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The Approach For Tottenham Is Simple – Don’t Get Thrashed

There has been a lot of speculation about tactics this week. Steve Bruce has been using the 3-5-2 system during pre-season, but it has actually morphed into more of a 5-3-2 with the wing-backs often sitting very deep in the first two games.

After the Norwich nightmare, Steve Bruce had mentioned that all options would be looked at. We presume there could be some tactical changes against Tottenham on Sunday. However, that really should have been the case regardless.

Tottenham are a different animal to Norwich, though you wouldn’t think so after the way the Canaries tore Newcastle apart. However, Tottenham are a perennial top six-side while Norwich will do well just to survive this season.

Tactical changes should have always been on the table due to the different level of the competition. The question is, how drastic will the changes be.

Matt Ritchie spoke about the new system in his post-Norwich interview. This is what he said:

“You guys, the fans and everyone will all have their own opinions.

“Mine is that we have stick together, continue to work hard, try to improve.

“The group is very similar to what we had last season.

“I still believe the new additions can strengthen us.

“Everyone has to be patient.

“We have new players in, and there’s been a slight adjustment to the system.

“We’re only two games into the system.

“No, we didn’t play very well so we will look at that, find the reasons, work on it throughout the week and go again next week.

Ritchie is correct that it is a new system that will take time to get going consistently. However, if it doesn’t work, scrapping it as soon as possible would be the best course of action.

It will be very interesting to see how Steve Bruce sets up the side against Tottenham. Bruce did say that the plan against Norwich was to counter, but they didn’t do that very well.

Against Tottenham, we would expect an even more cautious approach. Rafa Benitez would approach top-six sides by parking the bus and hoping to nick a goal on the counter. It drew criticism from the national press, but it was very effective.

Steve Bruce– no need for heroics on Sunday, just keep it close

We would hope that Steve Bruce also adopts a similarly cautious approach at Spurs. For all the talk of playing open football, there is a time and place for such aesthetics. It is not away to Spurs.

The Chronicle have an interview with Chris Waddle. He believes parking the bus is the route to go down at Spurs:

“It is.

“Tottenham are on a high again, they have been top four and to the Champions League final.

“There’s a lot of confidence around that squad now.

“It’s like looking on the reverse in some ways.

“Tottenham will be looking at this and thinking: ‘If we want top four again, we have to beat teams like Newcastle.’

“Steve will have to get the side working again, and it’ll be a hard-working performance again on the counter.

“Can they soak the pressure up and hit them on the break like Villa did for a period?

“If you go toe to toe with Spurs there will only be one winner.

“Steve has to get his tactics right because confidence is a little bit low after the first two games.

A thrashing at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium would be another blow to the already suffering confidence levels at the club. Steve Bruce needs a performance at Spurs. He needs the lads to show passion and discipline.

A result, at this point, would be a bonus. Newcastle need to keep it close, and re-introduce the defensive composure that was absent at Norwich.

40 comments so far

  • G

    Aug 22, 2019 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #1

    Its like somebody brought back Ron Atkinson. Unbelievable.

  • Genjikai

    Aug 22, 2019 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #2

    Martoon it was posada after boycott arsenal blaming the boycotters for the lack of atmosphere.
    No me i know the real problem lies with ashley.
    The atmosphere at sjp has been dying for years.
    Why do you think wor flags sprung up, as fans tried to take action to change something about the club that was slowly dying.
    Ashley is asset stripping everything.
    His new market of supporters is chinese students.
    Thats who is replacing st holders of many years.
    Look around yourself at the next game and tell me its not the truth.

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 22, 2019 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #3

    G what do u mean re Ron?

  • Jib

    Aug 22, 2019 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #4
  • ronaldo aarons

    Aug 22, 2019 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #5

    Only a few months ago we were in a position of going into games v the top 6 about how to get something from the game.

    Now we talk about nicking points off Norwich and avoiding thrashings v the top 6.


  • ronaldo aarons

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #6

    It is only 2 games but as long as Bruce is here the team will continue have the hallmarks of a soon to be relegated side.

  • geordietom

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #7

    jib …

    bit of humour mate glad to see you still haven’t lost yours …

    #hidfromnaybodyinmelife# …


  • IrishRob

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #8

    “I’m hiding in honduras, I’m a desperate man
    Send lawyers, guns, and money
    The shit has hit the fan”

    Makes me think of a song Brucie will be singing soon.

  • Markaccus

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #9

    352 in itself is not the problem imo. It’s the set up within that formation where the problem is.
    Rafa played 343, the wide forwards provided a link between the midfield and the attack. Bruce plays 3 midfielders that tend to play a deeper role, and there is consequently no link between them and the forwards. He needs to play one attacking midfielder, or at least give either longstaff or Shelvey a more advanced role.

  • Genjikai

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #10

    Who would you prefer longstaff or shelvey in a more advanced role?

  • The Sheikh'sMate

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #11

    Don’t get thrashed?? Does that mean nothing more than 10goals against?
    My god, if this had been Rafa it would have been about how we will contain Spurs… How much we have fallen is so sad it hurts even at my age.
    Bruce isn’t good enough but it’s not his fault he took on the job… How could he turn it down?
    We all know who’s fault it really is… What goes around comes around.. I can’t wait for that day

  • IrishRob

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #12

    I dont think Bruce has lost the dressing room but I do get the feeling that they all know hes useless and are all just depressed.

    Imagine having a boss like Rafa who you feel had the answer to everything, then you get Brucie who has the answer to nothing.

    They must all feel frustrated and like headless chickens at the moment.

    Bruce shouldn’t be the manager of a premier league club, at best he should be the manager of a Kebab shop.

  • geordietom

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #13

    any way back to football hoping we sneak a 1 nil win like we did when Tim Krul played a blinder against spurs a few years ago …

    i can dream cant i …

  • Reilly

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #14

    Rafa was to negative tho lads.With Bruce we are going to get free flowing football.

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #15

    So, OP the chief boycott drum beater hasn’t been to a match for EIGHT YEARS!

    Given that his OP stood for Optimistic Panda ie., a black white filled with optimism about NUFC that takes some beating.

    Never mind not supporting us when we last got relegated, he never supported us at anytime during Rafa’s management.

    No, he left all of that to the die hard ST fans and those who paid to attend on match days.

    And now, he emerges out of his self imposed exile to berate those very same fans as Ashley stooges, wimps, apathetic and brain washed.

    And implored them to boycott the Arsenal game!!

    I’ve said this many times before…

    It’s easy to support a boycott when you never go to games.

    Posada, I think it was, posted earlier that it sounded like only him, me and geordietom amongst only a few others on this blog regularly go to matches and I didn’t see too many of the doom sayers sticking their hands up and saying “me too”.

    Yes we all want Ashley out, yes we wanted a better manager than Bruce and yes we aren’t happy at two losses to start the season.

    But unlike OP and the majority on this blog we aren’t fair weather fans or those who shout, slag and criticise from a keyboard or while they struggle to watch a stream.


    Guess why?

    Because that’s what SUPPORTERS do.

  • Jib

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #16

    Bruce looks like he drinks a lot of freeflow beer

  • beefman13

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #17

    Spurs, of course are looking at this as the easiest three point of the season, that’s the only thing in our favour.

  • IrishRob

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #18

    G…. did you ever look up the definition of an ammonite?? Lol lol lol lol

  • Lindisfarne

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #19

    The Approach For Season Is Simple – Try Not To Get Thrashed

  • Lindisfarne

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #20

    “free flowing” the wrong way

  • Mindshaft

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #21

    Bills – please don’t start that again , had enough of it yesterday , blog was terrible all day

  • Genjikai

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #22

    You going to any more away games?

  • IrishRob

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #23

    Rafa was negative because he knew that playing free flowing football with this team was a recipe to getting hammered. Bruce is too simple a man to understand this.

  • Lindisfarne

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #24

    I wonder what Bruce sees on the training pitch, literally, “That’s it lads, keep it up. Good stuff!”
    His famous man management shining through.

  • Lindisfarne

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #25

    Rafa went to a back 5 to give security to the side, building confidence to then attack. Steve seems to have doubled down and lost the balance to attack and any defensive organisation.

  • posada

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #26

    Aug 22, 2019 at 8:58 AM
    Comment #89
    I try not to get involved in blog fights but I have to comment on posada.
    It seems to me he is NOT having a pop at people who don’t go to games as obviously this is an international blog. He is is having a pop at posters who who don’t go to games but have a pop at posters who still do (if you see what I mean).
    Cheers aye.
    Thats about right.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #27

    We’re going down there on Sunday and will be trying to park the bus, not to try and nick a point but to keep the score respectable. If he loses his first six does anyone think he’ll be sacked or will people just keep pointing to the ten games without a win last season.

  • posada

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #28

    Brilliant from Bills Son Is Back.
    One of the few match going supporters who still contributes to this blog.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #29

    With the 61M promised by LC we could have bought a specialist LWB and RWB while moving on one of Manquillo or Yedlin. We could have bought Rondon and a young Joselu replacement for around 20/25M and kept Perez, we’d have been going in to this season targeting 8th and a cup run. How does any of this make any footballing, business or even common sense. It just doesn’t and it’s sickening.

  • martoon

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #30

    People are right – under Rafa you felt we had a chance defending well and a chance of scoring on the break but so far under Bruce with this team we haven’t defended well and never look like scoring – it’s going to be a difficult watch on Sunday!

  • G

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #31

    Munster, sorry about the slow response. The reference to Ron was a documentry I watched years ago when he was Coventry manager. His pre match talk consisted of “Try to score a goal, and try not to let too many in”. Rather shockingly he was sacked shortly after the documentry aired on TV.

  • G

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #32

    Irish, yes I knew already, but in my head the poor pun about Middle Eastern states sounded better.

  • martoon

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #33

    Jail @27 – Within the first 7 games we’ve got Watford and Brighton at home – to me these are must win games – if we don’t then we’re in serious trouble. If you remember under Rafa we always did well playing the teams around us.

  • IrishRob

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #34

    But G it didnt even make sense lol. Ammonite has nothing to do with middle Eastern countries. I think the word you were looking for was Armenian, it’s the only middle Eastern country I can think of that you could possibly mix the two up with. Or was there another country you were thinking of?

  • Genjikai

    Aug 22, 2019 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #35

    Is anyone that doesnt go to the match not a supporter?
    Do you go to away games?
    If you dont does that make you only half a supporter?

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 22, 2019 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #36

    Bruce wouldnt inspire any great confidence as a choice but when rafa parked the bus he was considered a technical genius. If we had brought in a clever young (say) german coach to replace rafa and he parked the bus , the football sages on here would be stroking their chins musing about the wise head of our clever new man. Like I said bruce was hardly inspiring but we either give him a chance or we dont.

  • IrishRob

    Aug 22, 2019 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #37

    Same thing will happen this year as it did last, we will win games we shouldn’t win and loose games we should be winning. It’s crazy to think that there isn’t one team in the premier league that we feel we could definitely beat. There literally isn’t ONE team I’d be comfortable saying we can beat.

    Most of the top teams have about 10-15 teams they know they can beat. That’s sad we dont even have one!

  • IrishRob

    Aug 22, 2019 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #38

    Munster tbf hes getting chance after chance for the past month, despite the fact we know hes terrible. Just because people are complaining about how terrible he is doesnt mean were not giving him a chance.

    But honestly I’d rather a bin-man managing our club atm. If one good thing comes out of it it’s at least the FCB wont be thinking hes pulled a master stoke and was a genius for hiring him.

  • WLtoon

    Aug 22, 2019 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #39

    I dont think it would make any difference at all if Bruce had spent the 61M left in the kitty,, he is tactically inept and his record shouts USELESS. You just have to luck at his record at moneybags Villa who had the most expensive squad in the EFL

  • Bobbybee

    Aug 22, 2019 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #40

    The irony of this blog. Some of those complaining about Bruce also whined constantly about Rafa’s tactics. Now they reckon he was amazing. Very strange….
    Anyway, we all know this is an international blog, but those from abroad don’t get to demand anything from match going fans. You chose to support a team thousands of miles away, not us. Your choice. You made it, nobody else.
    We are NUFC. The best thing about NUFC has always been the fans because the team has generally been shit. By fans, I mean those who go to games regardless of results. Those fans attracted Keegan here, both as player and manager. These are facts you don’t get to change. Those same fans brought Rafa here and kept him here, regardless of results. Those on here who whined constantly about the results made match day on here a disgrace.
    Here’s one thing you need to get into your heads. Newcastle fans turn up regardless of results. If you don’t like it, watch somebody else.
    Supporting Newcastle isn’t just about football. If you live in a different country you won’t understand this. We’re a forgotten people by the government. It’s only recently that they finally gave us three lanes on the motorway from Leeds ffs. We all support Newcastle because we’re proud of the city and region. We are Newcastle… United.
    Let’s be honest, most of you started following us under Keegan. Exciting football. You thought you’d get some glory, like those abroad who latch onto Manure, City, Chelsea, Liverpool. We hoped so too. Sadly, we were all disappointed. That’s life.
    So, fans who turned up after decades of watching shite, are always going to turn up. THIS IS NOTHING NEW.
    Now I welcome overseas fans, but this is our club that you started to follow. This is how we are. This is how we roll as they say in America. Don’t like it? Tough shit. I’m not changing for you. Nobody is. Get over yourselves ffs.
    There’s a reason 47k turned up v Arsenal but that wasn’t reflected on here. This is not representive of NUFC.
    See that C in NUFC? It stands for CLUB. So, you don’t go to games. Fair enough. I get that. Are you members? Why not? Try going to any club, anywhere in the world and start demanding and see what happens. We pay for that honour. You could too, but you don’t.
    This is why Posada gets angry. You don’t understand us. Newcastle till I die means that to most match going fans. Respect that, its what makes us what we are whether you like it or not. It always has.
    Anybody who starts ‘boycotting’ now isn’t really. They’ve stopped because we’re shite. As many others have in reality. But the hard core fans will never stop going. Accept that. It’s life. If I wanted to be really horrible I’d say its a club, if you’re not a member f**k off, like they’d say in any other club in the world, but I won’t, I’m just trying to make you understand why Posada is how he is. Get off his back. He speaks in general for over 40k people.
    I’ll tell you now for nothing, and this isn’t meant as an insult, but where I sit, the fans could not give a toss what none match going fans, think. They honestly could not possibly care less. And that’s why over 40K still turn up.
    Why aren’t they singing much? Maybe because of the doom and gloom around the club. We hate Ashley more than you, but having a crappy owner is part and parcel of supporting any club. We’re a club in crisis, you expect us to be happy?
    For those like cockney mafia who claim to know why people support Newcastle, he doesn’t. Not a clue.
    This is us. Like it, don’t like it, we don’t care. Get over it.
    Sorry it dragged on, but that’s life too. 🙂


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