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Opinion

Eating Humble Pie? That should be Steve Bruce feasting on that after his ‘achievement’

3 weeks ago
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You have to hand it to Steve Bruce.

I have never seen anybody so shameless in dismissing and minimising the negatives.

Then any positives, the claims he makes around them are so often quite extraordinary.

In 2018/19, despite having had zero net spend allowed by Mike Ashley over the course of his three years, Rafa Benitez built a squad on a very tight budget that finished on 45 points.

Steve Bruce inherited a defence that only six Premier League clubs had conceded less goals than in both 2017/18 and 2018/19.

In his final 28 Premier League games of 2018/19, Rafa and his NUFC team had the eighth best PL form. In the final 16 PL games of that season, Newcastle accumulated the fifth highest number of points and goals.

After two years in the job and Mike Ashley backing him with a net spend of over £100m, Steve Bruce and his team have finished the 2020/21 season on 45 points. Fixtures falling kindly so that already relegated Sheffield United and Fulham provided the opposition in the final two matches, Newcastle edging past them both due to Joe Willock goals, with very little threat on goal otherwise.

Steve Bruce’s response…:

“We will never say it is an achievement to finish twelfth for a club of our stature…but it’s an achievement.

“I hope the people who have written us off, they will eat humble pie and give us some credit.”

Eating Humble Pie definition:

‘To eat humble pie, in common usage, is to face humiliation and subsequently apologise for a serious mistake.’

Yes, manager / head coach that wins any match / matches deserves some credit, yes, even if luck has played a large part in it.

However, reaching 45 points and finishing lower mid-table is surely the very least that Steve Bruce should have ‘achieved’ this season.

Honestly, you would think Newcastle had ended the season with five goal wins over Man City and Man Utd, not edging past two woeful already long relegated clubs. Fulham even played a weakened team because Scott Parker is already planning for the Championship, leaving out many of the numerous loan players they had attempted to build survival on this season.

The very fact that even Steve Bruce says that twelfth should never be seen as an achievement for Newcastle United but…then do exactly that, perfectly sums him up.

As for the ‘eat humble pie’, well it is Steve Bruce who should be feasting on that, considering how he has blundered through this season, inviting disaster. Only the existence of there such shockingly bad teams at the bottom meant the final couple of weeks weren’t full of relegation threat.

To eat humble pie ‘is to face humiliation and subsequently apologise for a serious mistake’, well two wins in twenty one matches was about as humiliating as it gets, particularly considering the shocking football we were subjected to for 90% of the time.

The NUFC Head Coach ended the season with five wins in the final fifteen matches, seven victories in the last twenty nine games, yet Steve Bruce talks of achievements and humble pie for his critics.

Can you imagine what he and his pundit / media mates would have been like if Steve Bruce had managed the incredible achievement of 46 points, one more than the ‘Mighty Rafa’ achieved. Obviously, ignoring all the nonsense Benitez had to deal with and the relative riches the NUFC owner has backed Bruce with.

Steve Bruce only reached the 40 points mark four days before the season ended and yet he is angling towards an open top bus to parade his ‘achievement’, honestly, every extra day he remains at St James Park is a day too long.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Fulham 0 Newcastle 2 – Sunday 23 May 4pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Willock 23, Schar pen 88

Fulham:

Possession was Fulham 64% Newcastle 36%

Total shots were Fulham 14 Newcastle 10

Shots on target were Fulham 0 Newcastle 4

Corners were Fulham 5 Newcastle 4

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Murphy, Fernandez, Krafth (Schar 73), Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Willock, Sean Longstaff, Almiron (Hendrick 80), Saint-Maximin (Gayle 65)

Unused Subs:

Mark Gillespie, Ciaran Clark, Javier Manquillo, Matty Longstaff, Jamal Lewis, Andy Carroll

Crowd: 2,000

(Scott Parker left pondering what if he’d taken Joe Willock on loan after Fulham 0 Newcastle 2 – Read HERE)

(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Fulham 0 Newcastle 2 – Read HERE)

(Fulham 0 Newcastle 2 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(A decent match to end an indecent season – Read HERE)

(Fulham 0 Newcastle 2 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Sunday’s victory – read HERE)

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