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Investigation into Steve Bruce ‘running on empty’ Newcastle team miracle v Leicester

7 months ago

On Thursday I wrote something on The Mag after Steve Bruce made some extraordinary claims.

Well they seemed extraordinary to me and not for the first time, the NUFC Head Coach a bit of a legend when it comes to finding bizarre excuses for his failings when in charge of Newcastle United.

I would now like to revisit what Steve Bruce had to say two days ago, especially in the light of Friday night’s events, plus a few more bits of research I have to add to the mix.

This is what our Geordie genius had to say in the pre-match media stuff ahead of Leicester, getting his excuses in early.

Steve Bruce – Thursday 6 May 2021:

“A lot of people are running on empty because it has been non-stop, basically, for two years, especially the players.

“The players desperately need a break.”

Now I have to say, I found it quite staggering that Steve Bruce thought he can get away with these type of claims, making out that Newcastle United are somehow especially disadvantaged these past two years whilst he has been at St James Park.

I mean disadvantaged by outside events and how many matches played in a limited period of team, if anybody wants to shout out that Newcastle United have been disadvantaged these last two years due to the presence of Steve Bruce, well then there’d be no arguments from me…

Indeed, I argued that this busy busy busy schedule should actually be a massive advantage for Newcastle United and Steve Bruce:

No European football.

No travel back and forwards around Europe for Champions League or Europa League.

So few domestic cup matches.

International football – Is there any Premier League club that has as few internationals as Newcastle United? There might be one or two but the vast majority have more players travelling and playing for their countries time after time, indeed some PL clubs having a seriously high number of internationals.

I just find it laughable that the journalists let Steve Bruce make these claims about tiredness and so many matches, nightmare for Newcastle United etc etc putting them at a supposed disadvantage, without saying hold on…then listing the info above.

As always when it comes to this particular shameless Steve Bruce excuse of supposedly tired players to blame, you can’t ignore when during his loan spell last season, Danny Rose said he couldn’t believe how many days Steve Bruce gave the NUFC squad and himself off, saying it was unbelievable and far far more than he’d ever experienced with Spurs and what he knew went on at various other Premier League clubs that he knew about.

Anyway, last night against Leicester, I think we did have clear evidence of tiredness, fatigue, ‘running on empty’…the only thing though, it was Leicester City who clearly looked relatively out on their feet.

Normally such a sharp team in terms of thought and movement, against Newcastle they were anything but. Of course the NUFC players deserve full credit for taking advantage but Leicester were so slow and sloppy, constantly giving possession away, at times their players looked like they were running through treacle as they attempted to recover the ball and chase back.

As Steve Bruce took the media acclaim for a fifth win in the last twenty six Newcastle United matches, I didn’t hear him mention much, if anything at all, about tiredness, fatigue, running on empty etc etc.

We especially didn’t hear anything about how number of matches some clubs have had to play has actually been a massive advantage for Newcastle United and Steve Bruce! Or at least it should have been.

Steve Bruce says these past two years have been a nightmare (yes yes, enough of the cheap but accurate jokes, it has totally been a nightmare for Newcastle fans watching Bruceyball) and I have done a but of research on three clubs and the amount of football they have been forced to play since Steve Bruce got the Newcastle job in July 2019.

Number of matches Newcastle, Leicester and Man City have played:

Since 9 January 2021 and up to the end of today (8 May 2021):

Newcastle 19, Leicester 24, Man City 31

Since 1 October 2020 and up to the end of today (8 May 2021):

Newcastle 37, Leicester 49 Man City 57

Entire 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons once we get to 31 May 2021:

Newcastle 88, Leicester 101, Man City 119

These are serious differences and when you look at the seven months since 1 October 2020, Leicester (49) have played 33% more games than Newcastle United, never mind all the extra travelling, especially with European competition.

Whilst in that same time period, Man City (57) will have played 55% more matches than Newcastle (37), with even more European travel than Leicester.

If Man City beat Chelsea later today, that confirms them as champions, with ‘only’ then the Champions League final to totally focus on.

On Friday night when Man City come to St James Park, I’m not saying Newcastle will win BUT I do think they should thrown everything at this match, especially as now relegation is all but mathematically avoided.

Newcastle United should have one of the freshest fittest sides and buoyed by that win at Leicester, should really go for it against a Man City side with their thoughts elsewhere.


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