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‘It Is What It Is’ – Bruce Responds To NUFC’s Statement On Summer Transfer Window



There have been some murmurs over the past couple of weeks that Steve Bruce was not thrilled with the club’s refusal to bring in a couple of additions on deadline day. That decision left Newcastle as the only Premier League club not to strengthen from last season.

Newcastle United released a statement last week in which they attempted to justify the underwhelming transfer window. In that statement, the capture of Joe Willock was put forth as proof positive the club was willing to do whatever it took to improve.

The statement also contained references to ‘internal parties’ and their foreknowledge that the club would only spend what it generated for transfers. While they broke some rules on the Willock transfer, ultimately the season played behind closed doors without supporters prevented even a domestic loan to come in on deadline day.

That was the crux of the statement released by Newcastle United on this summer’s transfer window. During his press conference for Manchester United, Bruce was asked a number of questions about his feelings on the transfer window as well as the club’s statement.

Football Daily has tweeted a minute of Bruce’s testy exchanges with some journalists over the transfer window. From his demeanor, it appears that Bruce has come to accept the situation but was probably left stung by the club’s refusal to bring in at least one player on loan.

Here is a transcript of Bruce’s comments from the video:

“My job is to always try and improve the squad and to never be satisfied. Never. I thought a couple of additions to the squad on loan would help us enormously. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to do that.”

“It is what it is. It doesn’t make any difference if I’m comfortable or whatever. It is what it is.”

“The policy, you’ve just seen the policy with the statement, haven’t you? The policy’s been written in front of you and is pretty clear as far as I’m concerned.

“I wanted to try and bring in a couple of players to add to the squad and it wasn’t possible, end of. What can I do about it?”

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141 comments so far

  • onmeedsun

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #41

    The fact is that if we’d had a proper strategy and plan 10 years ago there is no reason why Ashley couldn’t have delivered a Leicester model. But you need a certain level of overhead to deliver something like that. Competent people in senior positions making good decisions. The arrogance of Ashley thinking we can continue to compete and survive in the PL with our current non business model, whilst all these other progressive clubs overtake us. If he won’t change or sell, then we deserve to crash and burn, and at least his reputation will be tarnished.

    7
  • Adamn_92

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #42

    TDS

    We’ll agree to disagree on Almiron, I don’t see your view on him at all and can’t think differently to how I do now. Which is that he was playing well, causing issues and looked exciting when he signed. Now he looks lost and like he’s not enjoying himself sitting deeper and having to defend 90% of the time.

    10
  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #43

    onmeedsun – I’m with you. We have an owner who has zero connection with the fans, we have a manager who is there simply to keep us in the PL, we have fans who have virtually no optimism that this might be the year we win a cup and not many young, local players to get behind. Would be great if we had the Longstaff brothers performing at a high level in midfield though.

    Hoping ASM and Wilson can provide some excitement, Willock too.

    0
  • Ketsbaia9

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #44

    We always get walloped by Man U. Even if we’re winning 4-0 with 5 minutes to go, we’ll still lose 5-4.

    0
  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #45

    Adamn_92 – Rafa is a better manager than Bruce. Of course. But we don’t have Rafa and it was a miracle we had him a few years ago. Comparing them is just simple not helpful or relevant.

    0
  • Ketsbaia9

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #46

    Bruce is a poor manager who is known for playing players out of position. He was a decent player though and probably should have been capped by England. Used to bang in the goals from centre back.

    0
  • Ketsbaia9

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #47

    Almiron is a shadow of his former self. Must be getting a lack of action in the bedroom or something.

    1
  • Adamn_92

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #48

    TDS

    I’m not comparing them directly, i’m comparing how it’s possible to get this squad playing better. With tactics and planning. We wouldn’t and don’t need another Rafa to do that. Any half decent tactics heavy manager would analyse our weakness and strengths, choose a team around that and make amendments based on the opposition we’re against. Bruce doesn’t do that and just puts the same team, same formation out week after week even if it isn’t working. The defence looks weak too. So we don’t need Rafa back, we need a manager who believes in tactics for a start, can organise a defence and actually makes changes when things are going wrong.

    10
  • geordie157

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #49

    Under 25hrs to go until we get absolutely destroyed by Man U.

    After that, as soon as he’s fit and ready to play, get Anderson in the line up, it’s one of the few things that can give us a lift.

    I would rather see Sean, Anderson, White and Stephenson given a chance. The latter especially with Fraser being crocked again in the side or on the bench, than the likes of Hendrick and Shelvey.

    1
  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #50

    onmeedsun – Ashley did have a strategy when he took over. The problem was that he was arrogant enough to think he could make good decisions despite having zero experience with a football club and without taking the right advice from someone who did. He screwed up by appointing Keegan (who was by then absolutely out of his depth), compounded it by not providing Keegan what we all knew he’d demand and need, and then it’s been downhill ever since.

    “Doing a Leicester” was down to having a core of solid players and then some incredible recruitment with the likes of Vardy, Kante, Mahrez and others being far better than anyone realistically expected. It was a called a miracle title win for a reason!

    0
  • Ketsbaia9

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #51

    I think Bruce needs to bring Manquillo and Lewis back in to the team. Two recognised fullbacks. Stick Murphy on the right wing if Fraser is injured.

    3
  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #52

    Adamn_92 – thing is with Almiron, look at his actual stats for the half season after he signed (I think he joined in January from memory?). Look at the number of goals and assists. We’re saying a similar thing that he was good at running and seemingly causing problems but how often did that result in a goal or an assist for Almiron? I know I certainly hoped that he would add some end product the following season but what’s his goal scoring record?

    0
  • TheTinman

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #53

    Adam @48, woah woah woah…..our strengths?

    1
  • Adamn_92

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #54

    TDS

    I know his stats won’t exactly give my opinion weight, I accept that. I’m just going by the player I watch week in week out. The one I see at the moment looks completely different to the one I first saw when he joined, not in a good way.

    Tinman

    haha I know that’s a bit of a stretch!

    1
  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #55

    Adamn_92 – Bruce has tried 4 at the back and tried wing backs too. It’s contradictory to criticise Bruce for playing players out of position AND not being flexible with tactics. We don’t have quality throughout the team like the top clubs so there are lots of players who should play 100% of the time when fit. So if the other available players or opposition dictate a certain formation, he sometimes plays players outside of their optimal position. The likes of ASM, Murphy, Joe, Ritchie and Almiron are perfectly capable of playing multiple positions. Sure, I’d love to see us dominate the games and other clubs have to adapt to our dominant style of play but it’s not the case these days sadly…

    3
  • TTB@W ARMY

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #56

    TDS at the end of the day what you’ve stated is your opinion and that is what the blog is for but in my eyes there is nothing positive or anything to look forward to regarding NUFC. However I would like to state I don’t let the negativity around our club spoil my personal life.

    7
  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #57

    Adamn_92 – I 100% agree that he looked more exciting when he joined us. He was credited with helping get some good results as he created that space for other players. But the PL has had many exciting, quick players like Almiron who have burst onto the scene, caused problems and then been worked out and faded away.

    0
  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #58

    TTB – I don’t disagree with you at all! Currently there is very little about our club to feel positive about or excited for. I try to get excited about ASM ripping defences apart or maybe Wilson getting 20 goals and then they get injured and I know it’s just a pipe dream. I love to see young, local players like Longstaff come into the team but one has gone off the boil and the other is in Scotland, so that didn’t last long either. And I’d love to have the excitement of a cup run but we know what happened in our last cup match…

    I’d love it if a fellow fan could highlight some things to be excited about…

    0
  • TheTinman

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #59

    Almiron has had an expected goal involvement per 90mins of 0.20 every season he’s been with us, except this season, where he is at 0.10

    You can only see that dropping further after the match on Saturday

    2
  • Adamn_92

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #60

    TDS

    I don’t see it as contradictory at all. Being flexible with formations and tactics does not equate to playing players out of position. Especially when you have players on the bench who actually play in the position you’ve asked a different player to play in. Take the game where Hayden was playing almost as an attacking midfielder. Would it not make more sense to play someone like Almiron, Murphy or Longstaff there for example? When players like Manquillo could play rwb if Murphy moved up there? Everyone in their natural and comfortable positions. You can be flexible with formations, tactics and game plan without needing to play people in unnatural positions. The two aren’t connected.

    You always want your best players on the pitch, but if the formation doesn’t really suit the opposition you’re playing, is it better to stick with the formation to get your best players on the pitch, or not use 1 or 2 to have a formation that copes with the opposition better? Lets say we go up against a team with great wingers and wing backs that cause flanks a major issue. Is it better to have your best players playing, let’s say Murphy at rwb for example, who may get caught out by the other teams strength on the wings, or maybe don’t play that player and play someone like Manquillo who can nullify that danger a bit better being a bit better defensively? We don’t need to dominate games, it’s just small things like analysing the opposition, tweaking things accordingly so that we actually compete. Not just put the same 11 out every week with the same formation in the hope that this time we don’t get walked over.

    7
  • Adamn_92

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #61

    https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/miguel-almiron/leistungsdaten/spieler/272999/plus/0?saison=2019

    Look at the season Almiron has goals and assists and look at the position he played for the majority of the last 2 seasons. Attacking mid or on the wings. Towards the end of last season and the start of this season it’s center mid and he isn’t looking good at all. That’s not really down to him 100%, that’s down to where he’s now being asked to play.

    3
  • Adamn_92

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #62

    Sorry for long posts by the way, it’s nice to have some good football discussion.

    2
  • Optimistic prime

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #63

    Tads

    Bruce Mid table with this squad?

    You’re having a bubble bath.

    You say if we attacked we’d get picked apart, what is it the opposition are doing atm?

    It’s not like it’s hard for them to walk through our defence, only poor finishing has stopped us conceding more.

    58 then 62 goals conceded and he’s on course to concede more this season!

    That’s got relegation written all over it not mid table!

    We’re on course to have concede 20 plus In 5 games!

    14
  • TheTinman

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #64

    Adam,

    Almiron stats are up in passing and tackling. Down in everything else.

    0
  • TheTinman

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #65

    Eurgh it wasn’t supposed to post yet, is anyone else having problems with the adverts being intrusive over the last couple of weeks? Covering the comment box etc.

    Anyway, Almiron has clearly been asked to do a different job and so has ASM.

    It’s having a negative impact on both of their performances… wonder how many more games we will have to put up with it.

    3
  • TheTinman

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #66

    OP, it’s true. We have some of the worst defensive stats in the league this year, and that’s despite a relatively friendly first 3 fixtures.

    Our backline are beginning to forget all of the things Rafa taught them.

    They were extremely well drilled and even played like Rafas team in the first season of Bruce, but its getting steadily worse with each game that goes by.

    8
  • Adamn_92

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #67

    TheTinman

    Yeah, it’s not really the reason he was signed or the player we bought him as. Was an attacking threat for Atlanta and Paraguay and was for us to begin with. Now he’s being made to play center of the pitch, chase the ball, get a foot in and move it on. Being turned into a different player and not for the best imo.

    2
  • Optimistic prime

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #68

    We can’t defend and if you’re conceding sixty plus a season you’re playing with fire!

    3
  • TheTinman

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #69

    He has not improved a single player. And no, he didn’t improve Jacob Murphy, Gary Monk did. He is the one who deployed him at RWB. Bruce had nowt to do with it. Listen to the words of the man himself…….

    “The best version of myself is a confident Jacob,” Murphy told NUFC TV.

    “I am really thankful to Garry Monk for the work he did for me last season.

    He brought back that competitive edge, that hunger, that desire but also gave me back my confidence.”

    10
  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #70

    Adamn_92 – but there are certain players that we really shouldn’t be leaving out when they’re fully fit. And it’s not quite as simple as saying someone is playing attacking midfield and someone is on the wing, not these days. There are all sorts of intricacies for a player’s position these days.

    Sometimes the opposition warrants a particular formation and we might need a bit more pace down one wing or a more box to box style midfielder or a bit more muscle in midfield. I don’t like seeing ASM up front as I’d rather see him bursting forward but when it’s an option of a half fit Gayle upfront or maybe ASM upfront and Almiron and Joe supporting him, maybe that’s good for some opposition.

    I remember some fans slating Bobby Robson for playing wingers on the “wrong” side…

    2
  • Adamn_92

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #71

    The only player he improved is Darlow. Even then it was only due to the sheer amount of shots he was having to face.

    2
  • TheTinman

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #72

    Bruce will be doing zero work with the goalkeepers, any improvement for them is down to the goalkeeping coach.

    3
  • Optimistic prime

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #73

    I’d rather have the players pick the team and formation 😉

    Bet they wouldn’t give themselves four days a week off either.

    4
  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #74

    Tinman – I’m a sales director and I manage sales people. If I didn’t get any credit for the people I hire/manage and the good jobs that they do, I’d be out on my ear…

    0
  • Adamn_92

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #75

    TDS

    Agree’d, some players we need on the pitch for sure. Wilson and ASM for example, only if they’re fully fit though which he’s also been guilty of doing. I’m over simplifying but I think my point is clear, playing players out of position over a player who’s not that much worse but plays there as their natural position, is a bit odd. Choosing to play Ritchie when he keeps getting caught out defensively at lwb for example, when we could try out Lewis or go for the sounder defensively option of Dummett. That’s a case of just putting the same 11 out and hoping it changes, rather than making it change.

    2
  • Adamn_92

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #76

    TinMan

    Aye it was tongue and cheek about our shocking defence don’t worry

    0
  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #77

    Adamn_92 – I’m very disappointed that Lewis hasn’t done better. Seems odd to spend £15m on a player that Liverpool also apparently wanted, and then he’s hardly ever in the team. Has to be one of the biggest disappointments for me. I think Ritchie has much better deliver from out wide than Dummett. The latter can’t cross a box let alone a ball…

    I think of Ritchie a bit like Trent, only nowhere near as good. Ideally Lewis would do the job defensively and deliver some good crosses. That’s what he was signed for.

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #78

    TDS,
    There you go again, who mentioned top six just as nobody expected millions invested after we finished fifth to push us in to CL places. We expected sensible investment, the type that we spent the following January to save us from going down. If that money had of been spent the previous summer it would have been a decent season with a happy fan base.
    Anyway I’m not even trying to reason with a guy who tried to justify Ashley’s stance on the cups because there’s no money in them.

    10
  • Adamn_92

    Sep 10, 2021 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #79

    TDS

    Lewis either needs a loan somewhere or to actually be given a chance, especially if we’re sticking with wing backs as that seems like it would suit him down to the ground. I agree Ritchie has a far superior delivery and is more an attacking threat than Dummett. My point is the first 3 games of the season, Ritchie has been caught out time and time again leading to goals conceded. Have we made any changes to try and make sure that weak area that’s getting exploited is stronger? Nope. Just carry on and hope it improves and teams don’t work it out that they can get joy out of targeting Ritchie there. Dummett would offer us less threat going forward, but he’d at least not be caught out as much leading to conceding goals. Again, that’s just a small managerial and tactical change that can make a difference, but we don’t even try it. Just send them all out again and hope the areas we aren’t doing well in just change at some stage on their own.

    5
  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 10, 2021 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #80

    Almiron was shite before Bruce got here????
    Jeezus wept. He had the place buzzing until his injury, it was sickening when he missed that Lpool game. Ffs.

    8


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