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‘The Ones We’re Trying To Go After Are Better’ – Steve Bruce On Winter Targets

Mike Ashley would pick the night that Newcastle score four goals to show up to St James Park. The Newcastle owner has flown in for a much-publicized transfer summit with Steve Bruce in the next few days and was spotted with Lee Charnley watching tonight’s win.

With the Magpies struggling mightily in front of the net, Steve Bruce was planning on asking for some help in the transfer market. He apparently has some very good targets in mind. But will he be able to convince Ashley that this is the window to spend big?

After this evening’s game, Steve Bruce was again asked about the transfer market and his pending meeting with Ashley. The Chronicle have published the following comments from the head coach:

“My take on it is we have had one or two (so far) it wasn’t possible to get.

“We’re still trying for one or two and we’ve got a couple of plates spinning. If I can’t improve it, I’ve got to be patient and wait.

“You’ve seen the difference Allan Saint-Maximin and Almiron have made and we hope that (goal) kicks on Jo. That bit of quality can take us forward.”

It looks like Bruce has a couple of players on the radar after being knocked back on some other targets. What we take from these comments is that Newcastle aren’t going to go too far down their target list just to bring somebody in.

We’ve done that in the past and it’s saddled us with some very bad contracts that we’ve had trouble offloading. However, that is mainly because Mike Ashley has refused to pay the going rate for the top targets on the list.

Bruce has consistently insisted that he’ll only go after a player who will improve the team. He said the same again when asked what his meeting with Ashley would entail:

“It’s just the same as what I’ve said to you all along. He’s been supportive since I walked in the door.

“If there’s someone there who can improve us, we’ll act. I think there’s been three deals so far in the Premier League so it’s difficult.”

It does look like the players that Bruce is targeting at the moment will improve this team. This is what Bruce said about the couple of targets he will talk to Ashley about:

“We just have to make sure we’re better. The ones we’re trying to go after are better. If we can get them, we’ll try it.”

It’s a positive sign that Bruce has targets that he feels is better than what he currently has.

The million-dollar question is will Newcastle be able to get them over the line.

Who Was Newcastle's Man Of The Match Against Rochdale?

  • Miguel Almiron (40%, 653 )
  • Matt Ritchie (31%, 497 )
  • Matty Longstaff (15%, 246 )
  • Joelinton (5%, 78 )
  • Tom Allan (3%, 55 )
  • Sean Longstaff (1%, 16 )
  • Isaac Hayden (1%, 15 )
  • Christian Atsu (1%, 15 )
  • Jamaal Lascelles (1%, 12 )
  • Karl Darlow (1%, 11 )
  • Emil Krafth (1%, 9 )
  • Florian Lejeune (0%, 7 )
  • Andy Carroll (0%, 7 )
  • Jonjo Shelvey (0%, 4 )

Total Voters: 1,625

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121 comments so far

  • SirBobbyRobby

    Jan 15, 2020 at 1:01 AM

    Comment #1

    Would like to see:

    Manquillo Schar Lejeune Willems

    M. Longstaff S. Longstaff

    Lookman Almiron Saint Maximin

    Joelinton/New Striker

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jan 15, 2020 at 1:10 AM

    Comment #2

    The 14th plate crashes to the ground!

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Jan 15, 2020 at 1:18 AM

    Comment #3

    Yeah, with the two Longstaff’s, and Almirón in the middle of the park, you have the necessary running and pace to take the game to the opposition, and also get back into defensive shape when we lose possession, so we can in theory play with 4 at the back, without leaving too many gaps for the opposing sides to play through.

    The bigger concern is whether they are collectively capable enough at this stage of bossing an EPL match, being quite inexperienced, Matty in particular, but physically they have the tools.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Jan 15, 2020 at 1:31 AM

    Comment #4

    .Manquillo.. Schar… Lejeune…Willems.
    ……………Hayden… S. Longstaff.
    …..Joelinton……Almiron…..Saint Maximin.

    Can also potentially work, certainly we have plenty of options at the back to go 4231.

  • kc2012

    Jan 15, 2020 at 1:39 AM

    Comment #5

    Just got back from the game, a long 6 hour round trip but worth it just to see Joelinton celebrate with the bench.

    It’s only Rochdale but it could do his confidence a world of good and I’m happy for the big man.

    Almiron is a prime example. Another confident performance from the little man and when he’s playing like he is he’s a joy to watch.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Jan 15, 2020 at 1:42 AM

    Comment #6

    Id play a similar team Nicky. No need for 30% football. Our attacking players must have felt unleashed yesterday having possesion and support.
    Ritchie Lascelles Lejeune Willems
    Hayden Sean
    ASM Matty Almiron
    wed still have Manquillo, Carrol, and Schar to alternate. Get Almiron Matty etc defending from the front Instead of pinned back in defence. That team could tear others apart.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Jan 15, 2020 at 1:56 AM

    Comment #7

    The problem I guess with 4231, is whether we have suitable depth, balance and quality right now to play it.

    We’d have two or three surplus defenders, question marks over Shelvey and Ki’s physical capacity to contribute, and doubts about Muto, Gayle and perhaps Atsu’s ability to provide decent cover.

    You’d want appropriate additions at centre mid, wide attacker and centre forward, which I guess we are looking at bringing in anyway.

    If we get them, then it’s very much on.

  • SirBobbyRobby

    Jan 15, 2020 at 2:05 AM

    Comment #8

    Agree Nicky. Well stocked up in defence, but you’re right to consistently play it, we’d need in particular more wingers. And as you say, do we have enough quality experience to play more possession. Answer, this season probably no. Longstaffs need more games under their belt. I would be quite interested to see if he gets a DMC in someone like ibrahima Sissoko. Hayden is currently our only true dmc, but he can’t pass forward/at all. Having three in the centre, Sissoko and two longstaffs gives us better balance, similar to that of liverpool, and then three roaming attackers. So I think the dmc links is a good thing, supposing their good. In a back 4 I would also always be inclined to play Manquillo at right back. Much better defensively. I would luv it if big joe suddenly became a great hold and link forward, who gets a goal every 3/4 games, but I just can’t see it

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Jan 15, 2020 at 2:29 AM

    Comment #9

    Almiron and ASM are great players so we need to play more similar to the way other teams play. Those two and Matty will shine if we attack more. Id b curious to see Joelinton in an attacking team. Its s crime against football to play the way we have been then making out its because we have championship players and its the only option. Sheff U, Brighton and Norwich have championship players not us. Matty needs to play as he can score, at least until ASM and JL start scoring.

  • lesh

    Jan 15, 2020 at 3:25 AM

    Comment #10


    You’ve missed a few crashes. Brucie reckons he’s only got a couple of plates spinning now.

    Who’s coming in, Prince Harry and his missus? They’ll be needing the money soon.

  • lesh

    Jan 15, 2020 at 3:27 AM

    Comment #11


    What’s noticeable about Almiron is that he always seems to have a smile on his face. An inspiration.

  • Assassins Inc

    Jan 15, 2020 at 4:08 AM

    Comment #12

    Sir Bobby Robby, Would like to see:

    Manquillo Schar Lejeune Willems

    M. Longstaff S. Longstaff

    Lookman Almiron Saint Maximin

    Joelinton/New Striker

    Yes that would be good to see, having 12 on the field could win us some games.

  • Big Archie

    Jan 15, 2020 at 6:12 AM

    Comment #13

    The Geordie Nation, a new fan-site, has just been launched at http://www.TheGeordieNation.com

    Take a look – we’re looking for people to contribute.

  • Mindshaft

    Jan 15, 2020 at 6:42 AM

    Comment #14

    We’ve been knocked back by a couple …. More than likely because we made low ball offers ….

    Looking forward to the Chelsea game in which I am going for a win – other than Liverpool / man city everyone else is more than beatable as proven by Southampton beating Leicester away ….the fact that both my brother in law’s support Chelsea has nothing to do with it

  • Mindshaft

    Jan 15, 2020 at 6:46 AM

    Comment #15

    Archie – good luck with the blog , can never have too many good reads regarding the toon – well done for setting it up

  • Mindshaft

    Jan 15, 2020 at 7:27 AM

    Comment #16

    Tnmw – there’s a reason none of our players are coveted by other EPL teams , especially the top 4 – our players whilst not all championship level sit very much in the lower EPL team level – if miggy keeps scoring we might see a bid in the summer for him but other than that most of our players would struggle to get into a top side

  • c-dog

    Jan 15, 2020 at 7:38 AM

    Comment #17

    Christ nickys team are awful

    The 4-2-3-1 would mean we’d be exposed at the back numerous times as ASM Joelinton and Almiron are attack ahead of defend minded players. and exposed with our two weakest defensive centre halves to martial the defensive effort.

    My guess is you’ve never kicked a football

  • Jib

    Jan 15, 2020 at 7:39 AM

    Comment #18

    other than that most of our players would struggle to get into a top side

    If by that you mean LPool Man City B Munich R Madrid PSG and Barcelona
    I regard them as top sides
    Your point applies to most players on the planet

  • martoon

    Jan 15, 2020 at 7:42 AM

    Comment #19

    Assassins Inc @12 – Only 11 Saint Maximin is one player and up front is Joelinton or New Striker.

  • cyprus

    Jan 15, 2020 at 7:44 AM

    Comment #20

    Big Archie,
    Good stuff, enjoyed the humour. Must remember to visit your site regularly. It takes time to build a ‘community’, the cornerstone of internet business/activity, so be patient 🙂

  • c-dog

    Jan 15, 2020 at 7:47 AM

    Comment #21


    Almiron might become one who is good enough.

  • Jib

    Jan 15, 2020 at 7:55 AM

    Comment #22

    Accidently invented a new word last night which perfectly describes a certain section of the Toon fanbase


    The sort of fan
    That boos Perez off the pitch and 9 months later slags the club off for selling him
    That gets on SBR’s case after 2 defeats and 2 draws at the start of 2004 forgetting
    the previous season’s 5th place finish and UEFA cup semi-final.

    There’s a few post on here

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 15, 2020 at 8:01 AM

    Comment #23

    When we went on our club record equalling consecutive win run Munster was nowhere in sight only to appear with his scathing fair and balanced “critique” when we finally lost. We beat Rochdale in a cup replay and “Steve” is the best thing since sliced bread!

  • Ron Knee

    Jan 15, 2020 at 8:06 AM

    Comment #24

    FA Cup:
    Cup shock!

    Newcastle 4 Rochdale 1


  • c-dog

    Jan 15, 2020 at 8:07 AM

    Comment #25

    Morning Jail

    What is your problem with Bruce equalling Rafa in terms of toon performance?

    Don’t we all just want to see points on the board and a good cup run

  • Ron Knee

    Jan 15, 2020 at 8:12 AM

    Comment #26

    Steve Bruce’s only real concern now must be that Mike Ashley may decide he does not need any expensive new players after all. Newcastle United’s owner attended his first home match of the season before a transfer summit with his manager and watched Bruce’s previously shot-shy side not only score freely but monopolise possession to an almost unprecedented degree. (Louise Taylor)

  • c-dog

    Jan 15, 2020 at 8:13 AM

    Comment #27

    Bowen would improve our attack and help Joelinton if anything

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jan 15, 2020 at 8:13 AM

    Comment #28

    Anyone notice at their corners that Almiron was left on the half way line – great to see instead of pulling everyone back into our penalty area – more of please.

    Last nights ‘unwanted game’ could of been a blessing in disguise as it brought a few of our injured player up to match speed – Ritchie, Lascalles and gave Shelvey and Carroll game time along with getting JoeLinton on the score sheet.

    Also just showed what we have missed with Ritchie and Lascalles missing.
    What I noticed most was Ritchie organisation – pointing players where to go along with Lascalles at the back doing the same.

    Plusses – Ritchies link up play with Allmiron down the right hand side was excellent looks like it could blossom.

    Young kid Allan looked nervous first ten minutes but got better as the game went on and put in a great cross for JoeLinton’s goal. Also JoeLinton and Allan’s link up play and interpassing was good to watch.

    My only downers were: Kraft who instead of attacking and getting in crosses when he had the space – turned back and played the easy ball back inside
    Sean Longstaffe was in and out of the game and was sloppy in his passing at times
    Atsu – plenty of running around carrying the ball but does not seem to know with the final ball.
    Darlow – good to give him game time but would like a upgrade for stand in keeper – worries me

    And bit worrying second half when we became sloppy at the back letting them score – cannot afford to do that in the Premiership as we will get punished

    also for a crowd of 25,000 plus it was a decent atmosphere with Rochdale fans full of voice.

  • Jib

    Jan 15, 2020 at 8:15 AM

    Comment #29

    Jail’s first comment after quite a satisfying cup tie vs Rochdale
    was to point out that Pardew had picked weakened cup sides.

    Great blogging

  • Mindshaft

    Jan 15, 2020 at 8:19 AM

    Comment #30

    Jib – I mean Spurs , Arsenal , Man City , Liverpool or pretty much the top half of the league – who has come knocking for any of our current players …. Nobody , there’s a reason that Bruce will need to bring players in to change the way we play, a lot of the current crop are too exposed if we move away from a two lines of defense hence the huge gap between whoever plays upfront and the rest of the team.

    Hopefully Bruce will be given money to buy but selling to get that money will be difficult in my opinion

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 15, 2020 at 8:23 AM

    Comment #31

    When you stop posting about obscure bands that you may or may not have seen in the sixties you can start criticising the quality of others posts, in the mean time stfu!

  • Jib

    Jan 15, 2020 at 8:34 AM

    Comment #32

    I think those clubs you mention would all take
    Dubravka Almiron ASM Lejeune Lascelles a Longstaff
    and probably Shelvey

  • Jib

    Jan 15, 2020 at 8:36 AM

    Comment #33

    Schar Fernandez and Willems too
    also Dummett
    So apart from the 11 I’ve mentioned you could be right

  • Jib

    Jan 15, 2020 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #34

    Jail that reminds me (thanks)
    Sunday is the 22nd anniversary of the passing of Carl Perkins
    Anyone see him at the City Hall with The Animals & Nashville Teens ?

  • martoon

    Jan 15, 2020 at 8:44 AM

    Comment #35

    I’ve said a few times that Bruce wouldn’t have been my first choice as manager but I also believe in giving credit where it’s due. So I have to say I’m quite impressed the way Bruce is having a good go at the FA cup – I fully expected him to play a weakened team last night with a few of the U23’s and rest players like Miggy but no he went for it with a very strong team and right under Ashley’s nose. Yeah I don’t expect us to win it but as least he’s giving it a good go!

  • Jib

    Jan 15, 2020 at 8:46 AM

    Comment #36

    You never know in cups
    Even a semi-final gets us a day at Wembley

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 15, 2020 at 8:53 AM

    Comment #37

    So after 13 years a manager has been given the green light to TRY and win something, let that sink in, not at another club in the history of football has there been an owner who has issued warnings for trying to win something. Here we have it, in an effort to appease fans and try to win back the thousands of missing fans a middling Championship manager can take the credit for taking the FA cup seriously, I wonder how seriously he would have took it if Churnley had of told him his end of season bonus was getting cancelled and there’d be no transfers this January if he tried.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 15, 2020 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #38

    FFS man, managers were hauled over the coals for playing full strength teams, do you think simon768 was lying, they’ve had to back up their words with this we’re losing thousands of fans.

  • toon22

    Jan 15, 2020 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #39


    Blame the fans for Jabbas mess ?


  • Jib

    Jan 15, 2020 at 8:58 AM

    Comment #40

    Jail for Ashley
    Ha ha ha
    Jail pretends to know something about the history of footy
    He he he
    Oh my aching sides

    The gift that never stops giving
    Cheers for brightening up a gloomy morning Jailyboy


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