Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson believes Steve Bruce doesn’t even know his best team at Newcastle United – despite being in the job 18 months now.
The former Arsenal winger also ripped into our players for their shambolic performance in midweek against Brentford, claiming many barely looked interested
At Man City, Bruce made several changes to the side that got dumped out of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, with the likes of Callum Wilson, Sean Longstaff, Jonjo Shelvey and Ryan Fraser failing to feature.
Here’s what Merson had to say about it all prior to the 2-0 defeat at The Etihad:
“All you have got to do is win a trophy and you will be a hero forever.
“If you have Brentford in the quarter-final in the Cup, the players have to look at that and ask themselves how many times they are going to have the chance to win a trophy or a medal.
“That has just passed them by and I hope they realised that on the plane home.
“It didn’t look like they were interested.
“It was a typical ‘we have to stay in the Premier League’ performance and it is sad.
“I don’t think Steve knows his best team.
“I think he will just try and get fresh legs on the pitch over the next three in every game they play.
“Even if they win a game, I think they will change it. They could easily lose these games with the big teams playing in third gear.”
Back-to-back defeats without scoring a goal and a cup exit to lower league opposition hardly stand us in good stead ahead of a game with Premier League champions Liverpool.
Merson was right in the end – we easily lost to Man City while they hardly played in third gear and our performance demonstrated damage limitation rather than any real attempt to compete.
We could find ourselves in a spot of bother at the end of the festive season with the players that are ruled out and the inevitable bad results that are coming our way.