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Opinion

Steve Bruce sacking day attacks on Newcastle United fans – Have now been fact checked

1 month ago
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Steve Bruce has now left St James Park.

After two years, three months and three days, Newcastle United fans finally now free of Steve Bruce, as well as Mike Ashley.

However, the sacking of Steve Bruce has unleashed a torrent of abuse aimed at Newcastle United fans.

Some outrageous claims put forward by shameless journalists, football pundits / people and fans of other clubs, as ‘proof’ of how good / great Steve Bruce has been at Newcastle United and how unfairly he has supposedly been treated.

Yes, I know we all want to put Steve Bruce in our past now, as well as the shameful former NUFC owner who employed him, BUT I do think it is important that the nonsense and in many cases, blatant lies, are challenged.

Here is my fact checking of many of the various claims I have seen and heard today…

“Steve Bruce took over a poor failing side from Rafa Benitez.”

Reality

Despite lack of any proper backing from the owner and having to rely largely on loans and budget signings, in Rafa’s final 28 PL matches his NUFC side had the eighth best form in the Premier League, whilst in Rafa’s final sixteen PL games it was the fifth best form (and fifth highest number of goals scored).

“Disgraceful how all the Newcastle United fans abused him.”

Reality

Steve Bruce said that only a very small minority of ‘keyboard warriors’ were against him and that the overwhelming majority of (true) Newcastle United fans were right behind him and indeed, as proof of that, Bruce said that he received sackfuls of letters through the post from supporters saying that he was doing a great job and whenever he met NUFC fans on the street they all told him the same.

“Steve Bruce might not play good football but he is a results manager.”

Reality

In the past year from 17 October 2020 to present day, Newcastle United accumulated less points than any other Premier League club, only 41 in 42 PL matches.

“Steve Bruce was doing a great job.”

Reality

The last ten months have seen an NUFC win ration of only 18% with seven wins in thirty eight games, including this season of no wins in nine including six defeats, despite an easyish run of early fixtures.

Plus, these last ten months have seen Steve Bruce’s NUFC conceding more goals (65 in 35 PL matches) than any other Premier League club.

“Yes but what can you expect with that Championship defence?”

Reality

Rafa Benitez saw his defence in the Premier League concede 47 goals in 2017/18 and 48 goals in 2018/19.

Steve Bruce has with basically the same defenders (plus likes of Krafth and Lewis – the latter saw Bruce spending £15m on him but not a single PL start these past eight months) conceded 58 goals in 2019/20, 62 goals in 2020/21 and 19 in the first eight games of 2021/22 (three more than any other PL team and if that average carried on, would mean 90 goals conceded this current season).

“Yes but he has had no money to spend.”

Reality

Recent analysis from Sky Sports showed that only seven Premier League clubs had allowed a bigger net spend than Newcastle, during Steve Bruce’s time at NUFC.

Mike Ashley stated in a public statement that £160m had been committed on buying players during the couple of years Bruce had been at the club. A net spend of £125m+ for Bruce whilst at Newcastle, compared to Rafa Benitez having less than zero net spend (a small profit on transfers) during his three years under Mike Ashley.

“Yes but at least Steve Bruce kept his dignity.”

Reality

Steve Bruce has repeatedly refused to take responsibility, instead naming and shaming individual players and throwing them under a bus, to try and deflect from his own shortcomings with tactics, team selections, substitutions, wholesale injury problems and so on. This includes blaming Matt Ritchie for conceding an equaliser against Wolves, when it was actually Bruce who totally messed up a substitution, that directly led to the goal.

Bruce banned The Mail’s Craig Hope from press conferences because he was the one journalist prepared to ask awkward questions, the ones that fans wanted asked.

Bruce also embarrassed himself by sneeringly talking about matching the ‘Mighty Rafa’ at Newcastle United.

“Steve Bruce matches / did better than Rafa Benitez.”

Reality

Despite Steve Bruce having been allowed a net spend more than £125m higher than Rafa Benitez…

In the Premier League Rafa Benitez averaged 1.17 points per game, compare to Steve Bruce’s 1.09 points per game.

In NUFC PL matches overall, Rafa had a goal difference of -14, whilst Bruce ended with a goal difference of -45.

“Steve Bruce has shown at Newcastle he’s an excellent Premier League manager.”

Reality

If this is the truth and you are being honest, would you have Steve Bruce as manager at your Premier League club then?

“SILENCE.”

Hello, hello, is there anybody there….?

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