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Bruce Hopes Second Half ‘Spirit’ Will Carry Through Remainder Of The Season



Newcastle’s record at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League era is not good to put it plainly. Other than 2012 with the two super strikes from Papiss Cisse, Newcastle generally come up empty-handed. Last night was no different.

The first half was particularly disappointing as Newcastle started the match a little too passively. Chelsea showed their class with an emphasis down our exposed flanks, leaving Newcastle reeling and down 2 goals at the half. It really could have been 3 or 4.

The second half was an improvement though we lacked a cutting edge. Miguel Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin, and Joe Willock were just not able to reproduce their exploits from a week ago against his superior Chelsea side.

Steve Bruce was buoyed by the improved second-half display but rued his side’s inability to deal with the Blues in the first. Here are some of his take aways from the match as published in The Chronicle:

“We were excellent in the second half and in the first half we found it very difficult.

“The way they played, the system they had, the two inside forwards – we didn’t deal with it well enough.

“Second half we got to grips with it and we were more aggressive – a lot of positives. The first half was very difficult for us.

“With 10-15 minutes to go, we can ask a question. We’re disappointed with the first half if I’m being brutally honest. We got back in the game in the second half.”

The defeat does little to assuage growing relegation fears on Tyneside. While Newcastle are still seven points above 18th placed Fulham, we are rightfully concerned when in this precarious position in the table. Two relegations under Mike Ashley have removed any benefit of the doubt.

If Bruce is concerned, he’s not showing any outward signs of distress. He believes that if Newcastle continue to play like they did over the past few matches, and the second half last night, that they should be ok by the end of the season.

Here is what he said when asked about being dragged into a relegation fight:

“I expect a fight from us, there’s six, seven, or eight teams in the bottom half with a long way to go and a lot of games to play.

“If we show that spirit like we did in that second half we’ll be alright.”

Newcastle should be nowhere near the position they are in. They have squandered opportunity after opportunity to have a comfortable season. Now we are in a fight for safety without the one player we could not afford to lose in Callum Wilson.

Last night was not a fixture to pick up points in, but wasted opportunities this season placed extra importance on this match. The lads showed some fight in the second half in what was likely a lost cause.

Now it’s on to Old Trafford against Manchester United, who have been hit or miss against the bottom half of the table. Hopefully, the lads will come out inspired and ready to fight from the opening whistle as there’s not much hope we’ll have a seven-point cushion over Fulham by kick-off on Sunday.

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143 comments so far

  • Just a fan

    Feb 16, 2021 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #41

    Liverpool have a coach just for throw ins and to be honest they don’t seem that good at them.

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #42

    hibbit,
    100% they don’t do analysis on the opposition. When he was asked about the Leeds results he said in that annoying Self-deprecating manner, “I’ve had enough to worry about without looking at other people’s resukts” guffaw guffaw.

    6
  • wartongeordie

    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #43

    Tinman, Warton in Lancashire, you know it?

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #44

    Jaf,
    Have you seen that video knocking around where the player does a triple somersault before launching it from his own half in to the oppo box.

    1
  • onmeedsun

    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #45

    I have long held the view that you can assess a sides technical ability by just watching their throw ins and to what extent they can retain the ball. I cannot remember us ever being good at throw ins. The ball should reach the player at his feet and not 1 foot in front of him, and yet we do that every time. It’s just basic.

    1
  • Not another deJong

    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #46

    lochinvar @33

    Bruce played the circle formation at Brentford (no midfield).

    1
  • wartongeordie

    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #47

    Maybe we could get Joelinton to train on nothing else but arm training in the gym and become a long throw specialist, its a great weapon to have and turns throw ins into the equivalent of a corner, he must be good at something.

    1
  • Not another deJong

    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #48

    “”Apart from Liverpool and several Danish teams, Grønnemark has been employed by clubs including RB Leipzig, Ajax and Gent. Last season he coached throw-ins at eight clubs. He usually visits each team six or seven times a year, with two to four days of training per visit.””

    https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/sep/23/liverpool-throw-in-coach-thomas-gronnemark-klopp

    0
  • Jamesthefirst

    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #49

    Knowing our luck, I now expect the following

    – Takeover approved in March through the arbitration

    – PIF say they will wait until the end of the season to see if we are still a PL team before completing the purchase

    – Bruce relegates us, and smiles while doing it

    – PIF walk away from the deal

    – We start the Championship season with Bruce still in charge

    6
  • Not another deJong

    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #50

    Anybody got the clip of Jones showing Clemence the situation on the pitch via the video screen, in the dug out?
    He looked just as mystified.

    2
  • WLtoon

    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #51

    Looking at Fulham`s remaining fixtures i have them down for an extra 16 points putting them on 34.
    They play Burnley twice, Sheff Utd, Palace, Southampton and us in those fixtures.
    Their results will be up and down, like ours , maybe win a game when you don`t expect them to, but likewise losing when you expect them to win, Burnley for example, could quite easily turn them over, twice.
    If we can`t manage another 10 points from now until the end of the season then we really do deserve to go down.

    2
  • Jamesthefirst

    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #52

    To stay in the PL we HAVE to win 4 of these remaining games.

    Man Utd
    Wolves
    West Brom
    Brighton
    Spurs
    Burnley
    West Ham
    Liverpool
    Arsenal
    Leicester
    Man City
    Sheff United
    Fulham

    2
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #53

    DMicky,
    Cheers for those articles by the way. Much appreciated.

    1
  • WLtoon

    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #54

    Imo, we don`t need to win 4 games, just pick up 10 points, 2 wins 4 draws, 3 wins 1 draw etc.

    2
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #55

    WLtoon,
    It may well come down to the last match at Fulham.

    1
  • WLtoon

    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #56

    Jail,

    I hope not, but we shouldn`t of put ourselves in that position if that`s the case.
    I honestly think we will be ok. Just.

    0
  • WLtoon

    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #57

    Jail,

    Straight answer from you here. Up or down ?

    2
  • lochinvar

    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #58

    Not another de jong
    lochinvar @33
    Bruce played the circle formation at Brentford (no midfield).

    Thanks. I’ve forgotten about that.
    I’ve crossed it off “A 100 ways to beat the opposition tactical planning handbook for beginners” author Steve Bruce. Sadly out of print.

    If the Diamond formation has been sussed, I’d go for a Trapezoid formation as this is rarely used these days. You can’t beat a good old Quadrilateral with one pair of parallel sides.
    By my reckoning that’s 4 in central midfield and overlapping wing backs on each side.

    No charge.

    7
  • magicmac54

    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #59

    Good afternoon folks, WLtoon@32 great post there fella and i agree with all your valid points. Just speaking my opinions here when i say i would take a couple of seasons in the championship or even in league one if it meant getting rid of Ashley, its just soul destroying being the whipping boys in the premier league every year and endless relegation scraps every year under that repulsive despicable slimeball Ashley, i love Newcastle United and i just want to start an new chapter with an new owner, and if it means dropping a division or two to achieve it ill honestly take that all day long. HWTL

    3
  • onmeedsun

    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #60

    James 1st
    If the takeover was denied us due to relegation I think there would be carnage at the next match at SJP. Do you seriously think any of them would dare pitch up for that one?
    I am at the point where being banned for life would be a blessing.

    5
  • Shoulders knees

    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #61

    Jamesthefirst

    We better win those 4 games before our last 6 fixtures as we won’t get anything from them.

    3
  • WLtoon

    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #62

    magicmac,

    Good afternoon , i hope it`s as sunny over in Ireland as it is here, quite mild too compared to the arctic weather last week lol.

    I would hate to relegated no matter what mac, i think if we were to go down then Ashley would have no option but to hang around for god knows how long.
    Imo, the best chance of us getting rid of Jabba is by being in the top flight where he can get the dollar he wants for the club because i don`t think he will be prepared to sell for a lot less than what he wants.

    I do get what you are saying mind, if there was a guarantee we would be shot of Ashley after 2 years of champo football , then i would take it i guess , lets hope we get what we want after THIS season mate.

    2
  • WLtoon

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #63

    Shoulders knees,

    We must be far worse than i thought if you think we won`t beat either Sheff U of Fulham, we will have Wilson back by then too.
    Ah well ,looks like the champo for us then. Nah.

    1
  • Shoulders knees

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #64

    WLtoon

    If pif don’t get the nod to come back for us, do you really see anyone coming close to paying half of what Cashley wants for what has become a shell of a Club. Everything and I mean everything is in disrepair

    4
  • Shoulders knees

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #65

    WLtoon
    I am basing it on this thought Fulham either playing for their lives or down and last game at home as well so either way up for it. Sheff Utd likewise although probably down so no fear and chance for double over us. 😉

    0
  • WLtoon

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #66

    Shoulders knees,

    Read the post i sent to magicmac, iv`e said roughly the same as you, i agree.

    0
  • Shoulders knees

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #67

    Sorry WL still crying in my beer here 🙁

    0
  • Jamesthefirst

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #68

    For those asking me to clarify my takeover comments:

    A successful arbitration allows PIF to buy us. It removes the final obstacle and makes their purchase legal.

    According to Liam Kennedy PIF will only complete the purchase if we are still a PL club at the end of the season.

    So chances are, they will wait before transferring the money. No one in their right mind would pay £350 million for a Championship club.

    I have remained confident the takeover will be approved. The PL acted illegally and outside of their own rules. DeMarco will nail them to the cross for that.

    But we have to stay in the PL for the sale to be completed.

    6
  • onmeedsun

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #69

    Problem we have is Wilson is missing for all but 2 of the winnable games and it looks as though we have no one who can do what he does. In my view losing Wilson for 8 games will take us down, unless the brains trust can find a way of winning in a very different formation.

    1
  • WLtoon

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #70

    The trouble is now is that everybody is thinking the worse case scenario all of the time regarding us.
    If that worse case scenario happens then we are down , simple as that, that is in an ideal world for other fans supporting the teams down there with us.
    BUT oh hang on, this is football, probably the most unpredictable game on the planet.

    So the question is, how many posters think we WILL go down.?

    0
  • onmeedsun

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #71

    So James 1st
    Can Ashley sue the PL for the lost takeover on the basis that if it had been allowed a year ago we would not have got relegated as better decisions would have been made.

    2
  • WLtoon

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #72

    Jamesthefirst,

    I agree about having to stay in the PL for the PIF to be still interested, but how does Kennedy know that info you posted, or is it just his opinion?

    1
  • magicmac54

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #73

    WLtoon

    To be honest i see it differently to you my friend, the one thing we all know is Ashley is obsessed by money, and he is making millions of the back of Newcastle, not forgetting the huge money he also makes of the global advertising with Newcastle being in the premier league, take these things away if we were in a lower league, in my view Ashley would have no desire to hang around as we would no longer be of any use to him WLtoon, this is just my opinion, i respect your different opinion though WLtoon

    0
  • Jamesthefirst

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #74

    @onmeedsun – Nope. They didn’t reject it. PIF walked away. So legally nothing is wrong.

    If takeover is approved next month (as NCSL claim it will be) then PIF could sack Bruce immediately and bring in Rafa for the final 2 months, which would be enough to keep us up.

    1
  • Jamesthefirst

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #75

    @WLtoon – He claimed on the Steve Wraith show he has heard that from sources close to the deal. PIF are still at the table, but will walk if we go down.

    1
  • DrGloom

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #76

    I really hope it doesn’t come down to the last game against fulham….

    Bruce needs to be aware that formations need to change in line with opposition formations – sitting there watching Chelsea own midfield and constantly pass balls to their wingers who then had the freedom of the wings as Gayle nor ASM did much tracking back, this meant Krafth and Lewis were often doubled up on … it was plain to see within 10 minutes but somehow Bruce and co left it until halftime to change it and the game was well beyond us then.

    BruceOUT

    1
  • Reilly

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #77

    So why is Ashley still sticking with bruce,we can all see which direction bruce is taking us,why would he risk 300 mill.
    It dosent make sense.

    6
  • Jamesthefirst

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #78

    Back to football. With Wilson missing, anyone fancy Murphy as the front man in a front three? He has the pace to get into the positions that Miggy and Maxi can create. And he can finish. Like a Walcott type of forward.

    5
  • Just a fan

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #79

    Jail
    Not seen that.
    Pullis should be informed or Sam.

    0
  • Just a fan

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #80

    When we have a throw in I close my eyes count to ten then open them.
    No nothing happened.
    Repeat
    No nothing happened.
    Again. Mmmm maybe. Maybe not.

    0


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