Okay, here we go again. Is it more negativity from me or simply stating facts? I really don’t know, but I found only three positives from last night. Darlow’s continuing fine form, Matty being involved even if he didn’t contribute much and Murphy at least looking to shoot.
Yes, that’s it, although as I pick through the bones of what the Manager had to say I might well find one or two others that I can be optimistic about. Oh wait, I can’t!
Let’s start with pre-match when he said this:
“We’ve had a bad week, it’s a simple as that,”
“The disappointment of course of getting beaten in the cup tie is still sore, and as I said it topped off a miserable week, I have to say.”
“The histrionics which have gone around it is quite ridiculous at times, but that’s what it is at a club like ours.
“But what better way to get stuck into it today, coming up against a really good Man City team.”
Okay the performance was slightly improved from Brentford but in all honesty it couldn’t have been worse and in many respects we had nothing to lose in this fixture but if he thought we got stuck into it then I don’t see how!
Once again we sat back, were passive and allowed them to totally dictate. 1 – 0 down at the break we had 12% of possession in the second half. 12%!!! When we were supposed to be chasing the game.
Now let’s get to the after-match comments:
“We certainly got a better performance which was pleasing and the attitude towards them after what has been a difficult week or so.
“You always know you’re going to come here against a world class team but the attitude of the players I couldn’t fault.
“We were beaten by the better team on the night, of course but it was a decent performance which was good news.”
Already dealt with the “better performance” comment and in truth the attitude wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t positive or suggested that we would do anything other than a damage limitation.
“Decent.” Well if he thinks that was decent goodness only knows what he’ll ever think if we do produce a performance that the fans think is decent. It wasn’t decent. It was abject and derisory.
From the moment the team was announced (no Wilson) we were never going to win, give it a go or do anything that would make us feel entertained or hopeful.
And so it proved 90 minutes later as we all once again felt deflated, cheated and dismayed. Well I did at least!
“The one thing (about) the (game in the) week, it’s gone.
“We all needed to respond to the criticism that has come our way.
“They’ve done as much as they possibly could in difficult circumstances.
“We’ve had a difficult time with COVID and all the rest of it, people recovering and people struggling with the illness.”
“Fabian Schar has trained once in five weeks but wanted to play, the attitude of them all was there to see.
“We have got a large chunk of players missing.
“I don’t want to make excuses but we are struggling for numbers…”
No excuses then apart from the excuses he gives. I know these comments are after the game but if they were his feelings going in how on earth can he motivate a side to produce a performance.
Look I get that it was Man. City but is that an excuse?
“In that respect it’s been very difficult.
“The one thing you want them to do is roll your sleeves up, recover and have a go.
“It’s City which is very difficult but I thought their attitude was excellent.”
I agree to a certain degree. Their attitude wasn’t bad but “roll their sleeves up and have a go?” Not for me they didn’t as we never looked like ever finishing with anything other than NIL.
Also, there’s only so long you can constantly undermine a talented group a player and tell them we’ll just have to ‘go again and try harder’ next week.
“We gave the ball away in a poor area and if you do that against a top, top team then you get punished and we did.
“We were sloppy in possession and gave the ball and we were punished.”
Anyone of us could have said that and knew he would. What we want to know is why we’re continually “sloppy” and give it away. Surely that’s down to Management/Coaching as well as the players?
“You accept mistakes, they happen in football but the one thing you wanted was a response from the poor, poor showing in midweek and we got that.
“I’m very pleased that they did that.”
No, Steve, you accept mistakes. We don’t and I was always told you learn by your mistakes. Clearly we’re not and at least he’s acknowledged that we were poor, poor against Brentford.
I think you can only say ‘happy with the response’ if you genuinely create chances, defend well and are unlucky to lose. The reality was we’d have lost by more had it not been for our refusal to do anything other than defend and if it wasn’t for Darlow!
We didn’t down tools, I’ll give them that, but in reality, we played against a City side who never got out of 2nd gear let alone 4th and were still far superior to us. They were clearly intent to say energy and stamina for what they’ll deem tougher tasks ahead.
Now, there are plenty of pundits that say were not playing any football that is better than we did under Rafa. But can you imagine Rafa coming out of a game and stating the drivel Bruce does? Or accepting these type of performances? No, me neither!
Then to cap it all Bruce says, “My remit is to keep Newcastle in the Premier League.”
What happened to a work in progress? A Top Ten aim? Or giving it a go in the Cups? Yes, I haven’t forgotten the capitulation at home to Man. City in last season’s FA Cup Quarter Final either.
Please Steve give it a rest or better still resign and have a rest and finally but your dinosaur tactics into retirement for all time. Please!