If anyone seriously doubts how much influence Rafa Benitez had over this group of players, today is your proof.
If you had any doubt how much Steve Bruce is out of his depth, today is your proof.
Today, Norwich and the first 70 minutes against Brighton are all in the the top (or bottom 10) of performances I’ve seen in my lifetime as a Newcastle fan. 3 out of 7 of Bruce’s games make my all time 10 worst. Genuinely.
Of course Hayden’s red card didn’t help and this isn’t entirely Bruce’s fault, but the dreadful summer is coming home to roost for us.
Despite a change of formation, we didn’t improve one iota. More worryingly, there was no heart, fight or spirit, things this group of players have always shown in abundance. Longstaff, what has happened to him?!? He was awful.
That said, what do we expect when a talented young player goes from being coached by a world class manager in an organised and well drilled team, to being coached by a man whose team has ZERO plan and no identity.
You can never totally defend a lack of effort, so the players must take a fair share of the blame today, but if I had a boss who didn’t give me a plan or something to get behind, how could I be motivated or perform to the best of my ability?
Any takers that Bruce will have the players in for extra training? That it’s all their fault? The pundits are already defending him on social media.
We must be the only team in the league who isn’t looking forward to playing Manchester United next….