Newcastle United embroiled in ‘Training ground showdown’ – Report
Late Thursday night has brought news of a Newcastle United ‘Training ground showdown’ ahead of what looks a key match against Leeds on Friday night.
The Mail say that there is ‘growing dissatisfaction’ from a number of Newcastle players with Steve Bruce.
However, whilst a significant part of the squad are unhappy with the NUFC Head Coach, the report quotes sources saying that despite that, the team / squad are still ‘united’ as a group and desperate to beat Leeds tonight.
The report reveals that there was a meeting called by Steve Bruce on Tuesday, where he angered some players with what they believed was a ‘misguided use of running statistics’, whilst also claimed that there’s a feeling within the squad that the training schedule is designed to suit Steve Bruce rather than the playing squad. Whether that is a reference to Steve Bruce to heading off to Portugal instead of training in the first week of the international break, who knows? The Mail saying the reaction from players to the Head Coach was “What is he on about?”
The Mail then go on to detail a ‘Training ground showdown’ between Dwight Gayle and Graeme Jones. Jamaal Lascelles said to have split the pair up when Dwight Gayle had made clear how unhappy he was at not getting a single minute of Premier League football this season, The Mail quoting a source who said the NUFC Coach told the striker, “It’s always about you, Gayley,” and the 31 year old forward replied, “It’s been all about you since you’ve been with England.”
Whatever was and wasn’t said at the training ground, one thing is for sure, the Dwight Gayle situation perfectly sums up why Newcastle United are in such a mess.
Steve Bruce had no interest in playing Dwight Gayle last season, the striker making only four Premier League starts and named on the bench 23 times. Even when Callum Wilson was ruled out, Steve Bruce choosing to play no centre-forward at all most of the time, ignoring Gayle and Andy Carroll, the Geordie striker also only starting four PL matches last season and named on the bench 31 times.
Despite all of that and Newcastle moving on Carroll and Muto, not a single striker was signed by Newcastle this summer, instead we had Gayle given a new three year contract that takes him up until he is almost 35!
So Dwight Gayle is the only centre-forward cover for Callum Wilson BUT Steve Bruce clearly didn’t want to keep him, meaning he has refused to bring him on as a sub in any of the four PL matches so far when Newcastle have needed goals, nor did he start at Old Trafford in Wilson’s absence on Saturday.
Instead we had the sight of Joelinton (73 PL appearances and 6 goals) playing as a non-striker, playing largely towards the left side and to nobody’s surprise, not scoring yet again. The Brazilian brought on as a sub in the other three PL matches as Gayle has been ignored.
All that really matters of course is what happens on the pitch and all eyes on tonight at St James Park. A win and convincing performance would go some way to lifting pressure caused by a nightmare start of one draw and four defeats. However, anything other than a win against a Leeds team also struggling, we will see only more pressure added and who knows how both Steve Bruce and the players will react to that…
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