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Bruce Describes His Approach For Bottom Of The Table Sheffield After Futile Display



Newcastle had made a concerted effort to play higher up the pitch against some of the top clubs in England recently. That was evident in the FA Cup defeat at Arsenal on Saturday, where Newcastle had plenty of chances but just couldn’t convert them.

Bruce still infused his team with a defensive mindset while taking on the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City. But the lads still looked somewhat of a threat on the counter.

However, yesterday against Sheffield United, who had just 2 points in 17 matches, Bruce kept the reins tightly held and stuck with similar tactics. Newcastle had a few chances through Callum Wilson but lacked a consistent threat for much of the match.

The team held up well defensively but Ryan Fraser’s red card just before the break was a punishing and completely unnecessary blow. The handball decision against Fede Fernandez gave the Blades the breakthrough they were desperately striving for.

While those were two significant moments of the match, Newcastle’s tiresome and anemic performance brought them what they deserved, absolutely nothing.

The Chronicle has published Bruce’s explanation of his tactical approach for yesterday’s defeat. Here is what Bruce said he was trying to achieve:

“Too defensive in the approach?

“Well we have played the same sort of way and I have changed the personnel at the top end of the pitch to try to give us something a little bit different because we haven’t scored enough or created enough.

“That was my thinking, playing Ryan Fraser and Sean Longstaff as two false number 10s instead of Miguel Almiron and Big Joe.

“Of course, because of the games we’ve had, I tried to pick a team with a certain freshness.

“I wanted to see if something different would work.

“In hindsight what I needed was to get in at half-time to change things around but unfortunately the red card put pay to that.”

Whatever Bruce was trying obviously didn’t work out, and that’s been the case for much of the season. He seems incapable of balancing the squad between defending and attack. It’s Rafa’s short blanket with the blanket crumpled at the foot of the bed.

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78 comments so far

  • Tackle from behind

    Jan 13, 2021 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #42

    My understanding of a false #10 is a player who is positioned ahead of midfield and in front of the oppositions back line to disrupt the movement and passing of the opposite teams deep lying playmaker.

    Sheffield Utd do not typically have a deep lying playmaker or utilise this ploy.

    Si, it looks like he told Fraser and Longstaff to goo in hard whenever possible on any defender trying to play out from the back – Fraser listened to this advice and earned first place in the shower queue.

    Instead of coming out with utter crap, I would rather he sang a ditty and strummed a ukulele in his post match interview.

    4
  • toon22

    Jan 13, 2021 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #43

    The current “sale” has panned out exactly the same as every other one the turds subjected the club too
    Dragging on forever
    The hope used to string the fans along

    Dont hold yer breath as hes not going anywhere

    9
  • geordie157

    Jan 13, 2021 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #44

    Warren Barton on talksport summed it up perfectly.

    Speaking of Barton’s get Joey in charge, at least it won’t be dull then.

    10
  • Wor B

    Jan 13, 2021 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #45

    Wonder if we can get Marcus Rashford on the takeover case, he seems to have some sway with government. Although seeing as he represents one of the big sicks he would be lobbying in the wrong direction!

    5
  • Mund

    Jan 13, 2021 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #46

    JAFDB

    You have said all that did you feel the need to basically repeat the post?

    I’ve admitted my wrongdoings but I’ve always led with passion and have got in many situations in my life I could of avoided for the same reasons.

    It’s not about tit for tat as it’s not a school yard mate it’s a blog not a youth club and no matter what is done before it’s how we are going forward that matters not what’s been and gone.

    Show me where I’m saying I’m an angel? Like you say I’m in the top 5 for arguing on the blog isn’t it refreshing to see me trying to change that? Instead of being bitter and holding grudges like a lot do?

    I’m trying to lead by example mate that’s not a bad thing.

    10
  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jan 13, 2021 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #47

    Dab
    Yes we can play when allowed
    Rafa – did not like his style of play but give himself due when the handbrake was released after we were safe played some good football got results
    Bruce – odd game tried to get us forward but seemed lost like last season against Leicester got pummelled- reverted to back five defensive hoof
    This season slowly got us to play ie Liverpool, Leicester to a certain degree and Arsenal in the cup
    But what the f**k was he thinking last night – setting up for a nil-nil maybe nicking a win – absolute stupidity garbage.
    Fans want to see their team try and play football – I’m 66 and I can say that some of the recent games – Fulham Brentford and las night which I did not watch after seeing his team selection have been awful.
    Time is up for Bruce to go and get some young Hungry manager in and not some old fart like Pulis.
    But alas Sshley won’t sack him – costs money
    But will cost him a lot more if he does not as relegation beckons playing that sh*te

    5
  • Just a Fat Dave Bassett

    Jan 13, 2021 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #49

    Then lead by example. Stop telling people to be the bigger man, act like adults, look in the mirror etc, and just get on with it the way most grown adults do. You don’t need to keep saying your doing it. Just do it. I’ll show you how It’s done…

    11
  • Ninjacent

    Jan 13, 2021 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #50

    False 10 x2, never seen this before, does Longstaff (slow), and Fraser (clearly can only play wide) look good in the false 10 role in the past few weeks in training?

    Absolutely not, clueless against a side low on confidence and their for the taking, be on the front foot and play with towards our strengths, not 9 defencive players.
    *Bruceless

    1
  • Mund

    Jan 13, 2021 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #51

    JAFDB

    That’s the third time you have said the same thing.

    If you don’t like what I say don’t read my posts nobody is forcing you.

    Enough said

    7
  • Tackle from behind

    Jan 13, 2021 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #52

    Please don’t read this.

    I’m trying a new form of blogging using a false post.

    11
  • cleveleysbob

    Jan 13, 2021 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #53

    So, consensus is,, Ashley’s doing nowt, Bruce is safe, football in NE is dead as we know it, keep calm and carry on.

    Nope , not for me , can’t accept it. Simple demands:

    Professionalism, not amateur night at the Alhambra.
    Effort, not aimless, headless, moronic plodding.
    Coaching, not running around the field to see whose fit.
    Football, not hoofball.
    Passing, not back to the goalie.
    Attacking (really), not more hoofball with 9 x across the back line (10 x when AC’s on)
    Ambition, not just trying to stay in PL.
    A plan, not just existing from week to week.

    Not too much to ask really, is it?

    5
  • Ron Knee

    Jan 13, 2021 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #54

    “The current team don’t have to be the Entertainers they just need to have a go and show the people who are consigned to their sitting rooms that they care.” (Chronicle)

    This type of comment exonerates Bruce – which is b*ll*cks.

    1
  • fairscup

    Jan 13, 2021 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #55

    If we had started the game with the team that finished the game we would have won by at least six (even with ten men).

    They were CRAP but we were WORSE, tactics? what tactics, no plan A exept cross the half way line at your peril.

    False tens alright, I’m still looking for them.

    Just go away Bruce (resisting the obvious).

    2
  • carltoon

    Jan 13, 2021 at 3:14 PM

    Comment #56

    I mean two false number tens? What does that even mean. Why not play to midfielders one who can break up play and one who can thread a pass through to a couple of strikers.

    2
  • carltoon

    Jan 13, 2021 at 3:15 PM

    Comment #57

    Two not to.

    1
  • fairscup

    Jan 13, 2021 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #58

    And please stop the pathetic bickering, there are people with REAL problems who read this blog.

    7
  • Northumbrian

    Jan 13, 2021 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #59
  • IrishRob

    Jan 13, 2021 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #60

    Everyone knows Bruce is telling lies to try make his incompetence more palatable. But I can prove with one sentence it was a lie. If he plays TWO “False 10’s and Wilson as a the central striker that leaves 2 people to man the WHOLE midfield. That just doesn’t happen in football. The best team in the world couldnt play with 2 men in midfield.

    5
  • Adamn_92

    Jan 13, 2021 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #61

    Let’s be honest our midfield is non existent so basically last night and many other games, we are playing a formation of 5-0-1.

    3
  • lochinvar

    Jan 13, 2021 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #62

    False football
    Is that the replacement model for Hoofball?

    2
  • gonufc (Newcastle United Sports Direct Advertising Club)

    Jan 13, 2021 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #63

    I know everyone will hate me saying this but as bad as everything is (And it is, we have an inept manager and a decade+ of an owner who doesn’t care about football) I still can’t support us being owned by the Saudis.

    I don’t want the club tainted even more. Anything that does come will always have a shadow hanging over it.

    0
  • Great White Hunter

    Jan 13, 2021 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #64

    Won’t mention last nights game as everything has already been said, but I will be watching how Fulham, Brighton set up their game plan away to tough games at Man City, Spurs, tonight, don’t think it will be similar to Bruce’s plan etc…….!

    2
  • Pottsclock

    Jan 13, 2021 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #65

    One of the most telling things last night was the look on Bruce’s face throughout the fiasco. Breathing heavily, shuffling, fidgeting and with a look of panic on his face of “oh God”, no”. Every sign of not being in control. And he knows it.

    8
  • Adamn_92

    Jan 13, 2021 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #66

    Just had my first vaccine jab, no extra head or arms yet…

    2
  • Adamn_92

    Jan 13, 2021 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #67

    Can you imagine if a so called ‘fan’ of the club, managed to get us relegated and in the process scuppered the best takeover deal we’ll probably ever get presented?

    2
  • DaveD1000

    Jan 13, 2021 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #68

    Against Arsenal,apparently, we are going in a formation we haven’t tried yet. 2 False 10s, 2 False 5s and 2 False wingers.

    3
  • cleveleysbob

    Jan 13, 2021 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #69

    The best thing about yesterday, this blog, with threads getting over 200 responses (a bit like the old days, 18 months ago) 😉 and almost totally in agreement with each other before and after the match about the way forward – true fans, nice to see, it keeps the faith 🙂

    5
  • richyg01

    Jan 13, 2021 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #70

    We don’t score goals because the team is set up all wrong.

    We are laid out as 5-4-1, that leaves Wilson very lonely up front and leave a big gulf between him and the supporting midfielders which we do not have the pace (or skill) to bridge.

    For me, the team selection, and formation was very very poor for last nights game, we set our stall out to be defensive, against a team sat bottom of the table and struggling at home.

    We should have set out with a 4-3-3 or something similar, rattle some goals in and build some confidence in the lads.

    1
  • cleveleysbob

    Jan 13, 2021 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #71

    This whole “false” thing is likely to be the stick that everyone beats Bruce to death with.

    Won’t be long before he regrets uttering those ridiculous comments.

    “False football” has a nice ring to it. A good book title for his autobiography!! Steve Bruce’s False Football, in the shops for next Xmas, don’t you just love it. 🙂

    6
  • Assassins Inc

    Jan 13, 2021 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #72

    Football lesson for Cabbage Patch Mackem loving idiot.
    This season we have seen a goal keeper come in from the cold due to injury and he has I think won more Man of The match’s votes than anyone else this season.
    The reason for this is (A) he is actually a great keeper, (B) you play to defensively so he has no choice as his goal is getting killed with shots. You honestly call yourself a Newcastle Fan? Well how as a fan do you think your doing? If the answer is, I feel the manager has tried everything and cannot continue then welcome back fan,
    If the answer is, The manager needs time and has been unlucky, please kindly remove yourself as a fan and go and support Man U.

    7
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 13, 2021 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #73

    Adamn,
    It’s up to the fat man and his minion now. The more we want him sacked the less likely they are to pull the trigger.

    6
  • Jamesthefirst

    Jan 13, 2021 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #74

    Post match conference when we lose to Arsenal next week

    “They’re a very good side”

    “We hoped we might knick something.”

    “I’m not worried about the mass hysteria of the fans or keyboard warriors”

    “Dust ourselves down and go again.”

    “When we start so poorly in the game we don’t help ourselves”

    “Perhaps I need to look at swapping my keepers”

    “Big Joe was unlucky. He didn’t mean to miss that chance.”

    7
  • Mund

    Jan 13, 2021 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #75

    Rumours of Willems coming in. Does it really matter tho? Definitely need him and would love for him to be back but it’s not exactly the signing we are desperate for but will we even get that?

    Anyone’s guess with Ashley but I think some money will be spent this January as no matter how much Ashley has gambled with us and our status in the past this is different as he wants to sell and you would have to be mad to not be at least considering sacking Bruce with our current form and alarming statistics.

    But no doubt Ashley will think throwing some money at it and keeping Bruce will solve all the problems.

    1
  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jan 13, 2021 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #76

    Saying we don’t have a midfield
    Bruce should start with a 2-0-8 formation
    Kick off pass it back
    8 forwards charge upfield
    Lump it long
    Score after 6 seconds score
    As Leipzig did in 2013
    Trending on GIVEMESPORT

    4
  • magicmac54

    Jan 13, 2021 at 4:58 PM

    Comment #77

    Its clear to see with Bruce`s body language and his whole demeanour he is totally lost, he reminds me of an alcholic who needs professional help but is in denial, his rerfusal to face reality is probably caused by sheer stubbornness pride and outright stupidity, and a lack of common sense and judgement.

    3
  • lochinvar

    Jan 13, 2021 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #78

    9 December 1892
    Newcastle United founded

    12 January 2021
    Newcastle United flounders
    Steve Bruce declares : “Work in Progress, false number 10’s and not being able to play higher up the pitch”

    That’s a gross insult to all those who have gone before.

    Ashley, Charmless, Barnes, Bishop and the three Steve’s need to leave town.
    None are fit for purpose.

    The old yardstick is who would you have in the trenches alongside you ?
    None of these.

    2


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