He doesn’t do tactics. Steve Bruce has told us this before and, through his actions as Newcastle manager, he has shown us this on numerous occasions.
If you thought that this philosophy only referred to the team that he was managing then you will be shocked to know that he doesn’t bother pay attention to the tactics of other teams either!
As many have already noted, our 3-0 loss to Brighton last Saturday was something that we had already seen earlier in the season when we *checks notes* lost 3-0 to Brighton. In Bruce’s defence, however, he probably pinned that first loss on how well Tariq Lamptey played and, given that he was unavailable for this latest match, he reasoned that there could be no way that a repeat loss could be done.
I’m convinced now that Steve Bruce is in his own personal, twisted, nightmare version of Groundhog Day because he seems to be completely stuck repeating the same actions and reciting the same rubbish constantly.
Take our woes against Brighton as an example. In 2019, Bruce lamented on how “We didn’t cope with their tactics. Their formation surprised us.”
Ok, didn’t cope with tactics because you don’t do them. The formation being surprising is a fun one because how many different formations can there be? I don’t recall Brighton playing 1-1-9 at the time or something equally as ludicrous? If memory serves, they played some sort of 3-4-3 formation…
They certainly did play 3-4-3 in 2020 causing Bruce to remark on how “They outclassed us” and how “We struggled with their 3-4-3.”
Couldn’t figure out how to not struggle with that 3-4-3 after last time, Steve? No? That’s alright, you put your head down and figure out how to do it next time. Spoiler: He didn’t.
His latest insight on Brighton’s play after Saturday’s latest 3-0 bashing was “Their tactics were decent. They caught us out in that respect.”
Do I need to say anything more? Being “caught out” is just the same as being “surprised”, so he’s essentially saying that he didn’t know what was coming before playing against the Seagulls.
Now, generally in football, you are supposed to do research and planning before a match so that you are best prepared for what the opposition are ready to throw at you, so it has to be extra embarrassing to not only ignore the previous matches against you in which a team played the same way but also to not do the research to confirm that they’re still playing that way!
Bruce isn’t just incompetent; he is lazy and doesn’t actually do the job he is handsomely paid to do. He is a fraud, plain and simple.