Ever since Steve Bruce was hired, tactics have been at the forefront of many discussions. Rafa Benitez had Newcastle set up brilliantly against top six sides in efforts to try and secure results. He was criticized in the national media for playing this type of football but generally praised locally for his tactical acumen.
Steve Bruce has never been considered a tactical genius by any means. However, the criticism he has received this past week about his tactics were overblown. While he is no Rafa Benitez, Steve Bruce is a very experienced manager and has played the game at the highest level.
Today, Steve Bruce set the team up perfectly. The players played their part superbly and executed the well-developed tactical plan. It was a Rafa-esque display. That is not meant as a slight to Bruce in the least. He set this team up and he developed the plan this week.
However, he is always going to be compared to Rafa Benitez. This was a similar result to some of the unexpected ones last season. The credit goes to Steve Bruce and these players. This was not a plug and play tactic Rafa left behind in an old desk that Bruce has stumbled upon and dusted off. It was formulated, implemented, and executed by this year’s staff and players.
They deserve all the credit for it. Here are some Newcastle United fans who were impressed with the tactical display this afternoon.
Still have a bit to improve but really good team performance, Steve Bruce had a good game tactics wise and put out a good formation. Hopefully ASM is back for Watford however very very likely that he will be out for Leicester #nufc
— nufc|alfie (@nufc_alfie) August 25, 2019
Credit to Steve Bruce tbh, tactics were spot on and Joelinton looked great all game, Dummet MOTM though #NUFC
— Alfie Johnston (@alfiej8) August 25, 2019
If we can criticize him, we must also be able to praise him. Steve Bruce got the tactics spot on today and deserves credit for this win!!
— Newcastle United (@Newcastle_FC) August 25, 2019
If that was a Rafa side everyone would be congratulating a great away performance. I hope everyone is just as complimentary to Steve Bruce, his side and tactics. Away support unreal with no trains in this weekend. It’s not all bad up North. #bbcfootball #TOTNEW #SuperSunday #NUFC
— Jamie Atkinson??????? (@Jamieshaft) August 25, 2019
— James (@james_89d) August 25, 2019
Credit where credit is due, Steve Bruce got tactics spot on today. Completely difference performance from last week, great 3 points #nufc
— Scott Geere (@ScottGeere) August 25, 2019
I have no problem criticizing Steve Bruce when he makes bad decisions (basically up until today) but it was clearthe tactics and game strategy were sound. Great win and credit where credits due. Joelinton was great up top with Almiron Today as well, this team will win games #NUFC
— NUFC Pittsburgh (@PittsburghToon) August 25, 2019
Howay The Lads!!! Newcastle 1 Spurs 0 thanks to Joelinton. Steve Bruce got his tactics spot on today & hopefully he keeps on proving me & other fans wrong this season #HWTL #NUFC pic.twitter.com/3q4UotwYjS
— Neverending Ghosted Girl (@girl_ghosted) August 25, 2019
I’ll rate Newcastle’s defense 10/10 been formidable I didn’t rate Steve Bruce when he was appointed but he’s got his tactics spot on today ??#TOTNEW
— Blacksatoshi (@GenieDons) August 25, 2019
He’s even received some credit from one of his harshest critics this week:
— Michael Chopra (@MichaelChopra) August 25, 2019