Ex-Sunderland midfielder David Meyler has had his say on some of the criticism Steve Bruce has received on Tyneside, revealing how he’s only heard good things from Newcastle players he’s been speaking to.
This comes from George Caulkin’s latest piece for The Athletic, with Meyler – who knows Bruce well following spells with him at Hull and Sunderland – having his say on the matter after catching up with Irish teammate Ciaran Clark and a few other ‘senior players’ at St James’ Park.
Here’s what he’s had to say about the ‘clueless’ comments, also responding to Michael Chopra’s criticism and revealing what Newcastle players have told him about the club’s new head coach:
“For people to say he’s clueless, is just ridiculous. It’s nonsense. He’s not clueless.”
“I’d love to know who Michael Chopra meant.”
“I speak to Ciaran Clark. People would be well aware of my relationship with him through Ireland. He’s a lad who hasn’t been playing much recently, who’s been left out of squads and he only speaks highly about the manager and the work he’s doing.
“I spoke to quite a few ‘senior players’ when I was up there, and they all seemed to know what was required of them.
“I watched the Leicester game and if we’re going to be completely honest, the lads gave up. I’ve been there. I’ve been in those situations when it’s getting tough and you’re going from game to game thinking: ‘this is the week we turn it around’ and then you concede a bad goal; some lads are cut out for the fight and some aren’t.
“So the next question is, ‘Can the manager motivate them?’ Yes, he can.”
These comments go completely against Michael Chopra’s accusations against Steve Bruce earlier this season, and it seems Meyler has actually spoken to at least one player about life under the new boss.
The former Hull midfielder then spoke about his experience of playing under Bruce, saying he left ‘no stone unturned’ during training sessions, always had a ‘game plan’ and increased confidence within the group:
“There was no stone left unturned in training, that’s why we were successful at Hull.
“We knew everything about the team we were playing. We were playing with confidence, executing the manager’s game plan. We played three or five at the back, we played four. All different formations. He evolved and we evolved; he’s been managing since he retired as a player but he’s not stuck in some time-warp.”
I’m not going to suddenly become Steve Bruce’s biggest fan because he helped us to our first home win of the season on Sunday, but it’s only fair to air these new claims from Meyler when Chopra’s comments at the other end of the scale got so much publicity.
Bruce has had a tough start to life at St James’ Park, and he’s made plenty mistakes along the way, however the much needed victory over Man Utd could be a turning point – or may at least buy him some time after several fans were calling for the sack just last week.