One of Steve Bruce’s former players has indicated that his former bosses tactics and formation are contributing to our lack of goal threat.
Former Scottish international Alan Hutton played for Bruce at Aston Villa, and was part of the squad that stormed to promotion under current coach Dean Smith after Bruce was sacked, and his latest comments about the NUFC boss are pretty relatable.
Hutton has had this to say:
“I do think the way Steve Bruce sets his teams up, there is such a big gap between the midfield and the striker. It leaves them isolated, it is difficult and you are asking him to do something spectacular to score a goal.”
“This is the thing. Everywhere Steve Bruce has went he has tried to play this formation. When we were at Villa he tried to make us play that formation and it didn’t quite work out, we didn’t quite get going.
“I find it quite difficult for the striker. It is very difficult to play that way.”
Interesting words from Hutton, and certainly an opinion that a lot of Newcastle fans will agree with.
Dare I say fans of other clubs Bruce has also managed could relate, but there are contrasting facts of course, with Villa actually being fairly free scoring at the start of Bruce’s reign.
My own personal gripe with Monday’s limp performance, as I wrote about after the game was how we abandoned the approach that got us 6 points in the previous 2 games, and set up to play a newly promoted team who had lost 4 on the bounce like we were about to play against Manchester City.
I don’t see there being much change considering that they are actually our next opponents, but another similar approach against Sheffield United will be extremely tiresome and frankly unacceptable. We have to remember that despite their fantastic start to the season, The Blades are also another newly promoted team.
Bruce’s bravado and promises of attacking football looked extremely foolhardy for a long time, but many fans, including his harshest critics were daring to believe after Bournemouth.
Villa has put his head back above the parapet, and he needs to return fire.