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Does Bruce’s ‘Quiet Confidence’ Belie The Gravity Of Newcastle’s Situation?



There were positives from Newcastle’s performance at Old Trafford on Sunday night. The intensity was there at the start and Newcastle frustrated Manchester United for much of the first half as well as a slice of the second.

However, following an early stint in the Manchester United end after the break, the Red Devils slowly churned their way into the ascendency. Joelinton, who was playing well, succumbed to a knock and was forced off. Soon after Daniel James grabbed the goal to put the Red Devils in a lead they had no intentions of relinquishing.

Newcastle had little on reserve to alter the turn of events. The match played out as we’ve seen too often this season, with the lads unable to mount a charge in the final stages. Manchester United added a penalty that extinguished any thoughts of a result.

An encouraging first 50 minutes ultimately ended with another pedestrian defeat. Our next match against Wolves looms even larger on the horizon. A defeat at St. James’ Park next Saturday and we could be in the bottom three if Fulham beat Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Steve Bruce was asked about the desperate situation Newcastle find themselves in after failing to get anything from trips to Chelsea and Manchester United while Fulham picked up 7 points. The Northern Echo has published the following response:

“There’s six or seven teams in and around it with 13 games to go. I’m sure there’s a few looking over the shoulders, and of course we’re one of them.

“But I’m still quietly confident that we’ll be fine – if we keep performing like we did for the first hour. It was always going to be difficult going to Chelsea away and then Man United away, but I’ve been pleased with certain aspects of it.

“I thought we played really well for an hour. They got a goal just at the right time, and then another one just after half-time. The first goal, I’m sure we can defend better. The second one, we got a horrible deflection that took it into the path of James.

“We’re disappointed, but I can take a lot of positives from it, especially our performance in the first hour. There were large periods I was pleased with, but we have to put the whole thing together and get a few results, of course.”

It’s hard to believe that Bruce is really this nonchalant about our current situation. He’s got to be concerned that this season has been transformed into a perfect storm for relegation.

His answer is pragmatic and shows no hint of panic. Which is probably what you’d want from your head coach. However, there are a fair few fans who will question if he really grasps the gravity of this situation.

Hopefully, he does. Hopefully, he means what he says. Getting points at Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford was always going to be a tough ask. For about 100 minutes across two matches, this squad showed they can be a very good side.

However, it’s the remaining 80 minutes that raise a massive red flag. This team and this season have given Newcastle fans no reason to be optimistic despite Bruce’s assertions that everything will work out in the end.

There is still a third of the season to go and the lads have played better recently. So we’ll give that to Bruce. But wins are crucial at this stage and picking them up will be our only path to survival. Playing well for an hour or so while coming up empty-handed is just not going to keep Newcastle out of the bottom three.

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124 comments so far

  • Munster Mag

    Feb 22, 2021 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #41

    Havent read all the stuff here by hang on a bit

    1. Relegation is far from a cert
    2. We have improved – we press higher and look a bit better on the ball than before thanks to Jones
    3. Fulham are no great shakes either

    As for screaming Bruce out. I wouldnt bother. I think he will be hear till the end of the season and possibly next season even if we go down.

    Id like a new manager, or just Jones, although we need to tighten up on the wings.

    Mind you with ASM, that might never happen.

    And if Rafa comes back, i’d be confident of more draws, but the high press will go, and the cautious “compact” football will be back.

    I’d welcome him back, and see the back of Bruce , and others will cry for joy, but its going to be tight and i wouldnt be hugely confident under him , just a little more confident, but id be amazed if he came back under Ashley without confirmed sale.

    And yes, he likes the money – why would a man go to crap club in a crap league when he could have waited for a better gig in one of the european leagues? He has enough money – he could have walked out on Ashley and waited but he went to China for the money

    2
  • geordietom

    Feb 22, 2021 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #42

    Carson …

    who’s that on your new Avatar Quentin Crisp 😀

    0
  • Mund

    Feb 22, 2021 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #44

    Let’s say here we believe a takeover that’s all shiny with Saudi gold or we believe in relegation and being stuck with Ashley and Bruce forever?

    I know which I’d rather feed the mind but carry on

    2
  • Munster Mag

    Feb 22, 2021 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #45

    Thanks for the link Mund / Adam.

    0
  • Mund

    Feb 22, 2021 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #46

    Did you enjoy it Munster?

    0
  • Jamesthefirst

    Feb 22, 2021 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #47

    Two similarities between NUFC and Fulham that the pundits have missed.

    Fulham – 7 of the first 11 are loan players

    NUFC – A high number of our players are out of contract this summer

    Is it any wonder that the two clubs are struggling when the players know they can leave in the summer?

    2
  • Optimistic prime

    Feb 22, 2021 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #48

    https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/trevor-sinclair-admits-newcastle-fans-19887144

    Well done Trevor, nice to read a bit honesty from a pundit.

    Fans have been schooling Journalists and Pundits on Bruce for 3 months!

    8
  • Jamesthefirst

    Feb 22, 2021 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #49

    Bruce naming and shaming Darlow yesterday as the reason we lost to BT Sports was disgusting.

    Yes we know Darlow had a bad game and will now be replaced by Dubs

    But his form has been one of the reasons we are not already in the bottom 3.

    For Bruce to throw him under the bus yesterday was vile

    15
  • cleveleysbob

    Feb 22, 2021 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #50

    James I see your point, but in both cases shouldn’t they be playing for their futures?

    Whether on loan or out of contract, they are in the shop window from now to end of season, every one of them should be playing out of their skins to get noticed!

    If that was the case, both Fulham and us should be safe, with one of the teams above us crashing out. – I actually think that’s what Bruce believes will happen when you hear his comments. Almost every season 1 x team escapes the bottom team and 1 x team crashes down from a respectable position to get relegated. Bruce just thinks it’ll happen again around us! Deluded knob!

    1
  • Jamesthefirst

    Feb 22, 2021 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #51

    @cleveleysbob – I think players will always try and play. But when they go a goal behind and things are going well, a player out of contract, or on loan, is more likely to go missing and start thinking of themselves.

    1
  • cleveleysbob

    Feb 22, 2021 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #52

    The problem with most Journalists and pundits is they don’t come on here, they’re all on Twitter, and believe me if you want to see some deluded hysterical fans that’s the place to go.

    So their opinions of us are based on what they read on Twitter, rather than the more balanced and fine tuned opinions that are on here most of the time. I think Jake Humphries must be an avid blog watcher, he seems to know the score. 🙂

    4
  • cleveleysbob

    Feb 22, 2021 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #53

    James, yeah they are less likely to make crunching tackles, but at least as far as general play is concerned, you’d think they’d be trying to impress, not go missing. 😉

    0
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Feb 22, 2021 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #54

    Fulham signed players on loan who were younger and more eager to impress rather than signing an older player from the top 6 who may go through the motions

    Looking back Hendrick was such a bad signing compared to us getting even a decent young midfielder on loan

    4
  • Jamesthefirst

    Feb 22, 2021 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #55

    Based on how the clubs are being run, and how the managers interact with their players before and during a game, I am more confident Fulham will stay up, than Newcastle.

    But I I have never wanted to be more wrong about something.

    4
  • Tsunki

    Feb 22, 2021 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #56

    ” I remember my head of year picking me up by my neck and slamming again this wall, foaming from the mouth practically face to face spitting with anger lol”

    I’m sorry but…..

    😀

    A mans unicorn collection should never be trifled with.

    10
  • Tsunki

    Feb 22, 2021 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #57

    I think it’s unfair to chastise someone for coming onto the refuge of this blog – the only place they can come to vent their anger at the terrible manager that has been dragging the club down with his terrible football.

    I mean, where else can a fan go to complain about Rafael Benitez?

    12
  • The mighty wyn

    Feb 22, 2021 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #58

    Regardless of who is right or wrong the takeover is lower in the list of priorities at this stage than the real genuine threat of relegation under this clown.
    The takeover will either happen – or not
    Relegation will happen if we dont get out of this slump. I cannot see that happening under Bruce
    As OP says we are sleepwalking towards the championship

    7
  • cleveleysbob

    Feb 22, 2021 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #59

    I agree with the general consensus on here today that the next 4 games are vital.

    I’m in no position to predict anything but would hope that a return of 7 points minimum is possible and that would mean Fulham having to get 10 points to catch us over their next 4 and I can’t see that, I expect them to get maybe 4 or 5, which would leave a pretty big gap going into the final 10 games. Not impossible for them, but difficult.

    Our problem is Bruce still being in charge and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change, so it becomes much more of a wing and prayer job over the final stretch rather than a degree of confidence. Shame.

    4
  • Carson80

    Feb 22, 2021 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #60

    GeordieTom no mate it’s Rowley Birkin off the Fast Show, my all time favourite comedy sketch show.
    You ain’t seen me right.

    1
  • Jamesthefirst

    Feb 22, 2021 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #61

    Fulham just need to keep doing what they are already doing, and they will stay up.

    Newcastle need to make a change to stay up.

    That’s the difference.

    5
  • Tackle from behind

    Feb 22, 2021 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #62

    Gayle came on at 79 minutes, there was 5 minutes of extra time, so he played 16 minutes total.

    Did anyone notice him?

    He for one, knows he has no future at the club and will very likely be sold into the championship this summer.
    His record there will speak for itself, so he doesn’t have to bother putting any effort into his game.
    If we do happen to get relegated, we will probably keep him though.
    Win win for him, but for the team, just more dead wood to carry around.

    2
  • Adamn_92

    Feb 22, 2021 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #63

    The mighty wyn

    Well said. The takeover, nobody knows when it will be done, if at all! It could be next week, it could be months from now so that isn’t what our immediate focus should be on. What’s happening here and now should be our focus and that us in a serious threat of relegation. I don’t think anyone is saying for sure that we will go down, but based on our manager and how we’re playing, compared to Fulhams manager and how they’re playing, the immediate danger and risk is clear to see.

    5
  • Jamesthefirst

    Feb 22, 2021 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #64

    Bruce has managed just 8 points out of the last 42 points available.

    And his media pals say he is doing a great job.

    If that is a great job, I’d hate to see what a bad job is.

    15
  • Carson80

    Feb 22, 2021 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #65

    Tsunki heart from me for comment no56.
    ^)

    1
  • snowdone

    Feb 22, 2021 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #66

    In our last relegation season Sissoko and Wijnaldum went missing, when the going got tough, knowing they had a marketable brand to offer. The difference this time is , that apart from the missing Shelvey, the fullbacks are not EPL standard and we are lacking a striker with Wilson injured. Will we go down? Who knows?
    I do feel the next four games are crucial for our confidence. We must somehow conjure up 7 points from 12. I would prefer more, but being realistic.
    Bruce will not be removed unless we lose all four games.
    As I’ve said so often during Ashley’s regime we will need to keep calm. I know this is easier for me than others.
    For what it’s worth I hope we show what we are capable of over the next four weeks and that a takeover becomes less of a mirage!

    1
  • Mund

    Feb 22, 2021 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #67

    Why does something why said and gets twisted into something different?

    Who said nobody should be venting? As it’s obviously the place to be for that.

    It’s the guaranteed relegation and talking like it has already happened that does my head in. Ofc vent ffs ofc

    Don’t talk like it’s a done deal, that we are already down because it isn’t.

    That head of year should never of said unicorns were not real!!

    2
  • Tackle from behind

    Feb 22, 2021 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #68

    Has any news surfaced about Joelinton’s injury?

    Physioroom reports it as “knock” – currently being assessed.

    I guess they are treating him as a door.

    Thought he had a good game last night, possibly his best performance, he actually looked part of the team.

    1
  • lesh

    Feb 22, 2021 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #69

    Tyran21, OP, Adamn

    Thanks for coming back about Jones’ input during the match.

    The point about Bruce’s seeming indifference to players (hands in pockets, chewing his gum when players go on and come off and walking off chatting to OGS) speaks volumes. Add to that, his similar, seeming indifference to play – unlike Rafa who was always animated – seems to suggest he’s leaving players to do as they think fit during a game. Does he tweak tactics and formation during games? Seemingly not. The man’s cruising along.

    If, like many of us, we performed that way at work, we’d be challenged but Bruce seems to be allowed to get away with it. Why?

    He’s absoluteky

    2
  • Carson80

    Feb 22, 2021 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #70

    Tackle apparently he’s got a serious grass burn on his leg, unknown how long he’s going to be out for.

    1
  • Mund

    Feb 22, 2021 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #71

    Lesh

    He had a lot more involvement than what was said

    0
  • lesh

    Feb 22, 2021 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #72

    Tackle

    If Gayle’s got no future at NUFC, why are the media reporting contract talks with him

    1
  • Tackle from behind

    Feb 22, 2021 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #73

    Jones is 5 games into his 6 game appraisal of Bruce.

    After the Wolves game he will take his portfolio to Barnes to be passed on to Ashley.

    Ashley should then see the brevity of the situation and act accordingly.

    The fight back to stave off relegation then begins with Jones in charge for West Brom.

    3
  • Assassins Inc

    Feb 22, 2021 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #74

    Newcastle United’s new team Mantra.
    Quiet Confidence, wtf does that even mean. Shhhhoooosssshhh we have Quiet Confidence.
    Meaning. Let’s look at the first word here.
    Dumb, hushed, inaudible, low, low-pitched, noiseless, peaceful, silent, soft, soundless. 2 calm, contented, gentle, mild, motionless, pacific, peaceful, placid, restful, serene, smooth, tranquil, untroubled. 3 isolated, private, retired, secluded, secret, sequestered, undisturbed, unfrequented.
    Well Steve, Newcastle fans are Quietly Confident that we are fcuked.
    You’re lucky there’s no fans in the ground.

    2
  • Tackle from behind

    Feb 22, 2021 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #75

    Lesh

    Just in case we need him for us in the Championship.

    Also, the media report anything they want to, most of it turns out to be tosh.

    1
  • Reilly

    Feb 22, 2021 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #76

    Luke Edwards
    @LukeEdwardsTele
    Told again this morning from sources that #nufc are not considering a change in manager. Now this can change in a flash if Ashley intervenes but I’m told he remains hands off regarding decision making at club which is low on list of business priorities at the moment

    3
  • The mighty wyn

    Feb 22, 2021 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #77

    Adamn
    Anybody who thinks we aren’t heading down- based on the last 14 games – managed by this clown is being unrealistic
    He has proven over and over that he cant do anything about the situation so he needs to go
    I am amazed his mate Shearer isn’t telling him that
    We’ve seen this sleepwalking to relegation twice in recent times and I’ve seen it another couple of times in my 60 years of watching
    Unless there is a change fulham will pick up more points than us

    8
  • Jamesthefirst

    Feb 22, 2021 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #78

    This perfectly sums up how clueless Bruce is during a game. Literally has no idea what to do

    https://twitter.com/Andy_Ebs4/status/1363588860899426314?s=20

    2
  • hibbit

    Feb 22, 2021 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #79

    BT showed very little of Jones and the few shots they did show of him he was very subdued,

    3
  • Adamn_92

    Feb 22, 2021 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #80

    Jamesthefirst

    ‘Bruce has managed just 8 points out of the last 42 points available.’

    But we’re hoping he can get 6 or 7 out of the next 12, makes for grim reading 🙁

    5


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