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Opinion

Newcastle United fans have been back 4 matches and this is what Steve Bruce is reduced to already

1 week ago
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We all wondered how Steve Bruce would cope with Newcastle United fans back inside St James Park and at away games.

A long year and a half where matches were played behind closed doors during that spell from March 2020 to August 2021.

The only (partial) exception was when the final home match of the 2020/21 season saw a much reduced 10,000 Newcastle United fans allowed to attend the 1-0 win over Sheffield United.

Throughout those 17+ months, Steve Bruce repeatedly said what a miss it was, having no NUFC supporters allowed into St James Park and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, for Newcastle United fans, during this long period of only able to watch the games on TV, they were saying time and time again, just imagine if fans had been at this game today, imagine the abuse Steve Bruce would be getting…

However, for Steve Bruce, his point of view during lockdown / restrictions was that those criticising him online were just a very small bunch of unrepresentative keyboard warriors, and that actually the overwhelming majority of Newcastle fans were fully in support of him and thought he was doing a great job.

Even during a run of two wins in 21 games in a period of over four months, Steve Bruce still claimed this to be the case, to the astonishment of Newcastle United fans that were watching abysmal negative football as NUFC lost game after game, Bruce clueless with his tactics, team selection and how he set the side up.

A poll in the Chronicle of 14,000 fans, showed some 97% of them wanted Steve Bruce to go.

Just when you thought he couldn’t get more ridiculous in terms of his denial of what Newcastle United fans really thought of him, Steve Bruce played his joker.

At a press conference before a match, Steve Bruce suddenly announced that before speaking to journalists, he had actually just finished reading through sacks of fanmail that he said he regularly gets through the post, from Newcastle United fans telling him to ignore that very small unrepresentative group of online critics and to carry on, because the vast majority of real Newcastle United fans think he is doing a great job.

Well, this was a cracker, to not only claim this tsunami of support from the NUFC fanbase BUT then also to claim in this digital age that the way they showed support was for countless Newcastle United fans to send him letters of support through the post…absolute classic!

To nobody’s amazement, Steve Bruce never showed any of these sackfuls of fanmail, not even a handful of them.

It is almost as though they might never have ever existed…

Fast forward to August / September 2021 and Newcastle United fans have now had the pleasure of watching four Premier League matches in the flesh, so far.

Four NUFC PL matches and four games where Newcastle United fans have chanted for Steve Bruce to go. The away matches at Aston Villa and Man Utd in particular, the away following – the real hardcore support, chanting for ‘Brucey’ to leave ASAP.

Second bottom of the Premier League, conceding goals for fun (twelve in four PL games), clueless tactics, random team selection changes that make little sense other than somebody simply praying that he might stumble on the right team, so how has Steve Bruce handled the extra pressures of having Newcastle United fans inside grounds on top of the shambles on the pitch?

Not very well, I think it is fair to say.

Just read what he had to say in these press conferences before and after the hammering at Man Utd, look at his face in the video clips from these press conferences, the absolute contempt he clearly has for these journalists daring to ask anything uncomfortable.

It is quite astonishing just how embarrassingly useless he is proving at dealing with the anger and frustrations of supporters, with for once the journalists asking him something he doesn’t like.

That’s the thing, Steve Bruce is acting like this and yet for Newcastle supporters, they think the media / journalists have been unbelievably soft with Bruce week after week, month after month.

Also, when you look at the stick he is getting at games now fans are back, bear in mind that the tens of thousands who would be giving Steve Bruce far far far greater grief, are boycotting matches and the Head Coach isn’t having to face them.

The Leeds match could be ‘interesting’ to say the least.

Over eight thousand empty seats at the Southampton match to watch the latest home shambles from Steve Bruce, gifting domination of the match to a relegation rival.

However, a rare Friday night kick-off is sure to see a heightened atmosphere to start with and with a bigger crowd for a fixture with a bit more rivalry / spark, a fair few Newcastle United fans no doubt with a fair few pints more inside of them pre kick-off, against a team that beat Newcastle home and away last season, it isn’t difficult to imagine how supporters will be acting towards Steve Bruce unless something drastic changes…

Steve Bruce pre-Man Utd press conference:

“My job is to always try and improve the squad and never be satisfied. Never.

“And I thought a couple of additions to the squad, on loan, would help us enormously.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to do that.”

Simon Bird (The Mirror):

“Were you comfortable with wording of the club [ED: Mike Ashley] statement?”

Steve Bruce (raises his voice and clearly angry):

“Awww Simon, it is what it is.

“It doesn’t make any difference if I’m comfortable, or disappointed, or whatever, it is what it is.”

Unknown journalist:

“Steve, you talk about the [transfer] policy there, could you refresh the fans on what that is?”

Steve Bruce (gives a right dirty look and waits a few seconds before answering…):

“Well surely you must…the policy, you have just seen the policy with the [Mike Ashley] statement haven’t you?”

Unknown journalist:

“Yes but can you expand a little bit on it…”

Steve Bruce:

“Well the policy has been written in front of you and pretty clear as far as I’m concerned, you know.

“Look, I wanted to try and bring in a couple of players to add to the squad and it wasn’t possible, end of.

“What can I do about it?”

The Chronicle (via Lee Ryder) asked Steve Bruce after the Man Utd defeat if he actually had been on holiday after numerous fans had urged them to ask the question, widespread media reports claiming Bruce had spent the first week of the international break in Portugal…:

“Wow.

“Go on…

“Do you think I really have to answer that to you?

“That’s what the fans are asking are they?

“We have trained all week and we were in every day.

“The preparation was meticulous.

“Let me tell you. There is nothing more [that could have been done] in preparation.

“What was I supposed to do?

“We had six of them away.

“The preparation was fine and we have been in all week.

“You could see the game plan was what we worked to.

“To have to answer questions like that is typical to the question I would get off you and your newspaper.

“If I am being brutally honest…that is why they [Newcastle fans] are the way they are, the way you are and your negativity and your newspaper.”

What an absolute embarrassment he is.

As always, Steve Bruce refuses to take personal responsibility for the shockingly bad job he is doing and the net result we see in front of us match after match.

I have never ever known anybody come out with so many shameful excuses, which is quite remarkable when you consider that we have had the likes of JFK, Pardew, Carver and McClaren before Bruce came along.

Apparently justifying going on holiday to Portugal in the first week of the international fortnight. Steve Bruce declaring: ‘Let me tell you. There is nothing more [that could have been done] in preparation. What was I supposed to do? We had six of them away.’

Not sure who the sixth one was but Newcastle had Fraser, Krafth, Schar, Lewis and Hendrick away on international duty.

The thing is, not a single one of these are a first eleven choice for Steve Bruce and none of them started at Old Trafford…

So the obvious reply to Bruce’s latest nonsense is that why would having squad fringe players missing, mean you couldn’t spend the full two weeks preparing with your first choice players?

Stats from BBC Sport:

Manchester United 4 Newcastle United 1 – Saturday 11 September 3pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Manquillo 56

Man Utd:

Ronaldo 45+2, 62, Fernandes 80, Lingard 90+1

(In brackets the first half stats)

Possession was Man Utd 65% (70%) Newcastle 35% (30%)

Total shots were Man Utd 21 (15)  Newcastle 12 (6)

Shots on target were Man Utd 7 (3) Newcastle 3 (0)

Corners were Man Utd 7 (4) Newcastle 3 (1)

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Newcastle United:

Woodman, Manquillo (Murphy 77), Hayden, Lascelles, Clark (Lewis 84), Ritchie, Sean Longstaff, Almiron, Willock (Hendrick 85), Saint-Maximin, Joelinton

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Schar, Krafth, Fernandez, White, Gayle

Steve Bruce reveals 3 new injury worries after Manchester United 4 Newcastle United 1 – Read HERE

Alan Shearer rave review for Ronaldo as Ian Wright identifies Newcastle’s biggest problem – Read HERE

Steve Bruce refuses to answer holiday question Newcastle United fans are asking after latest hammering – Read HERE

Manchester United 4 Newcastle United 1 – Ronaldo takes reds top as Bruce has NUFC in relegation zone – Read HERE

Manchester United 4 Newcastle United 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s hammering – Read HERE

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