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Opinion

Steve Bruce? We need a game plan and an actual manager after watching this

2 days ago
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Matchday four is now done and dusted for the Mags and we find ourselves officially in the Premier League relegation zone.

Saturday’s opponents were by far the toughest we have faced this season and only the most optimistic fan would have hoped for anything more than a point.

In my opinion though, today’s was a case of two points dropped and the culprit was none other than our esteemed and decorated manager, Steve Bruce.

Here is my short review of the game:

First half performance

Pretty solid defensive showing, until a goalkeeping howler allowed CR7 to add yet another tap-in to his collection. Before that, we had half-decent chances and the story could well have been different had Joe Willock been the recipient of that pass collected in the box by Longsaff.

Second half performance

Graeme Jones’ counter attack and semi-high pressing football paid off quite early…and what a finish that was from Manquillo for his first goal in black and white.

Sadly, we conceded a second following some underwhelming defending on the break and more amateur goalkeeping.

Nevertheless, the boys showed good spirit and played for pride to the very end.

Two late goals – one screamer from Bruno (poor goalkeeping again…) and a slick team goal finished off by Lingard, made the game look rather one-sided in the end; a little unjustly if you ask me.

Managerial masterclass

Steve Bruce decided to start Freddie Woodman in goal for the Ronaldo homecoming, despite having Darlow fit. He also opted to play Hayden at centre-back while Schar and Fernandez kept the bench warm.

With the game finely balanced at 2-1, and a point to play for, the first change was made: Steve Bruce took off the brilliant Manquillo and replaced him with Murphy. Thus, the right side of our defence was left without a natural defender.

Following a weak challenge from Murphy, Manchester United went on the counter and Bruno did the rest, 3-1 and game over.

At 3-1, the lads kept their heads up and played as positively as possible.

Then the second substitution was made: Jamal Lewis for Ciaran Clark at LCB. I’ll be looking out in the comments for anyone who can explain this one.

Final change saw Willock come off for… Hendrick.

Final thoughts

Despite the final score, this was an okay performance against a Manchester United side who never got into gear (until their final goal) and were quite honestly there for the taking.

There was a lot to admire but yet a lot left to desire.

The positives were the composure from the boys when coming out of defence, the patience to attempt those long balls, and the hard running for 90 minutes.

On the other hand, we need a game plan and an actual manager.

The substitutions killed the team’s rhythm at the back and did nothing to help the attack. We played without a midfield once again, lumping the ball from back to front.

Had we faced a better coordinated team, we could be talking about six goals or more conceded today.

After matchday four

19th – 1 point

W0/D1/L3

5 scored, 12 conceded.

We are in for a very long season indeed.

Howay the lads.

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 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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