The former Hull defender believes criticism of Steve Bruce is unfair as there was “nothing in the game all all” other than the “one mistake” that led to Arsenal’s goal, claiming it’s ‘nonsense’ from the Mail’s north-east reporter to suggest otherwise.
Here’s the Twitter exchange that has followed between the two after this tweet below:
Craig Hope: “The buck stops with Steve Bruce after clumsy introduction of Jetro Willems (who did not know where he was playing) disrupts NUFC rhythm before ragged final half hour”
Alex Bruce: “Never seen so much nonsense and lazy journalism, nothing in the game at all most people with a brain could see that except one mistake, this is a prime example of exactly what Graeme Souness was on about yesterday”
Craig Hope: “You’re right Alex, there was nothing in the game. So fine margins make the difference, yes? A player coming on & not knowing where he is playing is a fine margin. Two minutes later & he is caught cold for the goal. For that, the buck stops with the manager.”
Alex Bruce: “Willems came on in centre midfield exactly where he played for Frankfurt last season for Shelvey who was carrying a knock but I suppose you’d prefer an injured player left on the pitch??”
Craig Hope: “Okay if that was the intention, but Willems was not supposed to come on in central midfield – that is the point. The manager was furious, it was a mistake. It looked awful for two minutes as they tried to tell him otherwise. It affected the team. Fine margins.”
Alex Bruce: “I’ve seen plenty wrote about Dad the last month some vile stuff and I’ve said and replied to nothing. But seeing you trying to create a s*** storm already is out of order especially after the performance yesterday the lads did very well and deserved something out the game end of.”
Craig Hope: “We’ve been very fair with your dad so far. He’s made a good impression. But we have to comment on a game in isolation – and bringing on a player who doesn’t know where he’s playing does not look good. It affected the team & contributed to losing a game they deserved something from. “As for “creating a s*** storm”. Please, don’t blame the journalist. All fans are talking about is the confusion of the Willems sub, not naming a midfielder on bench & how ragged the final half hour was. To blame a reporter is ludicrous – Steve McClaren tried that & didn’t get far”
Alex Bruce: “A player making a short pass which was cut out lead to the the result, nothing to do with tactics or personnel….. and Willems knew exactly what his role was going on it’s just you trying to cause negativity. Very fair?? It was his 1st game and your already starting”
Craig Hope: “Alex, this doesn’t make sense. Your dad admitted two things afterwards 1) Willems did not know where he was playing when he came on 2) Willems was out of position for the goal, “Too high up pitch” your dad said. I’m sorry, that has everything to do with tactics & personnel.”
I won’t be jumping straight on Steve Bruce’s back – it’s Ashley that’s the enemy, not him and it’s also our first game of the season – but I think Craig is right here.
Bruce doesn’t deserve to be slated for this one, but he must accept (and has) that the Willems substitution was a mess and the team’s set up in the second half was too.
Where do you stand on this?