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Steve Bruce goes on the (team morale) offensive “Do you not think I want better players?”

4 weeks ago

No wonder the Newcastle United media love Steve Bruce.

The journalists loving the fact that the NUFC Head Coach makes their job so much easier.

Why would you want the carefully guarded, well chosen, giving little away, delivery at Press conferences from a Rafa Benitez?

When instead you can get ready made quotes that write the headlines and stories for you, from somebody who comes across like he is the lovechild of JFK and John Carver?

Can you imagine any quality manager (or head coach…) on the eve of such an important game as this Leeds one, coming out with: ‘Do you not think I want better players?’

Second bottom of the Premier League, conceded more goals than every single one of the other 19 clubs, the club a total mess, then you are sending out your 11 players tonight with that message in the back of their minds?

It is also classic timing, when Newcastle United make a start to the season of one draw and four defeats, are out of the League Cup already and second bottom of the league, to then declare: ‘I hope I can keep the club just ticking along and make sure that the club stays where it is…’

Steve Bruce was talking about Premier League survival as the summit of his ambitions at Newcastle United but even that is surely a very twisted version of reality from this absolutely shameless chancer.

Steve Bruce inherited a mid-table team with the seventh best defence in both Rafa seasons in the Premier League, Mike Ashley has then allowed a £125m net spend during Bruce’s 26 months…survival should not be the summit of Newcastle’s ambitions now.

Imagine if Rafa Benitez had stayed AND had been allowed that £125m net spend (instead of the zero net spend he was allowed in his three years four months), absolutely no one would be accepting it if Rafa was claiming survival was the limit of what could be aimed for.

Media, fans, whoever, would be thinking aiming for the top eight as the hope, then maybe ninth or so as the realistic worst to be aiming for.

Steve Bruce, in his entire 23 years of management, has never managed a team that finished top nine in the Premier League.

When it was put to Steve Bruce about Alan Shearer saying about the shambles we now see and calling Newcastle United a ‘hollow and empty’ football club, Bruce then goes with the old fallback of: ‘All Newcastle fans want to see their team competing at the top of the table, like they did 20 years ago.’

That is of course the dream scenario BUT it is not of course what the reality is, fans aren’t unhappy because we are not enjoying Keegan / Sir Bobby football, supporters are unhappy because Newcastle United is a club with a shameless owner who has no ambition whatsoever for the team on the pitch and employs people to run the club / team not based on ability BUT rather how desperate they were to get the job(s) and their willingness to follow orders and not rock the boat, no matter how stupidly the club is ran from Mike Ashley down.

To make matters so much worse, Rafa Benitez made worse players better and Steve Bruce is now making better players worse. Rafa produced a team that was far better as a unit than its (budget) parts, Steve Bruce has six attacking players in the squad who cost £135m (Wilson £20m, Almiron £20m, Gayle £10m, ASM £20m, Joelinton £40m, Willock £25m), no other Premier League manager (or head coach…) would be doing as badly as Steve Bruce and / or complaining about how badly done to they are.

Steve Bruce talking to the media on the eve of the Leeds match:

‘Ticking along’:

“I hope I can keep the club just ticking along and make sure that the club stays where it is and we maintain our Premier League status.”

Asked if ‘ticking over’ is good enough?:

“Do you not think I want better players?

“Do you not think I want a better squad to choose from?

“Do you not think I want the ability to compete at the top end of the transfer market?

“It’s not possible.

“So I have to accept it and get on with my job as best I can.

“It’s not great, I understand that. But that’s where we are.

“In these difficult moments, I hope my experience of being in it a long time can steer us along that path [to safety].”

Asked if would consider resigning due to the Newcastle fans calling for him to go, now they are allowed into games?:

“I will continue to do my best.

“I’m never going to walk away from the challenge of it, that’s for sure.

“I’d be sick if I said I enjoyed it [fans chanting against him], the frustration is if you don’t get results then ultimately the head coach bears the brunt. I have to accept they [results] haven’t been good enough.

“My family think I’m a bit sick because I never really think about those things when you’re up against it.”

The biggest problem this season…:

“Only six teams have scored more than us.

“[So] Our work all this week has been the defensive side as you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that we’ve conceded too many, and that’s got to improve.”

Alan Shearer said on MOTD last Saturday that Newcastle United are now a ‘hollow and empty’ club, that was put to Steve Bruce:

“All Newcastle fans want to see their team competing at the top of the table, like they did 20 years ago.

Unfortunately, at this particular moment, we’re not there. So the frustration for everybody concerned.

“My job is to keep us…and I knew this was going to be difficult, on an even keel.

“Try and get on with the job and move the club forward as best I can, which is very, very difficult, of course.”


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