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Middlesbrough boss comes out with laughable comments on Newcastle United and fans

4 months ago

Chris Wilder did an excellent job at Sheffield United.

The Blades going up through the divisions in rapid time and looking like European candidates for much of the 2019/20 season, before ending up ninth, only five points off the top six. That season followed by one where pretty much everything that could go wrong, did, with Chris Wilder leaving and Sheffield United relegated.

Taking over at Middlesbrough in November 2021, Wilder inherited a team that had played 17 Championship team that had lost seven and won only six. The new Boro boss showing his worth with eight wins in his fourteen league matches so far, only three defeats.

I think Chris Wilder has shown he is a decent manager BUT maybe he should stick to what he knows about…

Tonight (Tuesday), Middlesbrough face West Brom, Chris Wilder up against Steve Bruce.

Bruce taking over at the Baggies when they were fifth in the Championship, he has now taken them to eleventh and they have failed to score a single goal in the three matches so far, picking up only one point from a possible nine.

Newcastle United fans having predicted what was going to happen AND what Steve Bruce would then be coming out with…

Steve Bruce talking after West Brom lost 2-0 at Luton at the weekend:

“I have only been here two or three weeks. I saw things to be pleased about in the first-half, but the one thing I have learned from the second half is change – change is difficult for them [The West Brom players].

“They have played a certain way and to try and implement change is something I will look at too.”

Yes, blaming the previous manager (who had West Brom in fifth place) and coming out with the old, landed with players who are struggling because stuck with playing how they did under the ex-boss. Steve Bruce was still blaming Rafa and the Newcastle players for this, some year and a half after taking over at St James Park!

Anyway, Chris Wilder has fallen into the fatal trap of going down the managers code route, where you only ever shower over the top praise on the opposition boss, especially when they are a long established English / British / Irish character in English football…

Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder talking about Steve Bruce and Newcastle United, ahead of West Brom visiting Teesside tonight – as quoted by the Northern Echo:

“He went into a job at Newcastle that he could never turn down.”

(Well this is absolute nonsense for a start. Steve Bruce himself admitted / claimed that he had already twice previously turned down the Newcastle United job before agreeing to work for Mike Ashley)

“But it was such a difficult job. You look at that football club now, and it’s completely changed from what it was like when Steve went in.

“I’m not wanting to get into a fight with Newcastle fans, but I don’t think I’m being controversial when I say that Eddie Howe has gone into a completely different situation to the one Steve was part of.”

(Hmmm. I agree totally with this BUT not in the way Chris Wilder intended! Steve Bruce inherited a Premier League squad that the previous season had the eight best PL form over the final 28 games and the fifth best PL form in Rafa’s final 16 matches. Under Benitez, NUFC having the seventh best defence in each of his two PL seasons with Newcastle. In contrast, Eddie Howe inherited a total shambles, a team that had won none of their nine games so far in 2021/22 and that had won only seven of the final 38 Steve Bruce matches, with a defence that had become a total mess and one of the very worst in the top tier. Rafa Benitez was allowed a zero net spend over his three years at Newcastle, whilst Mike Ashley backed Steve Bruce with a net spend of £125m+ in his time at St James Park)

“You ask any of the players there that played under Steve and are playing as part of this new era now, and they’ll tell you how much easier to play at St James’ Park now than it was then. It’s what we’re all trying to create – an environment at a home game which allows the players to express themselves, play their game and give themselves an opportunity to win.”

(Newcastle players have been lining up to say that it is far easier to play now for the club because Eddie Howe is here. The amount and quality of training and attention to detail, seeing Howe massive improve the squad as a whole and as individuals. After the shambles of Steve Bruce, where players have said they couldn’t believe how many days off Bruce gave himself and the players, plus players admitting they weren’t fit enough earlier this season under Bruce’s management. Players often commenting on how much harder they are working now at Newcastle BUT at the same time pointing to how it has massively improved them as individuals and as a team)

“What you don’t want is a situation where there’s booing and heckling and criticism. It’s a lot of stuff that’s happened, and Newcastle fans will know their club better than I do, but from a manager’s point of view, I think that would have been a difficult place to play football, and it was always going to be difficult for Steve being a part of that because he was an appointment made by somebody that the supporters weren’t having.”

(Yet again, this absolute myth. At Newcastle matches, Steve Bruce was so lucky that there was such minimal ‘booing and heckling’, with any that did come his way, coming in the very final stages of his time at Newcastle, over two years into the job. Bruce massively helped by fans not allowed into stadiums for so long AND the fact that Newcastle supporters actually far more restrained at pretty much any other club. Whether fans were allowed into stadiums or not, how would other fanbases have responded to runs such as only two wins in twenty one matches???)

Looking ahead to tonight’s match, Chris Wilder saying this about Steve Bruce and West Brom:

“If you look at the group, they’ve got talented players all over the pitch, the majority of whom were playing in the Premier League last year. This is still a really tough game.

“Steve, being the winner he is, he’ll want to come back up north and get his stint at West Brom off and running with that first win.”

(It is hilarious really, when you get people making baseless statements such as ‘Steve, being the winner he is’ and then giving absolutely nothing to back that up! Steve Bruce has been in management 23 seasons now and has won…nothing. Newcastle fans now watching on from a distance and seeing just how predictable this is all going to turn out at West Brom…)


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