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Bruce Explains Why He’s Reluctant To Change Current System



Steve Bruce spoke a bit about the team’s recent form over the past few weeks in which Newcastle have managed to get draws but played very poorly.

That is especially the case in the last two matches, both at home, against League One’s Oxford United and Norwich City, who are 20th in the Premier League.

Bruce was asked about how he can get his team to play more on the front foot, and if that was something he would consider.

“I’ve said from day one I’d love to play two up top. I just don’t think we’re ready just yet with what we’ve got.

“I won’t just change just for the sake of it. We’ve got to make sure that, in time, we will evolve.

“I’ve said all along maybe I won’t get the time, but that’s my aim. That’s what we’ll try and do.

“It was this time last year that the team went to a back five because before that, let’s be fair, they couldn’t win a corner.

“That’s where we’re at, at the moment, so we’ll stay with it.”

Bruce has experimented with having two players up top this season. He, of course, started the season playing that way but abandoned the system after the 3-1 Norwich defeat in the second week.

He again tried it against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium, but in that match went with a flat back four. The result was disastrous as we had our heaviest defeat of the campaign losing 5-0, though Isaac Hayden was sent off late in the first half.

Andy Carroll and Joelinton also started the Crystal Palace match as a front two before Joelinton was moved to the right wing.


Unfortunately, Bruce is probably reluctant to transition from five at the back even against Oxford tomorrow. That is despite agreeing that they are a team Newcastle should dominate.

“It’s been difficult to dominate, and we are not in that situation where we can dominate anyone.

“I hope we can go to Oxford, like when we went to Rochdale, and totally dominate them, but in this league, where we are at the moment, it hasn’t been possible.”

Bruce was also asked about the transfer market once again. Newcastle did bring in three quality signings in Nabil Bentaleb, Valentino Lazaro, and Danny Rose but failed to bring in another striker despite our current crop having just one league goal between them.

This is how Bruce responded when asked about the striker market during the winter window.

“I think I’ve answered it so many times now. Ok, we didn’t score again. It’s been a problem we’ve had all season.

“However, I’ll stick with what I’ve said all the time. If there’s somebody better, then we would try and act.

“The cynics will say ‘Well, somebody’s got to be better than what you’re showing at the minute.’ I think we’ve still got some decent players to come in.

“I’ve got no regrets. There was nobody out there who we could realistically get, who would make us better.”

The keyword that Bruce used is ‘realistically’ becasue we saw some top strikers move in January. However, they may not have wanted to come to Newcastle.

We should have Andy Carroll, Dwight Gayle, and Yoshinori Muto back for Arsenal in two weeks. Unfortunately, both Valentino Lazaro and Danny Rose are not eligible for the Oxford match. Though they will be against West Brom in the fifth round if we can get past Oxford tomorrow.

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58 comments so far

  • c-dog

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #1

    I think we’ll get the win tomorrow with a very strong team put out
    Bruce is taking the FA cup seriously unlike past managers who probably bowed to the greater bonus being PL survival

    0
  • Big Bruce Stars.

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #2

    Hilarious

    2
  • Rob1971

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #3

    Charlie I am sure that season you printed from before in the mag we got to the FA cup final, we beat Stevenage after a replay at St James 2:1, Shearer scored in both the games

    3
  • JDdubai

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #4

    Once again completely oblivious that its possible to use 3 CBs and still be effective and attacking. Sheff Utd do it with worse players than ours, Bruce again sees only the current 541 31% possession horror shows or switch to 2 up front.

    343 is possible with what we have, the fact we cant string passes together or show fluid movement and a clear passing game suggests that even going to 2 up front wont change anything as it will just be longball stuff.

    Just because we have a back 3/5 doesnt mean we have to sit on our 18 yard box and surrender possession willingly. It doesnt mean we have to isolate the CF as much as we do. Chris Wilder with our team would have us top 5 given the players are better than his, just he has coached a style into them whereby they control the game, pass and move and eveyrone knows their role.

    8
  • #cans ( formerly known as Mindshaft )

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #5

    Rafa changed to a back 5 against Burnley in November 2018 ( we won), after Almiron came we often played 3-4-2-1

    “Newcastle United have all but secured their Premier League safety for another season and they have done it thanks to Rafa Benitez and his 3-4-2-1 formation.”

    3
  • lochinvar

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #6

    If only Charnley had painted the wheelie bins red..

    Lille’s 20-year-old France midfielder Boubakary Soumare rejected a large January offer from Newcastle in the hope of sealing a move to Liverpool or Manchester United in the summer window. (Le10sport – in French)
    It was also reported Soumare turned down Newcastle because he wasn’t impressed with the club’s training facilities after he was shown them in a video phone call. (Mail)

    3
  • barkel

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #7

    Taking it seriously but have another replay against league one opposition, we should be on a break getting bodies recvoered but we are struggling to do anything in the majority of games.

    Is 6 months not long enough to get professional players playing in a different formation? I mean look at the difference between us and Liverpool vs Man City, Liverpool clearly changed formation and thier style of play 3 times in the one game.

    Surely we can change our formation once over 6 months and make it effective? Is that expecting too much of our team?

    2
  • IrishRob

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #8
  • carltoon

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #10

    Cans! The Sands Club, used go nearly every night, that was in the Seventies, great times.

    1
  • JDdubai

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #11

    Barkel

    Point is maybe we dont need to change the formation. Bruce just needs to coach the team to play better, press higher etc and dont surrender terriotry and possession so happily. Keep the formation if we dont have 2 CFs, but his and his coaches job is to teach the team to play with a style which will improve us.

    2
  • carltoon

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #12

    If we’ve practiced passing the ball, we may get a result.

    0
  • #cans ( formerly known as Mindshaft )

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #13

    I honestly don’t believe ASM and Lejeune were asked to show him the training facilities via facetime – especially given that Lilles training facilities make ours look like a local gym – more press printing rumours in the hope of clicks

    1
  • carltoon

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #14

    JD. That’s what I meant to say.

    0
  • #cans ( formerly known as Mindshaft )

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #15

    carltoon – I was more eighties but you’re right – good times 🙂

    1
  • toonbrother

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #16

    With Lascelles fed and lejeune in the team we can easily play 4 at the back

    1
  • hibbit

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #17
  • carltoon

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #18

    Ha ha a bit younger than me. I used to get in free, as I was going out with one of the resident group. Used to see the singer at the match. So was well in. Got to meet all the groups that played there. Eighties was having a family.

    0
  • RobLeenio

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #19

    Whitley Bay died on its ar$e big time 10-12 years ago, South Parade will never be the same again. But it’s still a very good night out if you know where to go. It’s evolved to move away from the two-for-one shots and happy hour culture to become a town with some very good restaurants and decent real ale and gin bars.

    If anyone fancies a night down Whitley, I can give some pointers for the best places to go.

    Love South Shields too – tend to do a mini pub crawl starting at the Sand Dancer and moving back towards Ocean Road ending up in one of the many excellent Indian Restaurants, often on a bike via the ferry – always interesting getting back up Tanners Bank full of curry and beer.

    Spoilt for choice at the Coast for places to have a night out, honestly.

    2
  • TomaKaThor

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #20

    So it’s not the Saudis who are close to buying us according to keys lol.. Tbh if fat Ash ever did sell us he probably would sell us to somebody who can only just scrape the funds to purchase us and leaving us with someone who can’t back us in the transfer market ect.. Purely out of spite

    2
  • martoon

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #21

    carltoon – I saw your post earlier and just wanted to say you should never feel you have to apologise for being a ST holder and going to games on a nufc supporters blog – I know I certainly won’t. If anybody has a problem with that then I suggest you’re on the wrong blog!

    4
  • barkel

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #22

    JD – Agreed buddy, just to clarify the change in formation was from Bruce’s comments

    0
  • Anglo Saxon

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #23

    Not sure if this has been posted apologies if so, but a good read.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/51349042

    1
  • carltoon

    Feb 3, 2020 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #24

    Would like to see Schar and Lejuern back in for this game. Darlow played well in the last cup match. Matty back in of course think Sean played better with Matty when he came on last cup game also

    0
  • lesh

    Feb 3, 2020 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #25

    RobL

    Cycling up Tanners Bank? Can we take it your bike’s motorised and stabilised? I’ve got to have a rest after just looking at it from the ferry!

    2
  • Australian Pie

    Feb 3, 2020 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #26

    Toonbrother you just named 3 centre backs in a back 4?

    0
  • Jib

    Feb 3, 2020 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #27

    Was that Terry Milligan ?

    1
  • Australian Pie

    Feb 3, 2020 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #28

    Would be keen tomorrow night to see Allan get the nod over Miggy to start but bring Miggy on later, you can see how much he needs a rest. Would have used Ritchie in this role if Rose could have played, real shame the 2 new fellas aren’t able

    0
  • carltoon

    Feb 3, 2020 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #29

    Martoon I was a bit depressed when posting that, I always do what I want. last ten years I have gone to the match on my own. Everyone else got fed up. Couldn’t give it up, believe me I say I’m never going back every season.

    2
  • Australian Pie

    Feb 3, 2020 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #30

    Bruce’s comments mean that Carroll and Muto both not available? Sorensen will need to come in

    1
  • JDdubai

    Feb 3, 2020 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #31

    I just dont see anything is Bruce’s CV to suggest he will be capable of coaching us into an effective cohesive style in this era.

    In the 00’s he was a basic, old school coach, nothing progressive at all, i dont think any of the supporters of his previous clubs were sad to see him go. Nowadays with the Klopp effect and all these younger coaches, Bruce is even further behind in terms of approach.

    It feels like his reference that everything will be better with 2 up front suggests that as soon as Carroll is fit we will be going longball and that will fix our inability to pass, control possession and territory, press high and force our game plan onto the opposition.

    In the dream world i sometimes visit, saudi owned and coached by Pochettino would be ideal 🙂

    2
  • carltoon

    Feb 3, 2020 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #32

    Jib yes. What a big head he was, loved himself, great singer though.

    1
  • JDdubai

    Feb 3, 2020 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #33

    Australian pie

    I think toonbrother was meaning that any of those 3 could play in a back 4, just dont suggest Coloccini was a better CB!

    2
  • RobLeenio

    Feb 3, 2020 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #34

    lesh, all under my own steam, at least until the boiler starts coming apart at the seams about 3/4 of the way up.

    There’s a canny reward at the top with the aforemntioned pint of Bass in the Lodge.

    2
  • carltoon

    Feb 3, 2020 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #35

    I never went out with him, though years later he did ask why. Ha ha in his dreams

    1
  • RobLeenio

    Feb 3, 2020 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #36

    Saxon, I was going to post that – a well sourced article based on a journalist actually going out to speak to real fans and it comes across well. What’s important is that it doesn’t judge the fans for potentially being able to look forward to the club being owned by Saudi money, but justifies where they are coming from.

    Not sure how Steve Wraith gets himself into so many of these articles, though. Attention seeker much? Of course, he is an associate of Staveley, or at least was at one point.

    3
  • Anglo Saxon

    Feb 3, 2020 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #37

    Yes RobLeenio well said.

    1
  • Jib

    Feb 3, 2020 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #38

    So – who believes the lawyer in Dubai that it’s still on ?

    2
  • Bladey

    Feb 3, 2020 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #39

    Started to read the latest comments seen who was on now leaving
    Same boring crap what’s spoken most days from the same boring kiss arse bloggers
    ASH IN CARVER AND WISE IN BRUCE OUT

    0
  • RobLeenio

    Feb 3, 2020 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #40

    Interesting tweet from a guy looking at the names missing from the U23s team sheet today and guessing that they may be involved at Oxford tomorrow

    https://twitter.com/TomOsborne94/status/1224330808137342977

    He lists Tom Allan, who came on against Rochdale and did well, Victor Fernandez and Ludwig Francillette as being possibly included.

    1


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