago

Brendan Rodgers was busy on Wednesday doing his media stuff ahead of the Newcastle match.

Third from the top Leicester meeting fourth from bottom Newcastle on Friday night.

When Premier League managers are talking about each other, we have all come to understand we need to filter a lot of it out. They are never going to say anything negative about each other and some of the positive claims are often dubious to say the least.

However, many Newcastle fans thought that Brendan Rodgers went on to a whole new level when talking about Steve Bruce.

Was this really the same Steve Bruce who has been at St James Park these past 22 months?

This is what Brendan Rodgers had to say about Steve Bruce:

“Steve Bruce has done an outstanding job. He’s limited in budget there. The expectation at Newcastle is huge. He’s got them organised and he’s shown throughout his career that he’s an excellent manager.

“They’re very good on the counter attack but they don’t solely sit back. They’ve got good players with great speed. It’ll be a tough game for us but hopefully it’ll be a tough game for Newcastle as well.”

A fair few ‘talking’ points amongst that lot, to say the least.

I have fed it all into my newly patented fact checker machine and these are the findings:

“Steve Bruce has done an outstanding job”

Fact check – Incorrect

Define outstanding please? Taking over a stable mid-table team / squad and after having a net spend of over £100m on transfers, you take Newcastle to fourth bottom and only saved from a place in the relegation zone due to three atrocious PL teams. Surely the opposite of outstanding?

“He’s limited in budget”

Fact check – Incorrect

As above. Rafa Benitez completely starved of backing after promotion and zero net spend on transfers in his three years at Newcastle. Steve Bruce though allowed over £100m net spend these past two years, it is not massive ambition overall BUT Bruce can have no complaints. In the past two years Brendan Rodgers has a net spend of £18m on transfers in comparison.

“The expectation at Newcastle is huge”

Fact check – Incorrect

The expectation is zero under Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce.

“He’s got them organised”

Fact check – Incorrect

Yes, organised into a complete shambles that are fourth bottom. Rafa Benitez built a disciplined and drilled defence and only six clubs conceded less goals in both 2017/18 and 2018/19. As things stand, only the bottom two clubs and Southampton (conceded nine in one game to Man Utd) have conceded more than Newcastle this season.

“He’s shown throughout his career that he’s an excellent manager”

Fact check – Incorrect

Define ‘excellent’ please. Steve Bruce has been a manager for 23 years but what has been ‘excellent’ about it? Never won anything, never finished in the top nine of the Premier League, almost half that management career in the Championship or League One.

“They’re very good on the counter attack but they don’t solely sit back”

Fact check –  Almost totally incorrect

Reality is that Steve Bruce’s entire plan is pretty much all about sitting back.

Good on the counter attack? Well, if you count giving the ball to ASM and getting him to run with it, then true up to a point. However, overall, Newcastle very rarely create any chances on the counter-attack, let along  score goals.

Many possible reasons why the likes of Brendan Rodgers comes out with this absolutely embarrassing nonsense about Steve Bruce.

The old pals act, fellow British pros etc, talk up the opposition so you look even better when you hammer them, it is what people expect maybe?


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