Tottenham (H) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & score prediction

I usually dread the international break, but it was actually quite nice knowing that Newcastle United couldn’t find a way to ruin my week over the past fortnight.

One lingering frustration is the fact Bruce remains in charge. Any other club would’ve got rid and found a replacement over the break, but instead we have seen Mike Ashley show blind faith to a two wins in 20 manager who’s only stuck about to avoid missing out on his £4m pay-off.

Next up – Spurs. Jose Mourinho’s record at St James’ Park is pretty awful and his current team haven’t been much better at times over the past few months, but recent displays without our top scorer – who we’ll be without again – make you question if we have enough quality to beat them. I say that because we’re clearly lacking brains or a master plan on the sidelines!

If our dressing room is hungry to put things right and not stuck in hangover mode from the Brighton defeat or the fact Bruce is still in charge, then we might still have enough to get a big result against this Spurs side.

That said, our last game was supposed to be a six-pointer we were bang up for and look how that panned out!

The question is, will we see a side ready to get behind Steve Bruce now they know he’s going nowhere, or will we continue to fold like a side sleepwalking towards relegation?

Team news

  • Allan Saint-Maximin – Bruce confirmed in his Friday presser that he’d trained all week and “could be involved” after recovering from a groin injury.
  • Callum Wilson – Is behind ASM in his comeback from a hamstring injury and seems likely to miss out and return instead for next week’s trip to Burnley.
  • Martin Dubravka – Missed two Slovakia games through illness and has just become a dad, however he’s expected to be fine for this one.
  • Isaac Hayden – Ruled out for the season with a knee injury; however it’s good to hear he will NOT require surgery.
  • Miguel Almiron – Bruce says the international break has allowed him to get back up to speed, with the Paraguayan clearly not 100% in that 3-0 defeat at Brighton last time out.
  • Fabian Schar – Remains out with a knee injury as he continues his recovery from surgery.

For the visitors, star man Son Heung-min has recovered from a hamstring injury, left-back Sergio Reguilon has been passed fit, while Matt Doherty and Ben Davies have been ruled out. Not the news we wanted to hear, meaning their left-side will be back to full strength for this one!

Predicted lineup

(4-3-1-2): Dubravka – Manquillo, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett – Hendrick, Shelvey, Willock – Almiron – Saint-Maximin, Fraser.

Hendrick IN, Hayden OUT? – It’s not the swap we want to see, but Bruce somehow seems to have Hendrick ahead of the two Longstaff’s in the midfield pecking order. Personally, I’d bring Sean Longstaff back in, however he’s played just 14 minutes over the past two months!

Saint-Maximin IN, Joelinton OUT? – It remains to be seen if ASM will be fit enough to start, but with this one looking set to come too soon for Wilson, Bruce will need the Frenchman’s spark to beat Spurs. Not only that, we need to change things up after that dismal display at Brighton – a game that saw our £40m Brazilian have a stinker. A front three of Fraser, Almiron and ASM would see us go without a recognised striker once again, but their blend of pace, creativity and explosiveness might just hurt a Mourinho side that don’t like to be ran at.

Elsewhere, Federico Fernandez may just earn a recall if Bruce decides to switch up the defence, while Jacob Murphy, Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle will be hoping for rare starts after failing to make the XI that failed to turn up at The Amex almost two weeks ago.

Match prediction

Had Wilson been fit, we’d have received a boost big enough to make many believe we might just pick up a surprise result.

Saint-Maximin’s return could lift our spirts and give us that match winning maverick that’s been missing over the past month, but the loss of Hayden will be a big blow in the middle of the park – especially if Bruce opts to replace him with Mr Anonymous Jeff Hendrick.

Not only that, Son Heung-min has been passed fit and could have a field day if we defend as we did at Brighton last weekend – and that’s not even factoring in the goal machine that is Harry Kane!

A reaction to that pathetic display at Brighton would be nice – especially when we may need to pick up points from games like this to survive – however I’m expecting very little when Wilson won’t be around to save Bruce’s bacon.

Let’s hope they prove me wrong and this is the start of an unlikely turnaround that saves us from slipping into the second tier.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-2 Tottenham

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

125 thoughts on “Tottenham (H) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & score prediction

  1. Optimistic forecast there Olly. 2-1? We’ll be lucky if it isn’t 4-1. Not sure where the one will come from.
    I still reckon we’ll survive with an extra 5 points. Fulham to get 6.

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  2. Well Jose does have a lousy record at SJP, though he did finally get a win last time here and posted on his social media ” At last boss ” in reference to Sir Bobby .

    Part of me thinks a lot of the players set out to play poorly in the hope of getting rid of Bruciesaurus , if we are to believe press reports there were a few very shocked he wasn’t hooked after the Brighton game.
    Cannot understand for one moment why Ashley persist with a manager who has only managed to get 2 wins from 20 ! Not sure if it’s spite to us fans, idiocy or just liking a gamble really, probably all 3 truth be told.
    Anyway we do have a team capable of playing a helluva lot better than v Brighton , it will help no end if we actually play to our strengths rather than selecting who the boss gets on with.
    Time to put away your bitterness, spite and cowardliness Steve, play the guys with the skill , pace and mental attitude to get us a result. A bona fide striker or two wouldn’t go a miss for a start, now there’s a novel idea 🙄

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  3. Oh and Steves comment on Gayle getting a new contract ” good for him ” hmm, strange reply.

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  4. Our midfield is one of the worst of my time supporting NUFC. That may be being harsh on Willock coz he’s not been in long and actually I quite like him – but Shelvey & Hendrick are awful.

    I think Spurs midfield will dominate the game with easy & will run the game. Holberg & Ndombele will dictate & I think Spurs forwards will pick us apart.

    I think our defence will do their best, but with little protection in front of them, I don’t see them keeping Spurs out.

    Miggy will work hard, but without a forward – and I include Gayle in that, it won’t be enough.

    I think 2-0 to Spurs at the very least.

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  5. West Brom beating 10 man Chelsea. We could do with a Spurs player being sent off!

    Do West Brom have a chance of staying up? I doubt it but at least BFS is going for it.

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  6. West Brom have played OK and finished well, albeit against 10 men. I thought this game was a write-off for them so who knows some of our upcoming games might not be as formidable as they seem. What they have done is give it a go and not be entirely passive. Are you watching Brucie?

    I am not saying that we should play with no fear, Keegan style, but we should not be paralysed by fear – Bruce style.

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  7. “I have never walked away. The easy thing to do is to walk away”

    Sheffield United – Resigned
    Wigan Athletic – Resigned TWICE
    Crystal Palace – Resigned
    Birmingham City – Resigned
    Hull City – Resigned
    Sheffield Wednesday – Resigned

    Why oh why can we not be number 8.

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  8. Eric Sykes:
    West Brom beating 10 man Chelsea. We could do with a Spurs player being sent off!

    Do West Brom have a chance of staying up? I doubt it but at least BFS is going for it.

    Mathematically yes

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  9. Sharpy17:
    Our midfield is one of the worst of my time supporting NUFC.That may be being harsh on Willock coz he’s not been in long and actually I quite like him – but Shelvey & Hendrick are awful.

    I think Spurs midfield will dominate the game with easy & will run the game.Holberg & Ndombele will dictate & I think Spurs forwards will pick us apart.

    I think our defence will do their best, but with little protection in front of them, I don’t see them keeping Spurs out.

    Miggy will work hard, but without a forward – and I include Gayle in that, it won’t be enough.

    I think 2-0 to Spurs at the very least.

    Tend to agree, with Son fit again it looks like a hard slog, our MF are powder puff.

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  10. Eric Sykes:
    West Brom beating 10 man Chelsea. We could do with a Spurs player being sent off!

    Do West Brom have a chance of staying up? I doubt it but at least BFS is going for it.

    Eric – I don’t think so mate. Not only would they need to pick up around 15 points from their remaining 8 games – but they would need 2 teams above them to drop a load of points too.

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  11. kimtoon:
    “I have never walked away. The easy thing to do is to walk away”

    Sheffield United – Resigned
    Wigan Athletic – Resigned TWICE
    Crystal Palace – Resigned
    Birmingham City – Resigned
    Hull City – Resigned
    Sheffield Wednesday – Resigned

    Why oh why can we not be number 8.

    Kim 😂 love that!!. He MUST know his own record before coming up with these stupid comments!!.

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  12. kimtoon:
    “I have never walked away. The easy thing to do is to walk away”

    Sheffield United – Resigned
    Wigan Athletic – Resigned TWICE
    Crystal Palace – Resigned
    Birmingham City – Resigned
    Hull City – Resigned
    Sheffield Wednesday – Resigned

    Why oh why can we not be number 8.

    Kimtoon, mate. Why does he lie when it is so easily fact checked? It is almost Trumpian.

    In this media climate he can almost get away with it because his pundit pals never question him even though they have backed off a bit on saying he doing a great job. Then there are the zoom press conferences where hardly anybody can ask a question and there are no follow ups. If anybody tells the truth like Craig Hope, they ban him.

    If all you get is PR from Bruce’s patsy Luke Edwards then what is the point of a press conference? All of his “answers” are deflections, platitudes and obfuscations. Actually, he doesnt even answer half the questions and interrupts and moves on.

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  13. Apart from injury updates, Bruce may as well not have a press conference. He never answers any questions and it is always – we roll our sleeves up, we move on, I never give up. That’s not an answer!!! That is a platitude, a deflection, an obfuscation (as I said above).

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  14. They dont even ask any real questions like – what is a split striker, or what are 2 false 10s. I really want to know the answer to both of these but the journos are too timid or muzzled to even ask the question.

    Or, how about. Why are you still playing Joelinton when he brings nothing and has a record of 3 goals in 60 games? They dont even ask that.

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  15. Didn’t see that West Brom win coming! 😳😳😬😬. Quite a thumping too… I can only see us getting hammered tomorrow. We really need Villa and Manure to do us some favours sadly…

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  16. Eric, he has far too many golfing, drinking buddies or whatever in the media and punditry circus and it’s an insult to our intelligence that they think we can’t see what’s in front of our own eyes.

    Hysterical, keyboard warriors, social media trolls, deluded, expect top 6 bla bla bla.
    Just sod off you baffoon, I could set that team up and give a more inspiring team talk than Bruce and god knows I’m a glass half empty bu gger.
    He has ruined us , totally undone all Rafa’s good defensive work, we’ve gone from a coach who spent hours analysing other teams watching endless videos of the opposition to a lazy s od who doesn’t venture on the training ground leaving the coaches with half arsed instructions and the responsibility of telling players they are dropped because he’s too big of a coward to do it himself. And why, because he would not be able to tactically explain their omission from the team, because he picks his lads that’s why.

    And now we are told he’ll get a big bonus and contract extension if we stay up !!!! yee gods what the hell have Toon fans done to deserve the unholy trinity that is Ashley, Bruce and Charnley.
    How much longer does this purgatory last, the fans are hexed with a behemoth of an owner, we truly are in the pits of hell .

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  17. Rant over, had a s hitty week and not looking forward to getting humped again tomorrow having just seen fat sams lot get a result hasn’t helped my mood.

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  18. Pretty much the whole Spurs squad was away at internationals meaning they played 3 games. The only real outfield starter who was away for us was Clark and we have a ready made replacement for him in Fernandez. Hendrick was away yes, but who really cares. Lewis? He wouldnt be starting.

    Bruce still managed to bring it up as a negative though.

    Spurs should be a bit leggy and we should be refreshed with 6 days off. Let’s see if it turns out that way 🙂

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  19. kimtoon:
    Rant over, had a s hitty week and not looking forward to getting humped again tomorrow having just seen fat sams lot get a result hasn’t helped my mood.

    You got all your Easter references in 🙂 I have actually been to The Vatican and I am not religious. Went for the art and had a private tour. My ex-wife owns a European travel co.

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  20. I have quite an analytical mind as you might have noticed. I was looking at Bruce’s quotes about him saying he will draw on his experience and record. So I looked at it.

    He has 28% win ratio in the PL. That gets you 10 wins or 32 points. If you add in the draws, he probably averages 38-39 points.

    So, he has always been on the cusp of relegation. In a good year he will keep you up like last year and in a bad year he will take you down like Birmingham, Hull and almost Sunderland.

    It is a massive gamble to employ Steve Bruce. Even if we somehow survive this year we will be in the same predicament next year and his record and the odds show he will take us down.

    We should have got rid of this clown 2 months ago. He has lost the dressing room and now has a mole in it as well as Charley’s double agent – Jones.

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  21. FFS: who the hell is this Ref in the Arse-Red Bindippers game? He decides he wants a footballers haircut! What a ponce. he is now my least favourite Ref after Jon ‘Fatboy” Moss who cannot keep up with play.

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  22. What’s the analogy? Like a middle aged man buying a convertible. This Ref looks ridiculous. Maybe he should dye it red like Pogba for the next game or get some Sadio Mane stripes put in?

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  23. Eric Sykes:
    What’s the analogy? Like a middle aged man buying a convertible.This Ref looks ridiculous. Maybe he should dye it red like Pogba for the next game or get some Sadio Mane stripes put in?

    I think it’s known as a COVID cut over here mate 😂

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  24. BRUCE WANTS FANS BACK !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Proves he is the biggest liar in football.

    There would be cabbages and there would be the worst uproar since Pards had to sneak back into his shell/dugout.

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  25. He is the biggest fraud, liar, charlatan, excuse maker, petty man that football management has ever had?

    I sometimes think I am too close to it because I follow NUFC every day.

    And then I hear his press conferences. Where nobody is really allowed to speak.

    He is a vindictive pretender.

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  26. I’ve tried to stay away from all things NUFC. It’s so depressing. I come back to the same old nonsense spouted by Bruce. If there was someone at the club capable they’d tell him to shut up.

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  27. I keep seeing that Fraser doesnt put the effort in and is lazy and a bad influence. I dont know where the hell this is coming from. Bruce didnt play him for 3 months, so of course he might be upset. At least he can take a corner!!! Are you watching Jonjo? And he puts some decent crosses in. Even if he only puts in one cross a game that is more than DonkeyJoe would. Bruce is playing the donkey on the wing and yet he never puts a cross in? He is a non-shooting striker or a non-crossing winger. And yet The Great Pretender (Bruce) persists with him.

    I still find it funny (annoying) that when Bruce talks about his recent record he conveniently forgets about the loss to Palace. It is like it never happened and he talks about everything being a bit better now. Look at the form table you fat fck. That includes Palace and 2 wins in 20.

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  28. I would consider it a badge of honour as a journalist to be banned by NUFC at this point. The club are not allowing them to even question Bruce’s lies. What can you do? You can stand up and tell the truth like Craig Hope or you can roll over like Luke Edwards. I know where I stand.

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  29. I mean, even Lee Ryder and Mark Douglas are saying Bruce is a bad manager now after (admittedly half-heartedly) defending him for more than a year. They stop short of calling him a fraud, but I wish they would. Grow some balls.

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  30. Stats from The Chronic:

    NUFC have 11 points from the last 18 games

    NUFC have lost 11 of the last 18 games.

    And The Great Pretender sees improvement FFS!

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  31. Interesting from The Mag. An interview for Spurs fans with Luke Edwards. He does everything but give Bruce a blow job. He has this way of defending his Pal of laying out a couple of bad stats before then writing 10 times as many words explaining them away. I think that HE might think that is giving a balanced view when in fact it is very much in favour of the useless tw@t that manages NUFC. And you can keep your Graeme Jones’ as well – diamonds and split strikers! He’s as big of a clown as Bruce.

    https://www.themag.co.uk/2021/04/tottenham-asked-this-journalist-for-expert-newcastle-united-opinion-hilarious/

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  32. Watching Burnley and S’ton. There is a break in play for an injury and Sean Dyche is in his technical area ALONE giving instructions to 2 players. There are not 3 Steves and a Graeme in there giving different messages.

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  33. Well, 2-0 Burnley on 28 mins. That’s them safe if they werent already. Hopefully they will relax a bit and let us win next week!

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  34. Wow: I didnt expect that team!!!!

    The Donkey and Shelvey are still in there though.

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  35. So we are playing a winger at right back whilst having a right back on the bench and playing a right back at centre back whilst having a centre back on the bench. #Bruceball

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  36. Fraser and Carroll not even on the bench! Donkeys Joe and Jonjo play as well as Kraft cheese. This will not end well. We will see if Sean Longstaff really wants to play for his home team. 3-1 to Spurs.

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  37. Just don’t get it. Manqillo, Fernandez, Clark, Fraser and ASM are some of our better players and he picks Krafth and Joelinton instead. The donkey instead of Fraser? Plot lost.

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  38. Gayle Hattrick with 3 assists from Joelinton!!!! Bruce is a genius.

    Did he just say Joe and Jonjo sart and stick the rest of the names in a hat after his 6 days off and select the team that way?

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  39. So no Carroll or Fraser, that’s our best corner taker not on the pitch or bench, is Fraser and carroll injured ?

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  40. You do want a reaction after that Brighton game, but this just seems so random!!!

    Like he hasnt managed for 23 years and 990 games! With a 28% win rate though 🙂

    Like this is his second game in charge and he is being undermined by Charnley who he thinks is his best pal (along with Luke Edwards) , but who brought in the nobody Graeme Jones to force the fat, bent nosed idiot out.

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  41. Chris Waugh@ChrisDHWaugh

    Here are a selection of XI names who I think will be playing in some sort of system containing a back 5 today, although I am not entirely sure.

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  42. Andrew Musgrove@ADMusgrove

    I’m very confused by it. Certainly seems the very, very last roll of the dice for Steve Bruce

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  43. That’s on the f@cking players that!!.

    Foaming that the ‘leaders’ in this team couldn’t shut shop for 90 seconds after scoring!!. Lascelles let Kane run passed him.

    We were playing well & deserved the lead there but there’s nowt Bruce can do about that!!.

    He was talking to Shelvey directly after the goal – probably saying keep it tight.

    These players are sh!t I’m afraid. Zero leadership on that pitch.

    Can’t blame the formation coz we were on top for the first 30mins – it needs the players to stay disciplined and the likes of Lascelles & Shelvey to lead by example.

    P!ss poor!!

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  44. Yet we used to be so tight defensively under Rafa.

    Spurs are poor at the back saved only by Loris, we should get at them more

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  45. Gayle has done nowt to warrant getting a new deal either this first half. Missed an absolute sitter & had a easy pass to play Miggy in and hit it way too hard. Get rid of him & bring Armstrong back for me.

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  46. kimtoon:
    Yet we used to be so tight defensively under Rafa.

    Spurs are poor at the back saved only by Loris, we should get at them more

    Kim – you can blame Bruce for many things – but if he gets blamed for them goals then the players are getting a free ride.

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  47. kimtoon:
    Maybe bring St Max on second half, he might terrify that spursdefense.

    He can replace Gayle for me. Mind you, there’s probably a traffic cone out in the car park that could replace Gayle for me.

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  48. I blamed Lascelles for the first – to be fair it was Dummett that left Kane to close Le Celso without shouting at Lascelles to drop on Kane. As the ball breaks through Kraft should have cleared it to row Z – tried to be clever and it fell to Kane.
    Bad decision making & poor communication from defenders who should know better than that.

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  49. Poor first half… we should be ahead … Gayle should’ve scored and should’ve put Miggy in… playing better overall but still those stupid errors. To be honest I’d like to see Anderson get a chance in midfield for Shelvey or Longstaff… both are too static.

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  50. Sharpy it’s not just this game though is it mate and Krafth is just so poor, who picked him to play.
    When you score you are at your most vulnerable in the next 5 minutes and once we conceded the old nerves set back in then it’s two before you know it.
    Gotta hope we can rescue a point and we really should cause spuds are poor defensively.

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  51. Sharpy17:
    I blamed Lascelles for the first – to be fair it was Dummett that left Kane to close Le Celso without shouting at Lascelles to drop on Kane.As the ball breaks through Kraft should have cleared it to row Z – tried to be clever and it fell to Kane.
    Bad decision making & poor communication from defenders who should know better than that.

    Bruce has left good defenders on the bench to play players out of position. He’s a clown.

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  52. Our wing backs are doing ok, but neither can consistently put a decent cross into the box – so rarely beating the first man.

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  53. kimtoon:
    Sharpy it’s not just this game though is it mate and Krafth is just so poor, who picked him to play.
    When you score you are at your most vulnerable in the next 5 minutes and once we conceded the old nerves set back in then it’s two before you know it.
    Gotta hope we can rescue a point and we really should cause spuds are poor defensively.

    Kim – I’m certainly not saying Bruce is faultless. But the players have to take their share of the blame.
    Lascelles can mouth off in post match interviews, but for me he’s not that good a defender & he’s a poor captain imo as well – I rarely see him organising or communicating with his teammates.

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  54. Sharpy, those players would not make those mistakes under Rafa week in week out like under Bruce, he’d have them in and be drilling it into them. Also i do not think Rafa would play the likes of Krafth.

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