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Bruce Explains The Thinking Behind His Team Selection For Saturday



When the team news was first announced, we were a little disappointed with the selection. It appeared that Bruce was going to go with Jeff Hendrick on the right once again when there were better options in the team.

That ended up not being the case as Bruce deployed a midfield three with Isaac Hayden shielding the backline. Hendrick and Jonjo Shelvey manned the midfield in front of him.

However, whatever Bruce was trying to do just didn’t work out. While a lot of the blame lies with the decision to sit back after the early lead, the front three of Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin, and Joelinton struggled to impact the game.

The Shields Gazette has published some of Bruce’s comments when asked about his choice in attack with Ryan Fraser and Miguel Almiron available. Here is Bruce’s answer:

“The one thing that we’ve got is that alternative. I just thought Joe, Allan, and Callum did very, very well last time out, and, I think, deserved to stay in the team. That’s always going to be the debate now.

“Thankfully, we’re in a good position in that area of the pitch. They deserved to get the start.”

We’re not surprised that Bruce opted for Joelinton over either Almiron or Fraser. Joelinton was coming off a string of effective performances while both Miguel and Ryan featured heavily for their countries over the international break.

What concerns me most is that Newcastle are far too inclined to sit deep even though Bruce has constantly said he wants to have a go at teams. Last night, we were gifted an early lead and squandered it by allowing Manchester United an easy path back into the game.

While the Red Devils were going to be on the front foot after going down, Newcastle made it far too easy for them to get into their rhythm. It ended up with another freefall of a display after riding high for a couple of weeks.

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81 comments so far

  • John Tudor

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #1

    Nob

    7
  • Aces-of-Eights

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #2

    1. Joelinton made his name on the left so why play him right wing?
    2. ASM getting crowded out on left and Bissaka is fast so why not play ASM on right?
    3. Why allow ASM to come too deep where he can get high pressed and lose ball why not instruct him to stay on half way line only. which will keep opposition team in their half.
    4. Jamal Lewis goes inside too close to centre half and leaves too much space on opponent right wing.
    5. WE ARE THE ONLY DEFENSIVE TEAM THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN WHO HAVE ALL MEN BEHIND BALL BUT WHO DONT PRESS OR TACKLE OR
    MARK PLAYERS THEY JUST GO BACK OR STAND THERE. OPPOSITION JUST PASS THEIR WAY WITH EASE AND MOVE EFFORTLESSLY AROUND PITCH LOOKING PRIME BARCELONA … I MEAN EVERY TEAM WE PLAY EVEN LEAGUE 2 TEAM.
    6. Has Bruce been sacked yet?

    48
  • Aces-of-Eights

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #3

    7. How the hell did Manquillo lose his place?
    8. If Murphy has been playing so well and not been away on internationals why doesnt he get any game time instead of Hendrick?
    9. ALL THESE STUPID PEOPLE ON TV SAYING IT’S NEWCASTLES BEST EVER START SINCE 2001 OR 2012 OR WHATEVER..GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK HEADS THIS SEASON HAS BEEN OUR EASIEST FIXTURE LIST AND CUP DRAW IN LIKE 20 YEARS ITS NOTHING TO DO WITH STEVE EFFIN BRUCE BEING A GOOD MANAGER!!!! USUALLY WE GET MIX OF TOP 6 TEAMS AND NEWLY PROMOTED TEAMS ON FIRE AT BEGINNING OF SEASON.

    51
  • JP...from The Rock

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #4

    Bruce it’s all wel and good rewarding your players after solid performances but what you can do is make the team defend a lead after 5 mins and then when that goes tits up do nothing to change it and just bring on more defensive players like Schar for Hayden for example.

    I haven’t been on the Bruce out bandwagon but last night was the last straw for me. He is out of his depth and his post match comments prove it even more.

    21
  • The Rev.Jim

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #5

    Never has the saying ” A picture paints a thousand words”
    Rang so true when you look at the one above.

    You will always be first name on the team sheet number 9

    5
  • JP...from The Rock

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #6

    *what you CAN’T Do! – damn predictive text.

    0
  • Regan

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #7

    Hibitt. .driving back from Pocklington this morning…
    There was an MG parked up with a sign saying buy one car get the other free…
    Not sure if your interested or not..

    Thought I’d let you know though mate..

    1
  • JP...from The Rock

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #8

    Bruce out AshLie out Saudis In!

    12
  • The Rev.Jim

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #9

    bruce must really be over the moon that NO fans can get in the ground.

    21
  • beermonkey

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #10

    Bruce is a fool and is falling into the same trap Pardew did it’s best if he shit up

    Still next match it will be the same players same formation and he expect a different result

    As for not subbing darlow and Hayden sooner makes him a bigger idiot

    12
  • Moonraker15

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #11

    Rev

    Absolutely if there was a crowd in the stadium Bruce would know what we thought. Worryingly, without the crowd we have no home advantage and will struggle this season!

    5
  • Moonraker15

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #12

    Any news on takeover developments?
    There’s no future with Bruce at the helm! We’re sinking!

    10
  • beermonkey

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #13

    Moonraker

    Crowds or or not we are going to struggle

    4
  • Zele

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #14

    Aces-of-Eights,

    Very good point about Joelinton. Round pegs.

    For all his trickery has ASM ever got us a penalty ?

    Most of the time he got robbed (legally or not) either in our half or somewhere in the middle of the park.

    Whilst he is impressive how he evades tackles it’s usually in an area where a foul would not hurt the opposition.

    He should be bursting into the penalty box inviting tackles as VAR will be his greatest asset.

    10
  • WLtoon

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #15

    Morning lads n lasses, would have said GOOD morning but it is hardly good after last night`s shit show.
    Ashley won`t sack Bruce until we are looking a cert for the drop, we were a shambles last night, but still mid table ATM.
    That could all change very soon of course with the next 2 games v Everton and Wolves, both better than us with Everton especially playing well.
    One light at the end of the tunnel could be the timing of our first appearance in the bottom 3 coinciding with hopefully new owners coming in, Bruce sacked without a second thought, then it`s onwards and upwards, hopefully.

    8
  • The Rev.Jim

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #16

    Moonraker15 : spot on.

    Mind he could do a pardwho and sit in the dugout
    or better still
    a boris and hide in the fridge

    One thing’s for sure he would feel the force
    Not the one Luke skywalker felt either.
    The wrath of the Toon Army

    5
  • Optimistic prime

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #17

    Well Mr Bruce if the players deserve their places in the team because of their last performances, you sir deserve the sack!

    No improvement anywhere since you arrived, same disjointed performances with square pegs in round holes.

    If I was as bad as you at my job I’d have no chance of work, if you want the best for Nufc walk, you’ll gain more respect from the fans than you will continuing this charade.

    21
  • lochinvar

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #18

    Bruce trying to justify his team selection to the fans is a sign of desperation.

    Why not try explaining it to the team.

    And while you’re at it could both fans and the team be privvy to the tactics?

    After scoring first against we retreated. Would have been better to hit them hard and score a second. 1 up is a hard ask to defend. 2 up is a different story and leaves the opposition thinking more negatively and leaving more space and making errors.

    We seem devoid of inspiration.
    And goals.

    6
  • The Prince's Mate

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #19

    To all football coaches in the British Isles…. If any of your players are feeling low, just let them play against NUFC… They’ll soon get their confidence back…

    21
  • Geordie-john

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #20

    Brucey,
    Why do you persist in giving Joe from Linton priority over other players that you have sitting on the bench game after game. Even youngens from the second team would do better.
    Joe isn’t a forward , He isn’t even a winger, He is too slow, he makes Stroller Ameobi look faster than Usain Bolt.
    We are losing games that we should be winning. Yesterday was a joke ! After we scored the team sat back. You should have been at them constantly to go and destroy Man U while we had them on the back foot.
    You have the mindset of a defender and always will have. You are not the answer to NUFC’s problems along with Fat Lad.
    I hope that some miracle happens and the takeover goes through taking you and Cashley away forever. Get your head out your arse and stop talking shite when being interviewed, It’s embarrassing !

    24
  • WLtoon

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #21

    After all the criticism Bruce has got after yesterdays shower of shite, and mainly most of the season so far, i bet you will still get a majority or bloggers voting a win against whoever we play, it does`nt occur to a lot of Toon fans that we are shit and probably heading towards another struggle, yet blind faith rules supreme.
    I predict we will lose both games, there, is it out, does that make me a pessimist, not a chance, i am a realist, oh and we have Bronty Bruce running the team, that might f swayed my decision a wee bit.

    9
  • Gothmog's Pyjamas

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #22

    I wonder how the players felt when Hayden was injured and Schar came on ahead of Miggy and Fraser.

    Id imagine ASM and Wilson were looking across to the bench hoping for an attacker to come on and help them. Id think Miggy and Fraser were looking at each other thinking who will it be.

    It must be a negative for those players to see this constant defensive approach instead of using our good attacking players to go for the win and try to score and create chances.

    6
  • Zele

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #23

    WLtoon,

    I don’t think anything will change if we drop into the bottom three.

    Fundamentally we have some above average players in a below average team managed by a mediocre manage in a mediocre club.

    Man City once had a purple patch in the 60s and 70s but sank into mediocrity very much like us but they were rescued by money and everything changed.

    We haven’t been rescued and nothing has changed.

    8
  • Optimistic prime

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #24

    Where was the slug yesterday?

    Was he at the match, didn’t show him on my TV

    1
  • hibbit

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #25

    Regan thanks for that mate but at the moment i’ve got enough on my hands,

    3
  • DrGloom

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #26

    It’s worrying that under empty stadiums almost every other team is going attack minded and playing some good football , we’re isolating Wilson up front and relying on ASM to beat 4 players whilst every other player is behind the half way line ..
    Bruce keeps going on about options but continuously sticks with the lads who did well rather than selecting players based on who we are playing …manure have struggled against pace and fast movement so why play Linton / Hendricks and defensive minded subs when we do have actual pace in the squad …
    I’m sorry but Bruce has had enough time to show improvement in footballing terms over Rafa’s defensive gameplay. Despite getting a similar points total last season a lot of those points were fluked and his luck was clearly never going to last.
    But who would fatty replace him with … I honestly can’t imagine Ashley taking a chance on an upcoming manager and it’s unlikely any forward thinking established managerwill come

    17
  • Regan

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #27

    Hibitt. ..
    No problem mate..

    1
  • The Rev.Jim

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #28

    just thought, bruce reminds me a bit of Worzel Gummidge
    Maybe he needs his cousin’s the Wurzels, to buy him a new tractor,
    Or better still a combined harvester,and go play with it.
    Down on Animal Farm.
    While sucking on his Tic-Tacs
    as that’s all he’s good for.
    In the words of the Sweet
    “He just hasn’t got a clue what to do”

    5
  • Regan

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #29

    https://youtu.be/btEpF334Rtc

    Knows more about farming than football. .

    1
  • Munster Mag

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #30

    Not sure why someone is saying Bruce is justifying his decision to fans. I presume he was asked. If he didn’t say, he would be accused of poor communication. That’s not to defend the performance and sub.

    0
  • giimps

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #31

    I think i understand Bruceys thought pattern, let Manure win, therefore Ole keeps his job a little longer, leaving Poch still available for us when the takeover goes through, Stevie then gets his payoff from the Saudis ,We get Poch and he gets a nice new Man Ure couloured tractor and everyone is happy……

    7
  • toon22

    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #32

    Munster
    He’s a nightmare
    Utterly clueless
    Beyond a doubt the worst manager we’ve had in decades

    14
  • jimiley

    Oct 18, 2020 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #33

    Bruce will keep us up.
    Thats all you need to know and that is all that is expected of him.
    Why get rid of him to get a Pardew type? Because thats the alternative.
    I think Bruce is a lucky manager for us. He either loses badly or nicks lucky odd goal wins.
    He could well win the League Cup for us and have a statue in bronze outside SJP. Irony of ironies. I suppose a few might tear it down? Its the age for it.
    I also think we will win the league in 2027 on the centenary of our last win. The top 6 will be in a European league by then so who is to say that Big Mike will not dip into his pocket to try to secure the equivalent of 7th and win the damn thing?
    We have to try to be positive and give Bruce a little slack.

    3
  • Munster Mag

    Oct 18, 2020 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #34

    Giimps when could a takeover happen. I’ve been swimming 1km daily last week. I might need to keep the ticker going as it may take years aaargh

    0
  • Munster Mag

    Oct 18, 2020 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #35

    Bruce may be bad but I’d prefer him to McClaren who was just terrible

    0
  • toon22

    Oct 18, 2020 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #36

    Munster

    McLaren played better footy and had better stats by far

    10
  • jimiley

    Oct 18, 2020 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #37

    I remember Big Sam getting dogs abuse from the whole ground at home games. We were comfortably mid table and not fighting relegation constantly. How times change.
    And for a lot worse. We would swap Bruce for big Sam at the drop of a hat. Unless he wins us the Cup next Spring or the league in 7 years time.????

    2
  • geordie157

    Oct 18, 2020 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #38

    Bruce is still here then, should be gone already! get Howe in, we may concede more (oh wait we conceded 4), he’d enjoy working with these players (sure there’s no ill will towards Fraser and most importantly he would get us playing some decent football.

    I’m tired of this park the bus football, under Rafa is was ok as he was limited a bit by the players at his disposal but Bruce has no excuses!! We have the players to get at sides yet we never have a go.

    Joelinton plays probably best 2 or 3 games for us, on the left or coming in more central off of Wilson so genius Bruce thinks you know what Joelinton right wing will fool the opposition. Um no Bruce, Joelinton just getting his confidence back after a year of playing week in week out as a target man, then you go and move him to the right!!!

    Almiron, Fraser, ASM can all play on the right side and personally all 3 should start the next 2-3 games and we go 4231 and have a go.

    Hendrick aside from a good goal has been garbage, I saw him playing for Derby and he was good box to box player who could play the no.10 too. But he looks well off the pace, surely Saivet could offer something better.

    Why’s Manquillo been dropped?

    Not subbing injured players, just sums up how clueless Bruce is.

    Ashley do the right thing, get rid now pay him off and go get Howe. There’s no way Poch would come here.

    What also gets on my nerves about yesterday is just how poor that man utd starting 11 was, they were fragile and there to be beaten. Yet Bruce parks the bloody bus again, park the bus against Liverpool, City, fine but no one else!!!

    8
  • toon22

    Oct 18, 2020 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #39

    If you didn’t know better you’d think he handed Manu those points

    9
  • Rotonda heights

    Oct 18, 2020 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #40

    Martoon

    Perspective? Look at the stats of the last 30 games. Proper coaches like Arteta don’t need 18 months to go ”absolutely nowhere”. I remember now why he was always known as agent bruce!! Just on the Darlow injury scenario alone Bruce needs saving from himself. Total liability and dangerous.

    Hail

    Ashley made it pretty much untenable for R – – – to continue. No way was he ever going to get 1, let alone two 100K a week players. Ash’s policy seems to be starve a good coach of funds and throw it behind a hopeless one. All the foundations put in place to kick on have all been thrown under the bus now. Remember R – – – stayed with us in the champo too, so no it wasn’t all just about the money although no one could blame him even if it was.

    Zele

    It was screaming out for ASM to go at Shaw much further up the pitch and you’re right if bruce wasn’t asking him to beat 5 players from his own 3rd he’d probably get a stack of pens. Imagine asm in an attacking team with a proper coach, his stats would be off the scale.

    5


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