I’d rather not scrutinise every word Steve Bruce has said this week after a few awful performances in the Premier League, but he’s making it difficult not to.
Not only is he refusing to accept the very fair concerns that have come his way after Wilson’s penalty on Sunday was our only shot on target in our last two league games, he’s made some baffling comments about tonight’s Carabao Cup clash – saying we’ll “need a bit of luck” to beat League Two side Newport County. Inspiring stuff!
Before we get to that, here’s what he’s had to say about those who ‘constantly’ criticise him:
“Everything I do is analysed, whether I make a substitution, how we play and this, that and the other,”
“Our performance against Spurs and Brighton was nowhere near what we are capable of.
“For that, I understand why I get criticism but it’s the constant, ‘Oh, he’s picked the team. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. This is the way forward. We should be playing like this. Blah blah blah”.
“That’s the difficulty but if you play like we did against Spurs and particularly against Brighton at home as well then you’re going to come in for criticism and you have to accept that at a big club with big expectation, the criticism falls upon you and I have to be big enough to accept it.
“Look, we didn’t play well enough but you get analysed for everything you do, which is obviously the difficulty.”
“Look, I think I’ve had this summer to try and put my stamp on the team and there lies the difficulty for all managers now – especially in the transfer windows,”
“I’m not looking for any excuses.
“I thought last year after watching us, we had been playing in a certain way for a long time and I didn’t think we had the personnel to change.”
He claims he’s ‘big enough’ to accept the criticism, yet in the same breath complains that everything he does is overanalysed – as if it’s outrageous to be expecting more of a big Premier League club or raising very valid concerns about our sub-par performances.
It also feels like it’s never his fault and he’s always the victim. He says he doesn’t want to make excuses, but blames us for overanalysing him, talks about the players struggling to play his way (whatever that is!) and bemoans the ‘difficult’ transfer window – despite him landing his top targets and now having a VERY capable squad.
He then had this to say when asked about tonight’s cup clash with Newport:
“Of course with every cup tie you need a bit of luck.
“They’re a good side.
“So make no mistake, it’s a difficult place to go.”
Now, I don’t expect Bruce to come out and say we’re going to come away with another 0-7 win and make easy worth of them like we did to Morecambe, but come on!
He complains about the criticism he gets, yet here he is saying we might “need a bit of luck” to beat League Two side Newport County tonight.
Luck has saved Bruce’s bacon on several occasions during his first season in charge at St James’ Park – he got a big dose of it again at Spurs on Sunday – however it really shouldn’t be needed when we’re coming up against a side in the FOURTH tier of English football.
Sure, we need to approach the game with the right mindset and must not allow complacency to slip in, but these are yet more careless and baffling comments from a man who needs to chose his words a bit more carefully – especially if he feels he’s ‘constantly’ criticised.