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Bruce Points To What He Was ‘Encouraged’ About From Villa Defeat



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.

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250 comments so far

  • lesh

    Jan 24, 2021 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #1

    He’s had a season and a half to be ‘encouraged’ and it’s too late to be fannying on, hoping…

    13
  • Not another deJong

    Jan 24, 2021 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #2

    It just goes to show where we are, that I am not angry or frustrated in the aftermath of a two nil defeat and can actually see some positives. However, with the lack of consistency and another match following quickly on Tuesday I wonder if there will be the opportunity to build on them.

    Last night there was an inkling of organisation on display, admittedly it went out the window in both penalty boxes, but I thought the team showed some responsibility and determination to push forward even after the first goal was conceded. I wondered if this was due to the side being made up of mainly senior players and I hope it is something that can be built on.

    For the majority of the match it was hard to say if the high pressing was a positive or not, as it was executed quite badly and showed the flip side to having more senior players in the side. However after the double substitution, we saw the formation which most have been calling for and the ability to press properly. The brief use of 4231 with ASM-Almiron-Fraser behind Wilson was a moment to behold and I would like to see us start the next game exactly the same, to create some consistency and familiarity within the players towards by far our best formation.

    Lastly, the lads do want to play. There is a certain amount of embarrassment, nerves and edginess, but despite the lack of goals they were trying despite the criticism. I don’t think the coaches will see and build on the positives that I have drawn, but there is still a good team in there.

    Now the negatives which are more individual, but generally may improve with game time. As Hendrick and Lewis were far to negative and poor when trying not to be, both were guilty of turning their back far too many times when there was the space to carry the ball forward. I would prefer to see Hayden and Dummett in their respective places, but then again consistency can not be gained without giving responsibility.

    Talking of which, using Andy Carroll from the start is not working. The quality and quantity of supply may well be an issue, but in reality he is too slow. As a talisman and his understanding of the game at both ends of the pitch, he is great but just not from the start and not in every game. Again the 4231(4411) is much more dynamic and requires legs up front.

    It could be a negative that neither of the Longstaffs were in the side, but as I have said I think experience did count for a lot of the positive play and definitely helps in a relegation battle. Whilst I would prefer to see Hayden in midfield, he shone at right back in this match and he may be a better influence from their, if Hendrick and Shelvey can actually master the holding midfield pairing. Which is always the inevitable question about Jonjo, but to his credit and whilst we still lost, it was him that showed most of all the intent to compete and I can credit that.

    23
  • toon22

    Jan 24, 2021 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #3

    SACK HIM

    21
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 24, 2021 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #4

    I wonder how much the profit margin Ashley had calculated was if he replaced Rafa with Bruce, he obviously had someone look at the numbers of Rafa’s plan with the training ground etc. And how much he’s actually lost on those initial calculations.

    8
  • Northumbrian

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #5

    I wonder if var actually looked when shelvey tackled grealish and when grealish landed he went into shelveys back with both elbows then elbowed shelvey in the head after getting up when shelvey was on his knees.

    20
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #6

    FPL post,
    I’ve got the fifth highest score in the H2H and I’m sitting in 13th spot and facing relegation 🙁

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #7

    People talk about Sheff Wed, Leeds and Forest being former big clubs stuck in the wilderness. Sheff Wed and Forest don’t really have potential. Villa like us have been relegated a couple of times recently but are a big club and with the right owners have bounced back quite quickly. We will not become a Forest or Sheff Wed when Ashley foots off.

    5
  • Davas28

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #8

    Norrhumbrian. I noticed sky cut off both replays of it before you could see the elbowing

    12
  • Munster Mag

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #9

    Good post de Jong lots of thought gone into that.

    4
  • OneAlanShearer

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #10

    We are back to days of the purples are we….senior players starting regardless of how badly they play.

    Let me be clear, our central midfield has no legs in it, hendrick and shelvey were useless in that department. Yes shelvey go but in the build up to both goals allowed crosses that ultimately led to the 2 goals.

    Hayden And matty should be 2 in midfield. If you are going to play 433 id prefer almiron starting over shelvey still.

    Up top i doubt fraser and asm can last 90 mins versus leeds so I’d actually go 4231 use miggy and murphy wide of anderson as the 10 with wilson up top but we won’t. We will probably start how we started v villa. If bruce doesn’t leave we are down it’s as simple as that, no legs in midfield, no creativity or crossing on the pitch he keeps leaving it all on the bench

    5
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #11

    Why did he give Ritchie a new deal, so they could swap him for someone like Billing?

    2
  • Assassins Inc

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #12

    I really need to figure what Steve is drinking or taking.
    It seems like he actually believes his own bullshit.
    I’m still going to say this and some may not agree but Jamal is shite as a central defender, clumsy on the ball, slow as shite, always running backwards when attacked, we let our best one leave on loan, great choice Steve. Didn’t we win more games when Jamal was injured.
    Last night one of the commentators said this is Newcastle’s 60 something odd corner and they have scored only once, at least we are top of the league in something.

    8
  • Not another deJong

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #13

    To summerise……..we weren’t as bad as we sometimes have.

    3
  • Zorro

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #14

    Northumbrian
    Really you wonder if var looked at the jack and John incident or should I say the nothing incident
    Get a grip
    BRUCE OUT BRUCE OUT BRUCE OUT

    4
  • Munster Mag

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #15

    Jail the point isn’t about club size. It’s about clubs like Forest and Leeds who could have been in the prem for the last 10 years and have solid fan bases and history, just drifting along down there.

    0
  • kc2012

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #16

    He will get sacked 1 minute after the transfer window shuts, Rafa will join Celtic and we’ll end up with Mark Hughes on a 6 month rolling deal ready for our routine season in the Championship.

    In the space of a year we’ve gone from being favourites to sign Mbappe, Bale, Thiago Silva, Zaha etc to being linked with loan moves for Brandon Williams and Choudury whilst on a huge winless run and staring relegation in the face, whilst forgetting to renew players visa’s.

    That’s all.

    16
  • Mund

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #17

    North I agree with you mate I was fuming last night as he should of at least got a yellow and it didn’t even get looked at and then you look at him crying at all the challenges his way ffs I was livid

    1
  • Moonraker15

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #18

    de Jong
    You summed it up perfectly! Nice one!

    2
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #19

    Munster,
    It is, investors have seen potential at Villa and have put money in. You don’t go from being a club wanted by PIF to a club wanted by chicken farmers just like that. If Ashley goes someone who realises our potential will come in. We’ve got Staveley pushing our cause.

    1
  • West Lancs Geordie

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #20

    Enough is enough Munster. Too many lies & no honesty.
    Until it is all swept away I cant watch another second of it.
    Over the past 25 plus years my son and I have seen them live at much more away venues than at SJP because of where we live.
    What a joy it was to see the Toon win away at places like Blackburn, Bolton, Stoke (sadly shook Ashley’s hand when he joined the travelling fans one cold midweek night just after he bought the Club.)Wigan, Goodison and indeed at Anfield (League Cup ) when Watto snored the winner. And even if we didn’t win we had a great time amongst the 6000/7000 travelling fanatics. Sadly we are light years away from the KK and Robby Bobson days and these are unlikely to ever return . A lot is down to the greed generated by the corrupt Premiership management committee orchestrated by Man U , Liverpool and other top clubs.
    Enough is enough. Lets concentrate on all getting over the pandemic and move on!

    7
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #21

    Apologies Munster, imo it is.

    0
  • Gothmog's Pyjamas

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #22

    FPL Post

    Yeah saw that, hell of a comeback from Benbulben. UL jail for sure.

    Romford got the win too, lad is on a roll now!

    2
  • hibbit

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #23

    leeds are on a poor so tuesday could be interesting
    #bruceOUT

    1
  • jazzyp

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #24

    I bet after last nights shambles Callum Wilson is probably realising hes made a massive mistake coming to this Shite show

    21
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #25

    A few heart’s for Nadj’s post wouldn’t go amiss.

    2
  • big bob

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #26

    Needs to go back to 5 at the back with a settled team and players playing in proper positions he makes 4/5 changes every week these players cant get any partnerships built up we are not good enough for 4 at the back and he is not a good enough manager to coach/manage this

    Redknapp asking where are young players the answer is where has the money gone and that is the answer to why no young players

    The club is just boring no excitement I watched an Irish rugby union match last night instead of watching that shite least rugby players put 100% every week the club is finished until this owner is gone and all this crap everyday about takeover is complete rubbish and people just stringing fans along they pulled out when we were 10th and doing ok no one is going to pay the money when we are going downhill fast

    5
  • Gothmog's Pyjamas

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #27

    jazzy

    If wilson had gone to villa instead of watkins, he would be top scorer in the league given the chances Grealish makes for villa.

    7
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #28

    GP,
    UL?

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #29

    Ah, unlucky 😀
    Bloody lazy that mind GP 😀

    0
  • Gothmog's Pyjamas

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #30

    Jail

    It was hardly a job for Bletchley Park..

    7
  • Bills Son Is Back

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #31

    Bruce has plenty to answer for and some of his team selections and constant chopping and changing have bordered on the farcical.

    But…

    It is a fact that a we’ve never had ASM, Miggy, Fraser and Wilson all fit and playing together which, taking into account our woeful lack of running ability and creativity in midfield, has been a big factor in the awful performances we’ve had to watch.

    I’d still sack Bruce now but he has absolutely no excuses if a) he doesn’t play and stick with those four in the team and b) if we still see the same level of crap.

    Leeds, defensively, are there for the taking and we need to be at them and on the front foot from the start.

    Anything else and Bruce has to be sacked immediately after the game.

    21
  • Not another deJong

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #32

    It makes me wonder how a man can positively identify with the self sustained development of the club, as set out in figures by Rafa, that would improve the club as an asset. But still just see the amount of money he was saving by having a top manager coaching a low budget team and think it was justified.

    6
  • West Lancs Geordie

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #33

    It’s only because of greed matches are still being played with the government unable to afford to furlough professional footballers as they continue to take the income from the tax on the wages these overpaid super stars are paid. It’s money over health with new Covid cases being reported in football clubs every day all over the country. Its immoral !

    6
  • Toon Sufferer

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #34

    Players that get an A- for effort last night:- Almiron, Andy Carroll and Isaac Hayden. Honourable mentions go out to Wilson, Manquilo & ASM all the rest were F’n’S. That will be all for now.

    4
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #35

    Bill’s,
    Yes, now he’s NOT doing better than Rafa he should be sacked. It has all been perfectly acceptable up until then.

    12
  • John Tudor

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #36

    Has he gone yet

    1
  • John Tudor

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #37

    Bassett could do a better job than Bruce

    2
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #38

    GP,
    Still bloody lazy!

    0
  • hibbit

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #39

    at the moment it looks like a big mistake but that could change very quickly with a new manager and a owner,
    if we go down and Ashley and Bruce stay there will be a long list of clubs trying to sign him, and there’s no doubt in my mind he’ll want to go,

    3
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 24, 2021 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #40

    Nadj #32
    I don’t think I’ll ever get my head round it.

    1
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