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This Timely Performer Has Been A Massive Bonus For Bruce

When Steve Bruce joined Newcastle on July 17th, he immediately flew to China to meet up with the squad. That day saw Newcastle fall in their first pre-season match to Wolves 0-4.

Steve Bruce had a few days with the squad, and we saw them line-up in a 3-5-2 formation with immediate results in a 1-0 win against West Ham in the second match of the Premier League Asia Trophy.

Bruce used this formation throughout pre-season and in the first two matches of the season. However, a poor display at Norwich saw Newcastle switch to a 5-4-1 formation against Tottenham. It was during that game that Christian Atsu was brought on for the injured Allan Saint-Maximin.

What a game it was for Atsu whose pinpoint pass to Joelinton led to the Brazilian’s first goal for Newcastle, and an unlikely 0-1 win at Spurs.

Christian had missed the entirety of the season up to that point due to an injury suffered at the Africa Cup of Nations in July. He came back at the perfect time. Not only had Steve Bruce just implemented a new formation but left-winger Allan Saint-Maximin had succumbed to the hamstring injury he was struggling with.

Atsu came on to the left-wing in a formation similar to the one used last season. Christian put in an outstanding performance. He followed that up by again coming on for an injured player in Matt Ritchie against Leicester City in the Carabao Cup.

Christian got the start against Watford last week with new left-back Jetro Willems behind him on the left. He again put in a terrific performance and played well with Willems.

Atsu showed promising signs towards the end of last season when he filled in for the injured Miguel Almiron. He started the final three games and finished the season very strongly.

Christian has been an excellent team player who has come in for injured players, and the side has shown no signs of suffering from it. Steve Bruce will see Christian as a big bonus. He had not seen much of Christian prior to the week leading to Tottenham when the twenty-seven-year-old returned to full training. He also hadn’t been using wingers until that week.

This is what Steve Bruce said about Christian and his timely return to action in the Chronicle.

“I’ve only really seen Christian since the back end of last week because of the stuff with the African Nations and being injured, but as soon as he’s come in, he’s handled the ball well.

“Whether it’s given him a new lease of life, I’m not sure, but I been very, very pleased with him.

“He’s done very, very well. He ran himself to a standstill (against Watford). I have to tell you.”

We think Atsu has been outstanding in his three matches this season. He was a player who was sort of an afterthought this pre-season. However, he has shown such improvement in his game that it looks like he will have a massive role to play this season. It couldn’t have come at a better time.

34 comments so far

  • Oldgit1

    Sep 7, 2019 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #1

    And all down to Steve Bruce coaching.

    Only joking.

  • Bleatin' n Bruced

    Sep 7, 2019 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #2

    Still though Munster – what does Tarquin mean? You need to explain.

  • geordietom

    Sep 7, 2019 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #3

    jail …

    i’ve asked you nicely to stop referring about me in your posts just to get hits on the hearts …

    for god sake man grow up will you …

  • geordietom

    Sep 7, 2019 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #4

    The term used for a pompous little posh boy who strolls around “uni” with wavy hair and wearing a jack wills shirt and a gillet.

    Daddy has obviously sent this little weasel to private school and has spoilt him throughout his life.

    Looks down to the ‘dregs’ of society (basically everyone not dressed in jack wills clothing) and turns his nose up at them whilst laughing at what their probable and less unfortunate upbringing was like!
    Lad 1: have a look at that bloke over there sucking on a silver spoon and flicking his hair every two seconds

    Lad 2: only one word for him mate…..Tarquin!
    #posh#pompus#spoilt#jack wills#silver spoon#rich boy#stuck up

  • geordietom

    Sep 7, 2019 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #5

    bleatin …

    i knew it was a posh name but not that posh …


  • Posh_Geordie

    Sep 7, 2019 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #6

    I’ll have none taking my name in this blog thanks Tom lol

  • Mindshaft

    Sep 7, 2019 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #7

    Geordietom – you just described BoJo and Rees Mogg to a tee )

  • Bobbybee

    Sep 7, 2019 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #8

    Remember hearing Tarquin’s name shouted out near the Ticket Office. Think I mentioned it on here at the time.
    It summed up the change in people going to games in a sentence.
    One guy shouts to another, with a mouth full of marbles. “Sebastian! Sebastian! Have you seen Tarquin, I appear to lost him”.
    There was a number of people laughing and shaking heads. I just turned to my son and said. “Now there’s a sentence you would never have heard at a match in the 70s – guaranteed”.
    Which of course has nothing to do with Munster, I just amuse myself every time I here the names Sebastian and Tarquin. I wasn’t even sure parents still called their kids Tarquin until that day 😀

  • jane

    Sep 7, 2019 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #9

    most years less than 3 babies are named Tarquin.

    put your name in the ‘How popular is your name?’ box on the page below to see how many babies were given your name in 2018. 26 baby girls called Jane in 2018.


  • Bobbybee

    Sep 7, 2019 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #10

    Well Jane, we know one of those at least supports Newcastle. Don’t know how old he was – Sebastian had lost him. Couldn’t see anybody with a top hat and monocle either. 😀

  • jane

    Sep 7, 2019 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #11

    There were 872 baby boys called Bobby in 2018.

  • Bobbybee

    Sep 7, 2019 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #12

    Oh aye Jane, common as muck me pet. Is that Bobby as separate to Robert, or does it include Robert, Bob, Bobby, Rob, Robbie – all in one?

  • jane

    Sep 7, 2019 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #13

    There were 507 baby boys called Robert in 2018.
    There were 51 baby boys called Robbie in 2018.
    There were 4 baby boys called Bob in 2018.

  • jane

    Sep 7, 2019 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #14

    There were 6 baby boys called Rafa in 2018 and 4 baby girls.

  • The Wife

    Sep 7, 2019 at 2:57 PM

    Comment #15

    NEVER would have thought that 94 baby girls were given my first name last year: Ruth
    Neil? Only 15. Pahahahaha!

  • Bobbybee

    Sep 7, 2019 at 2:57 PM

    Comment #16

    I was christened Robert Jane. Had an Airedale Terrier called Robbie once though – name already attached as we rescued him. Had another I bought, called Ingram, but that’s even less relevant. 😀

  • cyprus

    Sep 7, 2019 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #17

    No Cyprus!

  • Bobbybee

    Sep 7, 2019 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #18

    Any boys named Sue? 😀

  • cyprus

    Sep 7, 2019 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #19

    Used to be a sometimes popular name in… Cyprus. Not any more.

  • Bobbybee

    Sep 7, 2019 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #20

    No offence Cyprus, any girls named Cyprus?

  • cyprus

    Sep 7, 2019 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #21

    Seeing those numbers, there must be lots of kids out there who just don’t have names.

  • cyprus

    Sep 7, 2019 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #22

    Nope. Just boys 🙂

    Youngest alive probably in his fifties.

  • Ron Knee

    Sep 7, 2019 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #23

    There was a Sebastian in Brideshead Revisited, which was televised in the 80s.

  • Bobbybee

    Sep 7, 2019 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #24

    The name Useless Twat appears popular….

  • Trent1211

    Sep 7, 2019 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #25

    Repost as missed the bus. Challenges? Corrections?…

    My layman’s take on the books is that expenditure seems extraordinarily high (debateable) and income is embarrassingly low (unchallengeable) compared to our, former, pre-Ashley peers.

    Once you take into account that player trading has a negligible net outlay across the Ashley era (T22 quotes it as £6m pa including the dubious £40m price tag on Joelinton) and it is fair to ask where has the money gone.

    If the books are the primary evidence of fiscal propriety then I don’t believe the books. The phrase ‘creative accounting’ doesn’t exist for nothing.

    Then there is all the blurring around paying for transfers upfront until recently and receiving transfer income on the drip which obfuscates things.

    Happy to defer to much sharper minds than mine but long story short I don’t take the accounts at face value and our income stream is not what it should be due to the suppression of income in favour of/diversion of income towards SD. (Merchandising, advertising and notoriously but to a lesser extent Strawberry Place.

    Where am I going wrong? Seems like this more or less summarises the commonly held view. More broadly we are outspent by relative minnows. How come?

  • jane

    Sep 7, 2019 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #26

    Aarons on the bench for Wycombe who are 1 up against Lincoln.

  • Ron Knee

    Sep 7, 2019 at 3:15 PM

    Comment #27

    There was Zowie Bowie, who – oddly – prefers to go by the name of Duncan Jones these days.

  • Nufc-83

    Sep 7, 2019 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #28

    Trent if you don’t believe the accounts even though revenues are showing higher than teams such as Everton then not sure how you can ever look at this objectively. You may as well just carry on in the world of hatred and blame Ashley for brexit and the recent hurricanes.

  • toon22

    Sep 7, 2019 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #29

    Nufc-83 views such as your on the clubs accounts are nothing short of insulting to be honest
    You would have us believe everything’s above board with Jabba and the clubs accounts

    Its blatantly not true

    You are entitled to your views but in my humble opinion they are incorrect at best

    I think youll find just about the entire country would agree with me on his financial dealings in any of his businesses, hence the many investigations into him by the HMRC

  • toon22

    Sep 7, 2019 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #30

    You might find this interesting

    The investigation has arisen because Sportsdirect.com Retail reportedly used Barlin Delivery to provide deliveries to their customers and made hundreds of thousands of pounds in undisclosed payments to the logistics company.


    They even changed the law to get SD to hand over documents over this

  • toon22

    Sep 7, 2019 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #31

    What are you basing your “blind faith ” in ?

  • Genjikai

    Sep 7, 2019 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #32

    If you look at the commercial revenue it has not grown any and during ashleys time it has sometimes dropped to levels seen in 1997.
    Where as teams like everton and west ham have grown there commercial revenue from 6 mill a year to, the same as the toons.
    We were leading the way before ashley now we are not.

  • Genjikai

    Sep 7, 2019 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #33

    Infact teams like Everton, west ham have all grown at the same rate. Same as other prem clubs.
    So why not us?

  • Trent1211

    Sep 7, 2019 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #34

    The wage bill seems extraordinary to me 83. I can’t talk about politics but Poe Dameron is Star Wars character and rhymes with someone I detest. The evidence of suppressed commercial income is all around us with the red and blue vandalism of the stadium + an arrangement with SD that is highly likely to mirror the scandalous arrangement at Rangers. Not what it is it’s what it could/should be.

    I also resent Ashley believing any losses or investment to get out of the Championship is a loan however generous the rate. He and his lieutenants bad decision making got us relegated and if he wants to top us up financially to get the prem money flowing again/safeguard his assets value that’s on him.
    The ‘club’, I would argue his, debt hangs over us like a sword of Damocles and inflates the sale price unjustifiably. His losses/his stupidity not doing due diligence on the reasonable/sensible mortgage from ground redevelopment that should be paid off by now.

    All told I think he is an atrocious financial custodian of the club and we have precisely zero to be grateful for.


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