Without wanting to sound like I’m joining the Steve Bruce witch hunt, it’s fair to say that there’s a considerable amount of pressure on our manager at the moment.
This is for good reason – it’s now emerged that he boasts the second lowest win percentage of any Newcastle manager over the last 20 years.
His win rate at Newcastle has been totalled at 33.3%, with us winning just 16 of our 48 games since Bruce has been at the helm.
It’s worrying , but it’s even more concerning when you delve a bit deeper.
Since Bruce has taken charge, we’ve won 5 games against lower league opposition in the cups – meaning only 11 of his wins have come against Premier League opposition.
Two of these wins also came against Premier League sides with ten men on the field for the majority of the game – Sheffield United at home in June and Southampton away in July.
And then it’s scary to remember how many times we’ve been ‘lucky’ enough to steal the three points. He insisted yesterday in a defiant press conference that it’s ‘insulting’ to say he’s been lucky, but he has. For example, we were truly awful against Chelsea at home last season before robbing the win at the death with an Isaac Hayden header. There’s also been several occasions where we’ve snuck wins in games we deserved to draw at best via late goals from defenders!
We’re 10th in the table and into the cup quarter finals, but the underlying stats are slowly starting to stack up against Steve Bruce. We’re evidently riding our look and grinding our results (look no further than Spurs and Newport!) and it’s not a sustainable plan of action.
I can only imagine his win rate gets worse if he continues to play the same way, so let’s hope he can respond in the perfect way with a much improved performance and big three points against Burnley tonight!