Newcastle have now not won in ten matches, the last five of which have resulted in defeat. To top matters off, we haven’t scored a goal in four straight and have just one in our last eight.
Defensively, the club is a mess letting in sloppy and soft goals almost every match. We’ve kept just five clean sheets all season, only three in the Premier League. This is a recipe for a relegation battle.
I was mistaken that our league position wouldn’t change last night. Burnley has jumped us in the table on goal difference and we are now in 16th with just 19 points at the halfway mark of the season.
There’s really not much Steve Bruce can say at this point. His recent interviews have only produced more consternation from the fanbase. It’s time for dramatic action as the monologues have long since become stale.
Last night we produced just one shot on target, a Miguel Almiron dribbler easily collected by the Villa keeper in the opening minutes. After the match, Bruce tried to put a positive spin on the attacking display by saying the following as published in The Chronicle:
“I am more concentrated in what we’ve seen.
“What encouraged me was to see Ryan and Allan on the pitch because, straightaway, we looked more of a threat.
“At the top end of the pitch, scoring a goal is the reason why Ryan, Allan, and Callum are in the team. I think it’s the first time all season I’ve been able to see a glimpse from them. They will certainly make us better in that department.
“As we’ve said all along, that’s the difficult part of the Premier League, to create and score a goal.
“I was encouraged because those two coming onto the pitch, I know will make us better.”
Bruce brought Allan Saint-Maximin and Ryan Fraser on for the final 20 minutes last night. While we looked much better getting up the pitch with their pace, the lads produced absolutely nothing despite being down two goals.
While Bruce has discernably made some changes to get players forward over the past two matches, it’s not produced any tangible results with just one shot on target in each of those matches.
The return of Saint-Maximin should help a bit but there are so many issues right now, there’s very little to be encouraged about. Hopefully, the pending addition of Graeme Jones to the coaching staff can make some difference as it looks like Ashley is going to stick with Bruce for the time being.