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Steve Bruce claims from number two leave Newcastle United fans incredulous

2 weeks ago

The Steve Bruce era is finally over.

The Newcastle United Head Coach very belatedly sacked on 20 October 2021 by the new owners, after experiencing unbelievable outside pressure to give him (Steve Bruce) a ‘sentimental’ thousandth game in management.

Predictably, it was yet another shambles and defeat under Steve Bruce, making it zero wins from the first nine games of the season and only seven victories in Bruce’s final 38 Newcastle matches. However, the outgoing NUFC Head Coach experienced his final bit of incredible good luck at St James Park, as the shambolic tactics and set up could and should have ended up with a five or six goal hiding in his final game, instead it was a bizarrely misleading final scoreline of only 3-2 to Spurs, despite Callum Wilson having Newcastle’s only effort on target, the other goal a crazy own goal from Eric Dier who was under absolutely zero pressure.

To the concern of some fans, despite the relief of Steve Bruce at last leaving after 27 months, his coaching staff stayed on. However, this proved only a temporary worry as this week we have seen confirmation from the club of Eddie Howe’s supporting cast and confirmation that both Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence have now left. The only remnant of the Steve Bruce era that is left, is Graeme Jones being kept on, though he only arrived in January 2021 and whilst Steve Bruce has always maintained that was his decision, plenty of fans have been happy to believe that this appointment was done above his head, as Bruce at the time had Newcastle on a shocking eleven match run of nine defeats and two draws. A run that would eventually extend to only two victories in 21 NUFC games under Steve Bruce.

Interesting / amusing now to see a spirited defence (shame they couldn’t achieve this on the pitch!) of Steve Bruce from his number two…

Steve Agnew talking to the Daily Star – 17 November 2021:

“As a coaching team, we worked tirelessly in a bid to improve the squad…whether it was on the training pitch, watching videos, analysing data or just discussing tactics, we certainly put the hours in.

“To say there were too many days off, or that the players got off lightly, is out of order.

“Whenever we did give them time off, it was only after taking advice from the sports scientists.

“Of course, you’re always judged on results and the fact is this season we knew we were under the pump because it just didn’t happen for us.

“Steve still has a lot to offer…his passion for the game is still there so it wouldn’t surprise me if he came back [into football management].

“What seems to be forgotten is his eye for talent…And his man-management skills are second to none.

“Steve, myself and Steve Clemence have had some great times together and hopefully, there’s another adventure waiting for us…From a personal point of view, I’ve been very fortunate to work closely with great managers like Steve…”

The bottom line is that Steve Bruce had last been appointed by a Premier League club back in 2009 when he arrived at Sunderland and until Mike Ashley decided on him as his latest patsy / stooge a decade later, it had been Championship clubs all the way when it came to the times Bruce was appointed by clubs until Ashley came calling. Neither Bruce or his coaching team convincing that their CVs made them the right choice for Newcastle United.

When it comes to how much time was actually spent on the training pitch and preparing for games, you can only point the finger at Steve Bruce, not those under him.

Danny Rose was the first to seemingly confirm fan worries / suspicions, when he arrived on loan and declared he had never seen or heard anything like it at any club he had been at previously, or friends had told him about at other clubs, Steve Bruce giving himself and the players far more days off than you got elsewhere.

Tales repeatedly then came out from journalists and social media suggesting that time away from the training ground was very regular, then only two weeks into the season and after three defeats and a draw, instead of using the fortnight to prepare for a massive game at Old Trafford, Steve Bruce instead went on holiday to Portugal and then used only a number of days in the second week to prepare for what ended up a 4-1 hammering by Man Utd.

Steve Agnew will obviously be loyal to Steve Bruce and that is fair enough…but I can’t see any evidence whatsoever that would support the idea that Bruce spent as much time preparing his Newcastle team as say Rafa Benitez, or the way Eddie Howe has started the job AND all the evidence of what people have said about what a workaholic Howe was at Bournemouth.

The minimum all fans expect is maximum effort on the pitch from players, the same when it comes to the managers and head coaches training and preparing their players for those matches.

Despite the woeful job Steve Bruce did at Newcastle United, journalists and pundits instead chose to ridicule NUFC fans for suggesting Bruce was failing and not up to the job, insisting he was a great manager who the supporters were lucky to have.

Yet ‘surprisingly’ not a single one of these very same journalists and pundits were pushing Steve Bruce as the perfect (or indeed any kind of) candidate for Spurs, Villa, or indeed, even for the rock bottom Norwich job, a club where he was a massive success as a player.

Funny that.


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