Here are some of the comments made by Steve Bruce after today’s loss against Arsenal.
BBC Newcastle’s Matthew Raisbeck has tweeted out the following statements from Steve Bruce.
“What disappointed me was we gave it away too cheaply at times & had one or two warnings in the first half but got back and cleared it. We were inches away in first half – hitting the post, Joelinton header flashed just wide. My goalkeeper’s not had a shot to save.”
“I didn’t think we used Joelinton as well as we could have. We can work on that and get the service into him a bit quicker and get more balls into the box. I couldn’t fault their workrate, endeavour and attitude.”
We agree with Steve Bruce’s assessment in the preceding comments. Joelinton needs to lead the line a bit more and they have to finish some of these chances. We also thought they gave the ball away for too easily and just lacked discipline when in possession.
Lee Ryder tweeted the following comments that Bruce had about how Newcastle were punished but that there was nothing in the game between the two teams.
“It was disappointing to lose the way we did. A mistake and we were punished.”
“I can’t remember Arsenal having a chance over than the goal. There was nothing in the game full stop.”
We disagree somewhat with Bruce here as they were punished but it was coming. The decision to replace Shelvey with Jetro Willems was the turning point for us. Willems went straight into the midfield when he was supposed to go to left wing-back.
This led to confusion and the squad lost focus and cohesion. It was just after Willems went to left-back that he was beaten by Maitland-Niles whose cross Aubameyang clinically put past Dubravka.
This is perfectly explained by Craig Hope in the following article who we feel is spot on with everything he writes.
The buck stops with Steve Bruce after clumsy introduction of Jetro Willems (who did not know where he was playing) disrupts NUFC rhythm before ragged final half hour https://t.co/vs1zHUuJ4q
— Craig Hope (@CraigHope_DM) August 11, 2019
You cannot have these types of mishaps against top Premier League sides. While they were punished by a mistake it was due to a lack of communication from Bruce to the players on the pitch.
Bruce explains the mix-up between Ritchie and Willems but again does not see how it was a problem.
I think it was just a lack of communication. We wanted to play Matt Ritchie inside. He only played there two minutes. It was quickly sorted out, not a problem.
Mark Douglas has a report in the Chronicle in which some of the following comments have been published. These comments also explain why Bruce had no options but to bring Willems on and push Ritchie into the midfield.
Lascelles not feeling too great. Warning over Dummett so I felt it important to have two centre-backs on the bench. Lascelles wasn’t very well this morning
Jonjo was injured. We don’t think it’s too serious but he was restricted in his movement. Ki wasn’t injured, just not part of it.
The failure to have a natural replacement for Shelvey has been proven to be detrimental for the team. Bruce continues on talking about the formation but once the midfield was compromised, it was hard for the lads to mount a suitable comeback.
Formation? We’ve played it and it’s something which suited us. You only change it when we went a goal down.
“We were a little bit open in last 20 minutes but if you look at it and analyse it against a really good Arsenal side, we only conceded one big mistake. I understand there will always be criticism here- that’s part and parcel of it.
“We had a go in the last 20 minutes and we were stretched.
This team played very well at times and especially in the first 20 minutes. There is a lot to build on and we hope they can put this slight disappointment behind them. But Bruce will have to learn from the tactical errors made in this match. Arsenal were there for the taking and Newcastle have failed to take advantage of that.