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‘There Could Be’ – Bruce Open To Changing The Formation Against Spurs On Sunday



Newcastle have struggled for goals since putting three past Southampton in our last win six matches ago. The lads have managed just three goals since then with two coming from captain Jamaal Lascelles.

Bruce hasn’t been able to find a suitable replacement for striker Callum Wilson over that stretch. After some experimentation, he’s settled on Joelinton on the right side of the front three.

Against Wolves to close February, Bruce lost both Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin to injury. That compounded his problem with fielding a squad capable of getting the goals necessary to pick up wins.

Bruce has stuck with the 4-3-3 formation despite having to put some square pegs into round holes. Needless to say, that formula has not produced the desired results.

After the disappointing draw at West Brom in early March, Bruce was asked about making a change to the system to better suit the players he had on hand. This was his response at the time:

“I think it was important not to disturb the shape that we’ve been playing in the last six weeks or so. The players are getting used to the way we want to play, so I thought it was imperative we stuck with that.

“Joe (Willock) has played as a number ten on many occasions through his career at Arsenal, so with the problems we have, it was simply a case of trying to find a way of winning the match and not disrupting the way we have been playing too much.

“If we had played Andy and Dwight, then we’d have to change the whole set-up, and I don’t think we had time to do that. We’re getting used to playing in a certain way, it’s the way I want to play, but unfortunately, having come up with the system, we’ve been struck down by the loss of Almiron, Callum, and Allan. It’s been very difficult to try to replace them.”

Miguel Almiron returned in the defeat at Brighton and slotted straight back into the false 9 role. However, Miggy was obviously not 100% which Bruce conceded during his press conference this morning.

For Sunday, Almiron should be closer to his best after the two-week international break. There’s also a good chance that Allan Saint-Maximin will return in some capacity for Spurs on Sunday.

However, Callum Wilson likely won’t play a part this weekend with next week’s match at Burnley a more realistic date for his return. With that in mind, Bruce was again asked about changing the formation for Sunday’s match during today’s press conference.

Bruce seemed much more open to the idea than he was a few weeks ago. This was his response:

“The difficulty is, of course, when you’re losing your big players at the top end of the pitch.

“Then, unfortunately, I believe that every team in the Premier League would struggle if you took their front three away.

“Unfortunately over the last few weeks, we’ve been without them.

“You’re quite right to ask the question will there be a change – there could be.”

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468 comments so far

  • Just a Fat Dave Bassett

    Apr 3, 2021 at 5:54 AM

    Comment #441

    I’ve saw a few of those toilets. Absolutely disgusting. There was one that didn’t even have the four foot walls, just a line of squatting arses pooping, and a few hundred flies. The smell hit you like walking into a brick wall. I went round the back of the building and found a bush. These road stop toilets are on par with Festival bogs.

    0
  • NY Mag

    Apr 3, 2021 at 6:11 AM

    Comment #442

    Wow, never been quite as deep in the shxxxx as you lads.
    Alll’s well that ends well, I guess.

    2
  • Just a Fat Dave Bassett

    Apr 3, 2021 at 6:22 AM

    Comment #443

    Ny,
    The food at those places was even worse.
    🙁

    2
  • Just a Fat Dave Bassett

    Apr 3, 2021 at 6:30 AM

    Comment #444

    Bruce starts every sentence with ‘Look’, he just started one with a double ‘Look. Look,’ before throwing 2 more looks into his answer. I’d hate to read his novels. Next question just gave Lee Ryder a double look, ‘look, look.’

    1
  • sing in the corner

    Apr 3, 2021 at 6:34 AM

    Comment #445

    Tottenham game..
    Whatever way I look at it, it’s difficult to see us getting anything from this match.
    We are on an horrific run. We can’t buy a win. We can barely buy a goal even.

    You’d maybe say Spurs are having a mediocre season with the players they have. But Mourhino is doing what he does.

    They have quietly won 4 of their last 5 league games. They are still only 3:points off a CL spot as it stands.
    They don’t score hatfulls. But only 2 teams have concede less goals. (Runaway champions and Chelsea).

    I reckon our hope is that Mourhino has done something else he usually does, and has fallen out with some more players over the international break.

    Sorry if thats negative.

    0
  • NY Mag

    Apr 3, 2021 at 6:38 AM

    Comment #446

    JafDB,

    I can only imagine mate…..I’d rather not go any deeper than that 🙂

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 3, 2021 at 6:40 AM

    Comment #447

    sitc,
    It’s realistic, if that comes across as negative then so be it.

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 3, 2021 at 6:43 AM

    Comment #448

    NYMag,
    No winding down for us at the weekend, we’re only four days in to a fourteen night/day stint.

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 3, 2021 at 6:45 AM

    Comment #449

    JaFDB,
    I watched his full sixteen minutes earlier this morning. Accumulation of bloody points, magical figure, like it’s footin magic getting enough points to stay up. What a difficult job managing Newcastle is. He’s a tw@t.

    4
  • sing in the corner

    Apr 3, 2021 at 6:45 AM

    Comment #450

    JfA
    Before you hit the sack …
    Did you enjoy Bruce’s latest press conference offerings?

    1
  • sing in the corner

    Apr 3, 2021 at 6:47 AM

    Comment #451

    I miss genjikai..the magpie group..

    3
  • sing in the corner

    Apr 3, 2021 at 6:49 AM

    Comment #452

    Chi has been quiet lately.
    Hats off to her for putting her head above the parapet last summer.

    And fair play to toon 22. You stick to your guns lad.

    6
  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 3, 2021 at 6:57 AM

    Comment #453

    sitc,
    Aye, I watched the full 16 minutes 😥

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 3, 2021 at 6:59 AM

    Comment #454

    Night all!

    2
  • Just a Fat Dave Bassett

    Apr 3, 2021 at 7:26 AM

    Comment #455

    I watched the full sixteen minutes too. There wasn’t a sentence that he hasn’t used in the last few weeks. Absolute zero insight, over the last 20 years he generally just sits there with his cliche generator and talks about players dusting themselves off, rolling up sleeves, going again, and then goes sits in his office watching old detective shows while the players train two or three times a week. The thing he doesn’t get is the other teams that train more often are actually rolling their sleeves up higher than his players, and the other managers that attend training are working harder than him. He also doesn’t realise that there are other aspects other than just working hard, and if that is his sole tactic, which it appears to be, he should start by getting them in 6 days a week and leading by example by scoffing a few vegan kebabs.

    3
  • Just a Fat Dave Bassett

    Apr 3, 2021 at 7:31 AM

    Comment #456

    4-4-1-1 vs Spurs
    Almiron number 10, ASM and Fraser wings, Joelinton upfront, Shelvey Hendrick playing false midfielders. Defence doesn’t really make much difference who gets picked, they’re all about the same level apart from Krath.

    0
  • Mund

    Apr 3, 2021 at 8:04 AM

    Comment #457

    Dubai Micky

    I’d be careful replying to Jib on Twitter you will get a name for yourself on the blog 😉

    4
  • sing in the corner

    Apr 3, 2021 at 8:06 AM

    Comment #458

    Shelvey and Hendrick in MF together in this game means almost certainly we won’t keep the ball very long, will be overrun through the middle and lose this game

    1
  • Mund

    Apr 3, 2021 at 8:22 AM

    Comment #459

    I mentioned GP yesterday about not seeing him round on here or on Twitter. Does anyone know him? Just would like to know he is ok that’s all as I’ve reached out on Twitter as well but no reply as yet.

    2
  • Mund

    Apr 3, 2021 at 8:26 AM

    Comment #460

    Sing

    So pretty much how it’s been every single game in recent weeks.

    For me we are likely to lose whether we are in form or not but what I can’t accept is if they lose with a heartless and gutless performance. I just want to see some fight and desire from the 11 lads picked to go out on the field but even that’s a hard ask nowadays.

    1
  • Mund

    Apr 3, 2021 at 8:36 AM

    Comment #461

    Sing

    You say fair play to the frog and I was wondering what for? What has he done?

    1
  • sing in the corner

    Apr 3, 2021 at 8:37 AM

    Comment #462

    Mund
    Yeah Mr Bruce sounds like a broken record, as JafDB was describing earlier.
    He’s like a podgy automaton trotting out the same stock phrases. Head stuck firmly in the sand.
    And he annoyingly hints at the things he could and woukd do if the players could manage to cope with his fresh ideas.

    So.. it’s the players’ fault, coupled with Rafa and the fans.

    Pretty much what he has said from day one.

    But this phrase seems to fit:

    If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got.

    Charnley – do something, it explain why you won’t.

    2
  • Mund

    Apr 3, 2021 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #463

    Sing

    Bruce has caused major unrest continuing to be stubborn and stay out his contract and for me now it’s not about Bruce anymore it’s about the 11 lads walking out on that pitch and they need to step up as it’s unacceptable to watch performances like that every week. I haven’t really read a Bruce comment and most certainly haven’t listened to him talk in a long time now, can’t do it as it sets me up for a right radge. Brighton broke me when the players were absolutely pitiful and I just expect the same now but hope I’m wrong.

    1
  • sing in the corner

    Apr 3, 2021 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #464

    Mund
    He hasn’t ‘done’ anything.
    But what he says (ok, repetitively) keeps the focus on the NUFC issues at hand. And he sticks to it..
    Not many are doing so.

    8
  • Mund

    Apr 3, 2021 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #466

    Sing

    I don’t think we need the frog to keep saying it so we don’t lose focus as this fanbase is at its lowest of this era. Fight against Ashley but coming on the blog and calling every Tom, Dick and Harry PR has lost his credentials for me. I’ve been called it numerous times and I get called Jib and have all that thrown in my face, so do many others.

    He asks questions upon questions and demands answers but answers nothing he is asked so to me that’s a cop out

    5
  • sing in the corner

    Apr 3, 2021 at 8:50 AM

    Comment #467

    The players looked broken against Brighton.
    Get the players still willing to fight onto the pitch. The players most likely to take matters into their own hands.
    We need Dummett, Ritchie and the up and st em Lascelles’ of 3 or 4 years ago.
    Maybe those 3 can instil it back into Sean, St Max and keep Almiron at it.
    Fraser has the bit between his teeth for his Scotland career so he should start if we can fit all of them in.
    Bruce in charge though…

    1
  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Apr 3, 2021 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #468

    I was in China just prior to the Tiananmen Square massacre, traveling with a girl I’d met at the border, who was actually from Hebburn, and to my amazement and delight, we quite quickly became intimate. I was 22, she maybe 25 or 26, and I remember she asked me not long after we met how many lovers I’d had, and I lied and told her three. I asked her the same, and she lied and said 15, haha. Anyway apart from being quite experienced, she was also really really lovely, and of course I’ll never forget her.

    I remember going into a busy local restaurant in the shadows of The Famous White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou with her, that had only two, but extremely excellent items on the menu – warm succulent pieces of roast duck and large bottles of icy cold Tsingtao beer. And you’d just suck the tender juicy flesh straight off the bone and then throw the remains over your shoulder, dining to a constant crackle as they were crunched under foot as patrons came and went.

    5
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