Steve Bruce didn’t try to finagle an excuse after yesterday’s shocking display. In reality, there was nothing tangible for him to grasp onto to adequately explain the performance.
Bruce gave the perfect description of what the team had done after a shining start to the season – they threw in a hand grenade. After two games, one of which was a resounding win, we find ourselves in the bottom half with a negative goal difference.
It’s early day and there is a quick turnaround with a generous cup match at Morecambe on Wednesday. Then it’s off to Tottenham, who will be playing their fourth match in a week with a Carabao Cup and Europa League match mid-week.
Despite things going our way with the schedule, optimism has suffered a cruel blow after the performance yesterday. It really didn’t take long for the questions that plagued Bruce last season to come back to the fore.
Bruce had done well to get the signings he wanted in the door. He had managed the unthinkable in getting a want-away, stingy, and emotionally distant owner to spend money on sensible transfers.
It seemed like progress. A word rarely spoken in the Ashley era. Sure there would be ups and downs. A poor performance here and there. But yesterday was not just a poor performance. Newcastle hit the self destruct button.
Now they must climb out of the crater, wipe themselves down, and make sure this season is not a repeat of the last. They can start the rebound this week by advancing past Morecambe and putting in a performance at Spurs.