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Newcastle United go 160 minutes without shot on target yet Steve Bruce claims this…

4 weeks ago

Steve Bruce is at it again.

The Newcastle United Head Coach very active in the media.

Steve Bruce desperate to put out a narrative that tells a certain story about the season so far, his mates in the media happy to put it out unchallenged.

Since the final whistle against Aston Villa, these are some of the comments I have picked up from the numerous press interviews the Head Coach has done, regarding the season so far and that Villa game in particular.

Steve Bruce:

“I really have been encouraged by what I’ve seen.”

“We lost on key decisions and a long throw-in, which is disappointing, but there’s a lot to be encouraged about.”

“I was pleased with a lot of our play today but big decisions went against us.”

“The overall performance, we gave as good as we got, but the decisions went against us.”

“Large parts of it, I thought we were the better team, we certainly gave as good as we got.”

“I have been pleased with a lot of our football, we haven’t quite got the results but a lot of positives to take.”

Everything fine, nothing of concern here, don’t worry, all under control, actually everything is great.

So what about the reality?

Looking at the two games so far, I make it that 200 minutes of football have been played by Newcastle United. Against West Ham it was 90 minutes plus three and five minutes added on respectively at the end of the first and second halves, then Aston Villa we had 90 minutes plus five and seven added on respectively.

The Newcastle United threat to goal, efforts on target, has been:

Five minutes into West Ham match – Callum Wilson scores from ASM cross

Twenty three minutes into West Ham game – Wilson makes a chance out of nothing with a backheel that is comfortably saved

Forty minutes into West Ham match – Murphy heads home Ritchie’s cross

Seventh minute of added time at end of second half v Aston Villa – A weak header from Joelinton struggles to reach Martinez in Villa goal.

That is it.

Between the Murphy goal against West Ham and the Joelinton ‘effort’ against Aston Villa, Newcastle United had actually went 160 minutes of football without a shot / header on target, although in reality we are still waiting for an effort on goal since Murphy scored in that first half against the Hammers.

There was some initial hope delivered by ASM’s first half display against West Ham but he faded after the break and then with Aston Villa doubling up on Saint-Maximin, Newcastle’s entire attacking plan was made redundant. It was left to Callum Wilson to feed off scraps and try to make something out of very little with hopeful balls from the back.

On Saturday, Newcastle had their full strength first choice team out, with the exception of the goalkeeper. Villa on the other hand are in a state of flux, as well as the departed Grealish they are missing a handful of first choice players, either through injury or lack of fitness, plus new signings not ready to start.

In the real world (not Steve Bruce’s), Newcastle United have already conceded six goals and in 200 minutes have had two serious efforts on goal of their own which both produced goals, plus that Callum Wilson backheel and Joelinton’s pass back header.

Next up is Southampton and news of their surefire demise has maybe been a bit premature as they earned a 1-1 draw against Man Utd on Sunday.

Steve Bruce and his players have a long two weeks to think about things after the visit of Southampton on Saturday, two weeks later visiting Old Trafford after the international break.

Will Newcastle United score a goal, or even have a shot on target, against the Saints? Tune in for this next exciting instalment and remember, no matter how badly things go during Saturday’s match, simply listen to Steve Bruce afterwards and if you trust in him, everything will be just fine…


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