Monday, September 23, 2019

Not surprising how Newcastle’s season has started

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 22 Aug 2019

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In the summer Spanish boss, Rafa Benitez decided to walk away from Newcastle and the Magpies replaced Benitez with local boy Steve Bruce. The veteran boss was definitely not a popular appointment with the fans. The Magpies have played two Premier League games and lost two against Arsenal and Norwich. The display last time out against Norwich was particularly disappointing.

A poor squad despite summer signings

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley finally saw fit to spend some money on strengthening the club’s squad in the summer with the likes of Joelinton, Emil Krafth and Alain Saint-Maximin all arriving. However, in terms of quality, the Magpies squad is still poor. There would certainly not be a rush to sign many of the current squad if they were put up for sale that’s for certain.

The only one in the whole Newcastle squad that would get anywhere near a good team in the top-flight is centre-back, Jamaal Lascelles. It is surprising Ashley has not cashed in on the former Nottingham Forest star.

The new signings were always going to take time to settle. It is also worth noting that all have arrived from foreign leagues and are gambles, even if they have not cost much in terms of fees.

Steve Bruce could not refuse the job

Everybody knows the situation at Newcastle. Ashley is looking to sell the club, therefore is not that interested in investing money into improving the team. The fact that most of the money is brought by the club via television revenue and gate receipts seems to be lost on him.

It was always going to be a very difficult job replacing Benitez. The next boss needed a fast start, as he was not a popular appointment and is seen now as Ashley’s man.

Steve Bruce has let his heart rule his head when it comes to taking the Newcastle job. The 59-year-old had a comfortable job at Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship. He was a popular figure with everybody connected with the Owls.

However, he is a Geordie and he was never going to turn down the offer of his dream job. Maybe he had romantic notions in his head of his homecoming. Unfortunately for Bruce, reality has hit home in the Magpies opening two league games.

He has a major job turning things around on the pitch and currying favour with the Toon Army. If he does not, then he could be heading for the St James Park exit door. Bruce may well live to regret his decision to return to his hometown club if things continue in a similar vein.

Newcastle now the favourites for relegation

For the last few years, Newcastle have survived the drop mainly through the managerial acumen of former boss Benitez. This season they may not be so lucky, as Bruce is not Benitez.

The experienced boss has done a decent job wherever he has managed. However, he is not known as a tactical genius or a miracle worker. It is only two games into the league season and already Newcastle look in trouble.

The Magpies are currently the favourites to suffer relegation at evens this season. The likes of new boys Sheffield United and Norwich have already picked up their first points of the season. A trip to Tottenham on Sunday looks unlikely to change their top-flight fortunes. A defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will just add to the anger of the Newcastle fans.

The fans are unlikely to cut Bruce any slack. This is not a surprising scenario considering the way the club has been run in recent years.

Can Steve Bruce win over the Toon Army?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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