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Former Magpie Perfectly Expresses The Problem Plaguing Newcastle’s Performances

This Newcastle squad’s lack of motivation at the moment is a poor reflection on Steve Bruce. The lads at times seem unmoved on the pitch. While I don’t knock their effort, there’s just been a malaise about the group this season.

There are plenty of events over the past year that can be pointed to as a potential cause. There’s been the disjointed start to this season due to the pandemic, the failed takeover that dragged on and on, and the Covid outbreak at the club in December.

Last season, the bulk of the performances were uninspiring, however, the lads showed a tenacity that has been absent for the most part this season. We can’t see this year’s rendition of Bruce’s boys pulling out late miracles like against Chelsea or at Everton last season.

Former Magpie Warren Barton, who is currently a pundit in the States, spoke to TalkSPORT about last night’s performance at Sheffield United. Barton has expressed perfectly the problem this season, and last to be fair.

The Chronicle has transcribed Barton’s comments, which are just spot on about Steve Bruce’s negative impact on the players before the ball is even kicked:

“I think it’s a mindset.

“I think of Newcastle going forward, being ambitious, winning games. Steve is going into games, not just now but all this season and last season, it’s about not getting beat and that sets a tone in the game.

“You’re playing against Sheffield United yesterday who haven’t won a game. You know they are going to be petrified and they are going to be nervous. We let them get into the game, we let them get a hold of the ball and we let them get some tempo.

“Forget about the red card. Even before that, the tone was set.

“Even when he gets interviewed afterwards, Steve, he’s supposed to be a Geordie from that area. When he wins the game there’s no passion. I remember Sir Bobby Robson and he’d be smiling from ear to ear, and Kevin Keegan as well.

“I used to walk into St James’ Park thinking: ‘how lucky am I to be playing for this football club?’ I don’t see that from the staff, I don’t see it from Steve, and I feel for the players because I think there’s enough quality to be playing a lot better, attractive football and winning games than what we’re doing at the moment.

“This has been a long time coming.

“Nobody looks like they are, even when they win a game, enjoying it, which is such a strange thing to say. I know Steve and I have got a lot of respect for him, he’s a good football guy but I don’t see him enjoying being manager of Newcastle and he is a Geordie so he should be enjoying it more than anybody.

“I look at what Steven Gerrard has done to Glasgow Rangers. He’s gone in there and grabbed that club by the scruff of the neck. He’s got hold of that club and took it forward. Someone needs to do that with Newcastle.

“Whether that is Steve or the ownership, they should enjoy being in that football club. There’s no ambition in the players.

“What is demoralizing for me as an ex-player, captain, spectator, whatever you want to call it, is that it is not enjoyable to watch. I am sure it can’t be fun to play in either.

“There have been glimpses. They got the new signings, they beat West Ham and you thought: ‘Come on then, boys. let’s have a go.’.

“But then it has slowly, slowly, turned back around again. It is negative, it is boring and it drains you because you can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

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182 comments so far

  • check the toastie

    Jan 13, 2021 at 8:07 PM

    Comment #161

    Or the special one John Carver

  • The Ledge

    Jan 13, 2021 at 8:07 PM

    Comment #162

    Oh it is Munster when he was doing ok due to rafa leaving a well organised and efficient defensive set up which myself and quite a few others pointed out at the time some on here including yourself were praising him and his football along with his great man-management.
    But anyone who watched football or followed his career knew he was a failure utterly useless it had nothing to do with rafa you turned it into that even though there is no comparison one was a world-class manager the other a complete failure his whole career.
    Bruce was judged on his past failures by myself and others nothing more you bigged him up at every opportunity you could and used him in you fair and balanced critique of rafa repeatedly.
    Now it’s all falling apart like some of us said on here would happen ur jumping ship.
    You just have to go over your old posts and you will see that .

  • check the toastie

    Jan 13, 2021 at 8:09 PM

    Comment #163

    So lucky crowds are banned. Bruceasaurus and his div1 coaching staff are out of there depth. Embarrassments

  • Mund

    Jan 13, 2021 at 8:09 PM

    Comment #164
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jan 13, 2021 at 8:12 PM

    Comment #165

    Worked with two Lads from Sunderland who called themselves geordies, got really shirty when I asked them why! 🙂

  • WLtoon

    Jan 13, 2021 at 8:13 PM

    Comment #166


    Late response i`m afraid, i am early start this week, 6.15am til 2.35 pm, i don`t mind getting up early , at least iv`e got the rest of the day free.
    Yeah i do Monday to Friday with the odd weekend overtime .

  • Moonraker15

    Jan 13, 2021 at 8:21 PM

    Comment #167

    Never mind Bobby Charlton coming from Ashington; what about his uncle Jackie Milburn????

  • Uncertain Toon/World

    Jan 13, 2021 at 8:24 PM

    Comment #168


    I can’t agree with your assumption that Brucey has it in his contract that he goes for nowt if we’re in the bottom 3.

    Ashley paid compo to his previous employer to get him, Bruce was in the driving seat in them contract negotiations.

  • Moonraker15

    Jan 13, 2021 at 8:25 PM

    Comment #169

    I just realised you said there was no place called Tyneside 40 years ago! I beg to differ but I’m over 70 and it’s always been Tyneside in my lifetime! Did you mean 400 years by chance?

  • Moonraker15

    Jan 13, 2021 at 8:27 PM

    Comment #170

    Fulham are better than us as well!
    Ashley’s gonna have to make that decision soon!

  • magicmac54

    Jan 13, 2021 at 8:32 PM

    Comment #171


    Good post Moonraker, and yes i guess we think of all people from London as cockney`s even though its not true, for my part coming from Ireland i think of all people coming from the North East as Geordies which is obviously not true also, i had a pupil last year a young lady from Sunderland who had a partner from my part of Ireland, she was a really loyal Sunderland fan, she had no problem me calling her a geordie ha ha ha. Moonraker is there many Geordies married to Mackems, perhaps even some of you guys on this blog are, but perhaps some might to keep that information private he he he he

  • Moonraker15

    Jan 13, 2021 at 8:45 PM

    Comment #172

    I lived in Gateshead and my family was split between Toon and Sunderland. My old man just black and white through and through and his youngest brother red and white. However they were all Geordies cos they didn’t live in Sunderland.
    I used to drink in a bar where a Sunderland fan would bring his Whippet in with a red and white striped coat in amongst the toon fans. What a craic but the difference then was there was only banter no fighting. And by the way there was no segregation at the derby matches! Good times!

  • Wor B

    Jan 13, 2021 at 8:49 PM

    Comment #173

    Fine margins, I worked with a guy many years ago who insisted, in a whining tone…

    “Aaas nora Mackem, aaas from Pensha”

  • Uncertain Toon/World

    Jan 13, 2021 at 8:53 PM

    Comment #174


    If you really go back was it not called Northumbria?

    I’m sure we even had Edinburgh in there at one point 🙂

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jan 13, 2021 at 9:01 PM

    Comment #175

    My take on Geordies was originally people born within the City walls and were given the name for defending the City for George I against the Jacobites.
    Lot looser term for people born around Newcastle or on the banks of the Tyne.
    I’m not a Geordie but a proud Northumbrian wear the Northumbrian shepherd tartan -sometimes to matches as it is black and white check.

  • Tackle from behind

    Jan 13, 2021 at 9:03 PM

    Comment #176

    I was born in Germany, my mother was born and bred in Durham.
    I now live in Durham cos to me it is home.
    I call myself a Geordie just as my mam and Grandad did
    anyone who says different is a Mackem

  • Moonraker15

    Jan 13, 2021 at 9:03 PM

    Comment #177


    Northumbria was Northumberland to all intents. But Tyneside is self explanatory like Wearside and Teesside!

  • Wor B

    Jan 13, 2021 at 9:07 PM

    Comment #178

    When people ask if I’m a Geordie I tell them I’m Northumbrian, a close relation.

    When I’m at the match it’s “We’re Geordies we’re mental we’re off our footin heads”

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 13, 2021 at 9:08 PM

    Comment #179

    The Wife,
    The little one lost interest when you stopped, she loved the challenge, I’ll let her know you’re back on.

  • magicmac54

    Jan 13, 2021 at 9:13 PM

    Comment #180


    They were indeed great times when there was no fighting and no need for segregation, and good old friendly banter between the fans no matter what rivalry there was between the teams, that still happens in Rugby, and it also happens here in Ireland in the GAA Football and also in the Hurling, its brilliant having the banter on big match days in the pubs with the opposing fans before the match.

  • magicmac54

    Jan 13, 2021 at 9:15 PM

    Comment #181

    Wor B I think all you geordies are mental a bit like us Irish ha ha ha he

  • Uncertain Toon/World

    Jan 13, 2021 at 9:26 PM

    Comment #182


    Between the 7th and 10th centuries Edinburgh was part of the Anglian Kingdom of Northumbria. I remember this from school history. I was issued in Blyth!

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