It hasn’t been easy for Steve Bruce at Newcastle, and there is already a group of our supporters dead against him being the Newcastle manager.
But Steve’s record at Newcastle is fairly good.
And if we can get through to the quarterfinals of the League (Carabao) Cup tonight at Newport County, and then beat Burnley in the league on Saturday we’ll have 7 points from our first four league games.
And that’s a very decent start to the season.
Bu there’s some ifs there, and we must try to win our next two games.
The manager is trying to play a flat back four, after Rafa had used three at the back with the wing-backs making it five at the back against top teams.
Bruce is trying to make Newcastle into a more attacking side, and he seems to have done well in this summer’s transfer window.
But of course it was always going to be difficult for any manager to replace Rafa Benitez, we always knew that.
And Bruce had the reputation of being only a journeyman manager in the Premier League when he first arrived.
Steve Bruce – heavy criticism at Newcastle
This is some of what Bruce told reporters on a Zoom call, as reported in the Chronicle today:
“Everything I do is analyzed, whether I make a substitution, how we play and this, that and the other,”
“Our performance against Spurs and Brighton was nowhere near what we are capable of.”
“For that, I understand why I get criticism, but it’s the constant, ‘Oh, he’s picked the team. He doesn’t know what he’s doing.”
“This is the way forward. We should be playing like this. Blah blah blah’.”
“That’s the difficulty, but if you play like we did against Spurs and particularly against Brighton at home as well, then you’re going to come in for criticism.”
“And you have to accept that at a big club with big expectations, the criticism falls upon you and I have to be big enough to accept it.”
“Look, we didn’t play well enough, but you get analyzed for everything you do, which is obviously the difficulty.”
“Look, I think I’ve had this summer to try and put my stamp on the team and there lies the difficulty for all managers now – especially in the transfer windows.”
“I’m not looking for any excuses.”
“I thought last year after watching us, we had been playing in a certain way for a long time and I didn’t think we had the personnel to change.”
“Now, we changed against West Ham and played two up top. I’ve always said, eventually, I would like to go to a back four and have wide players with a bit of pace, which we soon will have.”
“Hopefully, we will see a change in style.”
“Now, when you play against the other teams, the big teams, then we have to do something.”
“I’ve just seen West Ham change to match up with Wolves, so we have to have this ability to change into a different system, that’s for sure.”
“That means you don’t just surrender, but against the bigger teams, we have to have some sort of tactical plan to stay in the game against them.”
That’s because if you open up and say, ‘Right, c’mon, we’ll play you at your game’, unfortunately, it’s going to be a difficult afternoon for you, because of the strength and depth these big clubs have got.”
Sensible words from the manager.
But it’s all about results, and we hope Steve Bruce can deliver this season, and at least keep us out of another relegation fight: we are just sick of those.