Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!


Mike Ashley informs Steve Bruce job not under threat as impressed by performances and entertainment – Report

2 weeks ago

Mike Ashley is happy with Steve Bruce and has no intention of getting rid of him.

Only at Newcastle United would this be met without a blink of the eye from the fans after such a disastrous start to the season.

Despite a generous set of fixtures to kick the 2021/22 season off, Steve Bruce’s Newcastle team have failed to win any of seven matches, are already out of the League Cup, plus only three points from a possible eighteen in the Premier League.

This ‘business as usual’ message (or should that be ‘carry on regardless’…) has been delivered by Steve Bruce’s close friend and media cheerleader, Luke Edwards.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out the most obvious way that the ‘reliable information’ has reached the man from The Telegraph.

Mike Ashley – Lee Charnley – Steve Bruce – Luke Edwards…

Luke Edwards of The Telegraph via Twitter:

“Reliably informed Newcastle United do not believe Bruce is under pressure.

“There is a view performances have deserved more points.

“The dressing room is united behind him and team is more entertaining to watch than previous years.

“His job is not under threat and is unlikely to be any time soon.”

Quite amazing the spin and work that Luke Edwards and other journalists / pundits/ friends of Brucey are prepared to put into propping up their mate.

Steve Bruce of course has been very keen to try and claim this new king of the entertainers title, after the draw with Leeds:

“We are supposed to be boring Newcastle United and have no style of play, yet everyone raved about this spectacle.

“More of the same please.”

Well despite a shocking start to the season themselves, Leeds completely dominated the first half and should have had the game sown up by half-time, Newcastle hardly having a kick and Leeds missing some great chances, including an open goal. After the break Leeds continued to play the only way they know how (and want to play) under Bielsa but became so ragged and open that it was ideal for Newcastle to counter-attack with likes of ASM. It was a poor quality game really between two poorly performing teams and if playing anybody decent, they would both have been well beaten. Newcastle only attacked a relatively decent amount as the game went on because of the way Leeds play. The visitors still ended up with 65% possession at the end AND having had clearly a lot more and better chances in the 90 minutes.

After this latest game at Watford, Steve Bruce declared:

“We’ve played well again, and created enough chances to win three games. I’ve got to take the positives again. I’ve enjoyed watching us again, it’s just a shame we didn’t take the chances that came our way. Our performance was terrific, we’ve done okay of late and haven’t managed to get that first win.

“You need to get a win to turn the corner, but I thought we’ve played well against Leeds. For an hour against Man U I thought that we played very well, large parts against Aston Villa…”

It is quite incredible how Steve Bruce rewrites history, no wonder Mike Ashley loves him.

Even more incredible how the media allow Bruce to get away with it so often…actually, change that, the journalists brazenly encourage him.

Newcastle deserved nothing in their 4-1 hammering at Man Utd, plus by the way, Steve Bruce made them out to be this brilliant all powerful impossible team to play, yet apart from hammering Leeds 5-1 on the opening day, Man U have lost to Villa, Young Boys, West Ham (League Cup), drawn against Southampton, then got very lucky wins 1-0 against Wolves and a very fortunate 2-1 at West Ham with an 89th minute winner.

Played well against Leeds? Newcastle deserved nothing out of that game overall. Nor indeed the other point gained against Southampton, who absolutely dominated at St James Park with 65% of possession and by far the most and best chances.

Played well ‘large parts against Villa’, Newcastle only had one effort on target all game in the 2-0 defeat!

Watford are woeful and Newcastle did on balance deserve to win (but didn’t!) this game but surely only Norwich are at the same level as the Hornets.

Mike Ashley finds Steve Bruce’s football so entertaining and the performances so good, he hasn’t even bothered to go to a single match this season, even at Watford which is on his doorstep.

It is ironic how the media would so negatively spin the Kevin Keegan years at Newcastle as supposedly some kind of reckless style of football and NUFC fans claimed to be some kind of fools who were happy to see their team concede loads of goals and not win matches, all in the name of preferring entertaining but often losing football. Total lies, we loved Kevin Keegan’s football because it was brilliant, scored a lot of goals and most of all it was winning football! Plus, whisper it, Newcastle didn’t concede many goals under Kevin Keegan.

In the five seasons he started in charge…38 goals conceded in 46 Championship matches of 1992/93, then in the Premier League it was 41 conceded in 42 in 1993/94, 47 in 42 in 1994/95, 37 in 38 in 1995/96, 40 in 38 in 1996/97 (Dalglish took over in the January). The almost title win in 95/96 wasn’t due to reckless defending over the season, Newcastle only conceded two more goals (37 v 35) than Man Utd.

The important thing obviously as well, is the relationship between goals scored and goals conceded, in those five Keegan seasons it was +54, +41, +20, +29 and +33.

Under Rafa Benitez, Newcastle only conceded 47 and 48 goals in the Premier League, with goal differences of -8 and -6.

With Steve Bruce, Newcastle have these past two seasons conceded 58 and 62 goals, with goal differences of -20 and -16.

Steve Bruce the new king of the entertainers? For neutrals maybe, the sheer number of goals in our games and most of them in the NUFC net!

Of all 20 Premier League clubs, only West Ham have had as many goals as Newcastle in their opening six games. However, whilst both teams have seen 21 goals scored in total in their matches, whilst the Hammers have scored 13 and conceded 8, with Steve Bruce it is scored 7 and conceded 14. Only rock bottom Norwich have conceded more goals.

We have gone from ultra negativity with Steve Bruce over most of the past couple of years, to now just increasingly ultra cluelessness this season. Already at -7 goal difference and 14 conceded, at this current rate Newcastle would concede 88 PL goals by the end of the season with who knows what final goal difference.

The current averages are 3.50 goals in each Newcastle PL game this season, with NUFC averaging 1.16 goals per game and the opposition 2.33.

When you consider the relatively easy run of games but failure to beat any of Southampton, Leeds, Villa, Watford, Burnley (in the cup) and West Ham (who NUFC have beaten at home both these last two seasons), who on earth are we going to beat?

Great performances and entertainment, Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce are living in dreamland (whilst the rest of us have nightmares).

Newcastle have played ok in some games and have attacked to an extent in some matches BUT overall they have been terrible and this is not entertainment! It is losing football and overseen by somebody who kids himself that it has just been plain bad luck as to why Newcastle’s results have been so woeful.

Steve Bruce may be within his rights to claim Newcastle were the better team on Saturday and more deserving of the three points. However, if you then apply that to all six of Newcastle’s PL matches, NUFC would still only have six points, because on balance (often overwhelming), Bruce and his team have deserved nothing from the other matches, all five opposition teams were better on the day and more deserving of a win.

Newcastle United’s upcoming fixtures of 2021 look to be divided into three parts:

Until end of November:

Wolves (A), Spurs (H), Palace (A), Chelsea (H), Brighton (A) Brentford (H) and Arsenal (A).

Between 1st and 4th of December:

Play Norwich and Burnley at home.

Rest of December:

Leicester (A), Liverpool (A), Man City (H), Man Utd (H) and Everton (A).

By the end of December 2021, it will be 20 Premier League matches gone.

Honestly, as things stand, I look at this next set of seven games and under Steve Bruce, I only see a very tough struggle. A struggle to see any obvious win and very few points.

Then you have those two at the start of December that already look absolutely must win matches. However, things very rarely work out in that (winning) way against other poor teams, especially when you have lost that winning feeling and are poor yourselves.

Then what a treat we have lined up for the rest of December, thankfully at least this year (everything crossed) the pubs will be open this time for some festive cheer.

The time for new ideas and getting Newcastle United playing better football is now.

However, as Mike Ashley, Lee Charnley, Steve Bruce and Luke Edwards have made clear, that isn’t going to happen.

Instead that quartet and the countless Ashley / Bruce sycophants will continue to lecture us that actually it is us as Newcastle fans who are the deluded ones.


If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]

Have your say

© 2021 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks