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Opinion

The name is Bruce, Steve Bruce – No time to win: My matchday (00)7 review

2 weeks ago
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With Steve Bruce we have now gone seven Premier League games without a win this season (one more and we can match the mighty Rafa’s streak).

The games against Watford, Southampton and Wolves (yesterday) were the sort where you would have backed us to grab an undeserved/lucky win last year.

Unfortunately, we are yet to have the element of Brucey luck which kept us up ticking in the second half of last season.

Here are my ratings for yesterday’s game against Wolves:

Attack – Abysmal (1/10)

Steve Bruce channelled his inner Pep Guardiola to yet another game without a recognised centre forward.

Unfortunately, Joelinton must have forgot his Grealish boots at home (in Brazil) and Almiron stayed true to his name (all Almi did was run). When Saint-Maximin did get his moment and our only clear sight on goal, he hit it straight at the goalie.

Best: Joelinton.

It’s amazing how much better a player can look when in his natural position.

Worst: Almiron.

Scalar quantity.

Midfield – Inept (3/10)

They were all easily found out by Wolves’ (inconsistent but) silky, quick passing game.

Our boys were at their best when they played as extra defenders (sat deep, if you may). Other than that, they floated around while Wolves played through them.

Best: Hendrick, for getting the goal.

Worst: Longstaff. Made to look bad for both assists by Raúl.

Defence – LOL (0/10)

Without Lascelles (the usual scapegoat for fans) in the line up, this was meant to be our best centre back pairing.

They conceded the same goal twice, playing a static defensive line against a speedy Asian forward.

Worst: Fernandez.

Lost his man for both goals. Wasted more passes than a good Christian girl.

Best: Manquillo.

Kept his flank quiet, though it might just have been Wolves preferring to play through Trinçao.

Goalie – Oh dear (2/10)

He didn’t have much to do today but could at least have done better with the first goal.

His priority was closing the near post on both occasions, leaving the far side at the mercy of his trailing leg. I hope the goalkeeping coaches would pick up on that because position coaches would have seen that!

The rest of his game was okay.

The “other strengths” Manager (0/10)

Steve Bruce switched to a 5-4-1 with Maxi as the lone forward and Joe “wins headers” linton playing left midfield.

Allowed an obviously struggling and injured 21 year old midfielder to play till he dropped, despite having pulled off the pitch once already.

Another great display of man-management, which was followed by fantastic substitutions.

Dwight Gayle was subbed on for 13 minutes into a long ball playing 4-5-1 formation as an isolated striker and, when desperately in need of a goal, there was yet another inspired sub with Murphy coming on for Manquillo to boost our attac… defensive threat?

The “tactical” manager (0/10)

Graeme Jones seemed to go into hiding after his 4-3-3 was abandoned.

Failed to press the issue to return to 4-3-3 after the 5-4-1 was clearly shown to be ineffective. Had no Answer for Jimenez all game.

Perhaps he’s laying back as he’s started to see the potential of coming in as interim boss.

This is where we now stand:

Position: 19th (2nd worst)

Record: W0/D3/L4 (joint 2nd worst)

Goal difference: -8 (2nd worst)

Howay the lads.

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