A few weeks ago we played at Norwich and were basically well beaten 3-1 with our goal coming in stoppage time from Jonjo Shelvey.
Of the first few games, this was by far the easiest game, and we failed miserably with the team disorganized and not having much fight and determination throughout the game.
We recovered nicely in the next game to win 1-0 at Tottenham.
And it was a terrific victory built on good defending – a never say die attitude from our players – and a little bit of luck.
But we have now returned to a display on Saturday at home to Brighton that was just pitiful – especially in the first half.
Brighton, who with Norwich are expected to be fighting relegation along with Newcastle this season – played us off the park in that first half.
The question was when would they score their first goal – but they didn’t – because of some terrible finishing.
If Brighton had any kind of scoring power upfront, they would have had the game wrapped up at halftime.
Steve Bruce on Saturday – switches the formation to four at the back
In the first 30 minutes, the Seagulls had close to 80% possession as our game plan seemed to be to concede possession to the opposition.
But at home, we must show more authority and ambition.
And after 20 minutes of the game, it again looked like some Newcastle players were confused – Schar, in particular, asking the manager what position Manquillo was supposed to be playing in.
It seemed like the players were not familiar enough with their jobs as part of the overall game plan; it reminded us too much of the Norwich debacle.
One thing we always got from Rafa Benitez when he was here was fight and determination and urgency – especially against the teams around us in the league table.
But this is now the second time in six games the lads have not turned up for a match against a (supposedly) weak side. And we weren’t much better in the 1-1 draw at home to Watford who were hammered 8-0 by Man City on Saturday.
Steve Bruce has to get his teams ready for every single match.
It’s disturbing we have gained just one lucky point against Brighton and Norwich – two games we were looking to win.
This could be a reflection on manager Steve Bruce – that he cannot get the best out of his team. – and in some games – for whatever reason, they simply are not ready for the game.
Too many games like Saturday’s this season
and we will be relegated.
Newcastle are already favorites to be relegated with some bookmakers, and we cannot afford points to be thrown away by our players failing to turn up for matches.
Saturday’s game looked too much like the Steve McClaren era – although not as bad.
The lads stuck to the task of getting a point in a match we didn’t deserve anything from.
That was the only positive Saturday plus Fabian Schar’s magic clearance off the line on 75 minutes (what a player this lad is) and the appearance of big Andy back again in a black and white shirt.
We want Steve Bruce and the players to succeed in these difficult times – and we are right behind them – although the same cannot be said of Mike Ashley.
He needs to sell Newcastle quickly so we can save the club – maybe from another relegation.