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Extraordinary / bizarre from Steve Bruce 3 years ago – Fast forward 2021 Newcastle United

3 weeks ago
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Steve Bruce is under pressure.

Newcastle fans desperate to get him out of their club, the Head Coach an absolute disaster.

Seven games into the season and not a single win, indeed the last 36 Newcastle games (all competitions) have seen a win ratio of only 19%, Steve Bruce failing to win 29 of these last 36 matches.

Matt Law of The Telegraph writing about Steve Bruce:

“The manager has to look at himself.

“He’s admitted to playing injured players.

“He’s ended the transfer window with an imbalanced squad and there is no discernable plan or identity.

“Sure there have been difficult circumstances but it feels like a vicious circle with him.”

I bet you are thinking, hang on, The Telegraph, surely that should be their NUFC correspondent Luke Edwards giving his usual adoring, ignoring reality, defence of his big mate?

The catch is, this isn’t September 2021 writing about Steve Bruce and the mess at Newcastle United, instead it is September 2021 and writing about Steve Bruce and the mess at Aston Villa.

When The Telegraph’s Matt Law wrote the words above, Aston Villa had just been beaten 4-1 by Sheffield United, making it five games without a win, Bruce having by far the most expensively assembled squad in the Championship and having been in the job just a few weeks short of two years.

Steve Bruce talking after Aston Villa had lost 4-1 in the Championship on 1 September 2018:

“Ultimately I take the responsibility because I pick the players, but some of them have got to have a look at themselves too…

“From back to front we were awful in a lot of aspects, but I’ve mentioned it far too many times, it’s arguably the worst one I’ve faced, but that’s the way it is.

“We can talk about tactics and ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ and ‘dinosaurs are going to come out’, but at the end of the day we didn’t put our boots on.

“When you’re the manager of Aston Villa and you get beaten in the manner we did today you’ve got to accept the flak that comes your way.

“Whether that is going to be the case, I sincerely hope not, but I’ve got to be expected to face that because the first half was my fault.

“Is there anybody better? I’m sure people are going to ring in and say ‘yes there is’, and if that’s the case so be it.”

Steve Bruce lasted another month before Aston Villa sacked him, the then manager having won only one of his final Villa matches.

Dean Smith came in and despite the wreckage Steve Bruce left behind, the new boss actually got Villa promoted that very same season!

Interesting that Steve Bruce challenges whether ‘there is anybody better’, exactly the kind of thing he says now with Newcastle United, as though he has got an all but impossible job with massive odds supposedly stacked against him.

Also, very interesting to see back on 1 September 2018, what the Aston Villa fans (and those of other clubs…) had to say, responding on Twitter:

‘Stop blaming the players you’re a sh.t manager’

‘Sh.te manager ruining another club.’ (Leeds fan)

‘If only the manager would look at himself A Bruce team playing cr.p and he throws the players under the bus again 2 horrific results and performances and only 1 constant.’

‘Potatoe head.’

‘How about taking a look in the mirror?’

‘Get a grip Steve! You can’t keep chucking your players under the bus! You’re supposed to be the one with the tactics or a plan! Enough is enough now, you’ve had your chance, time to go!’

‘Bruce needs to find a mirror big enough to fit his fat f.ckin head in and look at himself.’

‘Yes that’s right Steve. It’s someone else’s fault as usual.’

‘Bruce needs to look at himself and his coaching team – i am sure the new owners will be.

One of the best and biggest squads really poorly used and the traditional Bruce speech with dig at fans. Needs to go, sadly.’

‘I like Steve Bruce but if he can’t get this team promoted then serious questions have to be asked.’ (Arsenal fan)

‘What about you? Call yourself a manager? You pick those players and play them chronically out of position. Please resign, pr.ck.’

‘He’s got to go, wish he would look at himself and see he is the problem, shocking tactics, no plan b and constantly playing players out of position. Worse thing is he constantly blames the players but forgets he brought them!!’

‘Have some dignity and just say it isn’t anywhere near good enough you need to do better yourself. Stop blaming everyone else!’

‘Interview sounds like team is run via a WhatsApp group ….. ‘who can play tomorrow, first 11 to reply are in!’… do we not do fitness checks on injured players anymore ffs!!??’

‘Fat Geordie b.stard will be comfort eating again tonight!’

I would like to think that in a month’s time Newcastle United will have new owners sacking Steve Bruce!!!

If all the above isn’t bizarre / extraordinary enough, just think on this…

Three months after getting the sack and no doubt massive pay-off after failing at Aston Villa in the Championship – despite such massive advantages including most expensively assembled squad, Steve Bruce then gets the job at Sheffield Wednesday.

They look after him so well, allowing him to wait and take on the job due to family circumstances, then only six months later Steve Bruce forces his way out of Hillsborough, refusing to carry on.

This is due to a truly mental thing, a Premier League club prepared to employ Steve Bruce in July 2019.

Even even more mental, that Premier League club willing to pay a reported £6m to get Bruce and his coaching staff out of Sheffield Wednesday and into Newcastle United.

(Our thanks to NUFC fan @MarcSDuffy who we noticed flagging up those Matt Law comments from three years ago on Twitter)

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