Well well well.
Chris Sutton comes to the party, fashionably late, but better late than never.
The former Blackburn and Celtic striker turned BBC 5 Live and Daily Mail pundit, is finally joining several other pundits of the footballing world and acknowledging the possibility that maybe, just maybe, we Newcastle fans aren’t so daft, and Steve Bruce is really bad at managing football teams after all.
Writing in his regular column for Mail Online, Sutton had this to say:
“Newcastle rank 20th in the Premier League for possession, 19th for passes, 19th for shots and 18th for shots on target. What a miserable existence.”
“Supporters of that sleeping giant in the North East deserve so much more than what they’re being served up.
“Manager Steve Bruce might live to regret those ‘gloves are off’ and ‘we will do it my way’ comments. That won’t help him.
“The buck now stops with him because of what he said, and they were lifeless against Aston Villa on Saturday night. If that’s Bruce’s way, then it won’t win over the fans any time soon.
“The lack of ambition at Newcastle under their owner Mike Ashley is alarming and sad.
“What have their supporters got to look forward to? Not much, unfortunately.”
Hilarious. After belittling and shouting down any Newcastle fans who called into 606, Chris Sutton is finally talking about footballing metrics. The same footballing metrics that he and co-host Robbie Savage deemed not so important last season and earlier this year, as they arrogantly dismissed what knowledgable football fans saw with their own eyes. Yes the points total was stable last year, but that was achieved largely through Dubravka and Saint Maximin’s brilliance, as well as through a grit and spirit engrained in the players that Bruce has managed to dissipate in 18 painful months, through sheer incompetence and negligence.
So here we are this season, in a stunningly inevitable situation. Neck deep in a relegation battle with a manager with a dreadful record of managing in the PL. What’s happening now was obvious to every single Newcastle and football fan. A proven failure is failing. A poor manager took over a football team from a good one and the football team has gotten worse.
They say football isn’t an exact science, but I think it’s safe to say that Rafa Benitez to Steve Bruce will deliver an exact and definite decline, with 100% results guaranteed every time.
This step into the aware and enlightened didn’t stop Chris from being his contrary, obnoxious self on last weekend’s show. A Newcastle fan called David, called in, spoke well and complained about Bruce’s prickly shift in his intentions from progression into the top 10, to scoffing at journalists that fans have to accept that his only job is to keep us in the league.
This is a shift in stance that would annoy any football fan in the world if they had just heard an interview that implied they had been essentially lied to for 18 months.
Yet Chris Sutton’s simple response when presented with this shift in remit was “no I don’t think that’s right”. It begs belief.
I’m sure that like all of us, (except Chris Sutton obviously) David has heard 18 months worth of Bruce’s bullish statements and empty promises, mainly about his dreams for progression and a top 10 team, all while actively refuting claims his remit was simply survival.
At least his far more humble play mate Robbie Savage surprisedly reacted and asked” Is that right?”.
Chris should have learned by now that simply saying “No I don’t think that’s right” without any knowledge of what you’re talking about rarely gets you anywhere.
Both Chris and Robbie said on last weekend’s show that Newcastle fans were “boring” them them on social media. Well to be honest lads, so was your ignorance and refusal to listen to those who watched and knew more than you.
All we asked was for our opinions to be respected and heard.
Sadly, what we always knew to be true is coming to pass.