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Dwight Gayle comments from Steve Bruce raise important questions

4 weeks ago
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Steve Bruce has been talking about Dwight Gayle.

The Newcastle United Head Coach quizzed on why the striker isn’t getting a chance.

These Dwight Gayle comments from Steve Bruce raise important questions for me, which I will address below.

First of all, what the NUFC Head Coach has had to say…

In the aftermath of the Leeds match, Steve Bruce asked why Dwight Gayle yet again hadn’t got on the pitch?:

“I think it is the system that we are playing, which I’m looking at of course.

“Dwight trains every day, he is a great pro.

“I’m sure he will be frustrated.

“Well I know for a fact he is…

“But then again, so are ten, twelve other players.

“I have got to pick a team to win a football match and go with a system…and he hasn’t found a way in yet.”

You have to laugh with that last line, Steve Bruce saying he has ‘got to pick a team to win a football match’ and that Dwight Gayle ‘hasn’t found a way in yet.’ Such irony, when Bruce ‘hasn’t found a way’ to win any Premier League match this season, indeed, Steve Bruce has picked a team to lose three of five PL matches and the two points gained in a very lucky draw against Southampton and Leeds, who both dominated most of the game(s)…at St James Park!

I think there are two big important questions raised by Steve Bruce’s reasoning / excuses.

Firstly, when Bruce only gave Dwight Gayle four Premier League starts this season and clearly has no interest in playing him this season, even as a sub, why was he (Gayle) given a new three year contract that  almost takes him up to his 35th birthday, instead of moving him on and bringing in a striker that Bruce WOULD want to play?

Secondly, Steve Bruce talks about Dwight Gayle not suiting his ‘system’ (is this the attacking plan / system which consists of give the ball to ASM and hope for the best?), that might hold some validity but for the fact that Brucey hasn’t even given Gayle a single PL minute off the bench in these five games.

Steve Bruce also tries to excuse it by saying Dwight Gayle is in the same position as another ten or twelve players…I’d like to see him name them! Every other outfield player as far as I can see has got on the pitch at some time in the Premier League this season, apart from Dwight Gayle…

With Wilson missing, to not select Dwight Gayle in the team is seen as a joke by many / most Newcastle fans.

To not give Gayle a single minute even from the subs bench, in any match, with Newcastle struggling so badly, proves just how unfit Steve Bruce is to be in the Newcastle United job.

These are the substitutions that have came off the bench so far in the Premier League matches:

Newcastle 2 West Ham 4 (Fraser 70, Sean Longstaff 84, Joelinton 85)

Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0 (Sean Longstaff 46, Joelinton 77, Fraser 89)

Newcastle 2 Southampton 2 (Joelinton 67, Fraser 84)

Man Utd 4 Newcastle 1 (Murphy 77, Lewis 84, Hendrick 85)

Newcastle 1 Leeds 1 (Fraser 62, Krafth 81, Murphy 90+1)

As well as Dwight Gayle not getting a single minute in any of the five matches, you also have to wonder why Steve Bruce leaves it so late to make substitutions at all.

Especially when you consider West Ham went 4-2 up on 66 minutes, Villa 2-0 up on 62 minutes, Man Utd 2-1 up on 62 minutes and then 31 up on 80 minutes.

Against West Ham you didn’t see a striker (Joelinton) introduced until the 85th minute, against Villa it was 77 minutes before any attacking change (Joelinton), whilst against Man Utd not a single attacking player brought on at all.

The home matches against Southampton and Leeds as well, yes NUFC got a point out of each but surely these were two of the most winnable games of the season, especially with the injury problems Leeds had at the back. Yet against Saints only one attacking change (Joelinton again!) before the 84th minute, then against Leeds you had Fraser on 62 minutes but then Krafth 81 minutes and Murphy not until a minute into injury time.

Why was Steve Bruce not going all out to win these games against Southampton and Leeds in the final stages and equally, what was there to lose in those three other matches when Newcastle were losing and desperate for goals?!!

Dwight Gayle might not be a first choice Premier League striker in most people’s eyes BUT of all the options on the bench in every one of these five matches, surely everybody, apart from Steve Bruce, would say Gayle would be most likely to come on and get a goal.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Leeds 1 – Friday 17 September 8pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Saint-Maximin 44

Leeds:

Raphinha 13

(In brackets the first half stats)

Possession was Leeds 65% (65%) Newcastle 35% (35%)

Total shots were Leeds 21 (13)  Newcastle 17 (7)

Shots on target were Leeds 9 (5) Newcastle 7 (3)

Corners were Leeds 5 (4) Newcastle 4 (1)

Referee: Mike Dean

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Manquillo (Krafth 81), Hayden, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Sean Longstaff, Almiron (Fraser 62), Willock, Saint-Maximin, Joelinton (Murphy 90+1)

Unused Subs:

Gillespie, Schar, Lewis, Hendrick, Fernandez, Gayle

Crowd:

50,407 (3,200 Leeds)

(Allan Saint-Maximin – Enjoy him in the time we have left – Read HERE)

(Steve Bruce says he will continue to keep out the noise and keep his dignity – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 1 Leeds 1 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Marcelo Bielsa gutted after Newcastle 1 Leeds 1 – It’s a game we should have won – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 1 Leeds 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Friday’s draw – Read HERE)

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