Newcastle 2-3 Tottenham: Exciting new era, same old problems under Steve Bruce

It all started so well…

After an electric atmosphere around the city all afternoon, a stunning flag display inside St James’ Park and 52,000 fans all in full voice to give the new owners a big Geordie welcome, Callum Wilson headed home less than two minutes in to give us an early 1-0 lead.

The crowd went wild, with a real sense of euphoria swirling around the stadium, however that would prove to be the only shot on target we’d have in the entire match.

As we’ve done all season under Steve Bruce, we were so cheap defensively as Spurs scored a quick-fire double in the space of five minutes, with goals from Ndombele and Kane putting them 2-1 midway through the first half.

A moment of major concern then arrived off the pitch, as the game was stopped and medics called over to the East Stand to assist a fan who’d collapsed in the stands. Thankfully, it’s since emerged that the supporter is awake and responsive in hospital – the best news we’ll read all day after the scary stoppage saw a defibrillator dragged across the pitch.

With seven minutes of first-half stoppage time still to play, both sets of players returned to the field as the game resumed. The incident had sobered up a visibly concerned St James’ Park and Spurs took advantage, with Son tapping in a Harry Kane cut-back to make it 3-1.

The second half summed up just about everything that’s been wrong with this team under Steve Bruce.

You have to question what he said to them (or didn’t!) in that team-talk, but the tactics were abysmal and practically non-existent at times, with us often pumping diagonal balls to Joelinton and hoping for the best.

Jonjo Shelvey – who came on for an already booked Sean Longstaff – then capped off a dire second half display with two silly yellow cards, meaning he’ll now be banned for next weekend’s trip to Crystal Palace despite only just returning from a long-term calf injury.

Inevitably, fans turned on Steve Bruce soon after, with chants of “WE WANT BRUCIE OUT” bellowing around St James’ Park.

We did pull a goal back at the death – Eric Dier put Jacob Murphy’s set piece delivery into his own net to give fans the faintest glimmer of hope – but Spurs kept the ball for most of the four minutes of added on time that followed and it ended 3-2 to the visitors.

Bruce will put the defeat down to bad defending and bemoan the red card, but we ran out of steam as we so often have this season and had absolutely no plan B once Spurs had got themselves back into the game.

Our time will come, and we have plenty reasons to be more than just hopeful as we head into an exciting new era on Tyneside, however it’s vital the new owners act fast and remove Steve Bruce from a ship in danger of sinking as long as he stays in charge.

A final word must go to Wor Flags who put on another magnificent display at the Gallowgate End, made even more special as Jimmy Nail’s ‘Big River’ played just moments before new chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan was introduced to fans for the first time.

The river will rise again.

The river will rise again.

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.

99 thoughts on “Newcastle 2-3 Tottenham: Exciting new era, same old problems under Steve Bruce

  1. Why is it accepted wisdom that a new manager will be short term – stepping stone. People cite Man City but they stuck with Hughes for 6 months. A big mistake which we have not made with Bruce.

    City’s 2nd manager was Mancini who won them the league. He is notoriously tetchy and left.

    But now the fans and journos even, say our next manager will be there a couple of years before we move on. Just coz Abramovich sacks managers at the drop of a hat and City made a mistake with Hughes doesn’t mean we will go that route.

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  2. Eric+Sykes:
    Why is it accepted wisdom that a new manager will be short term – stepping stone. People cite Man City but they stuck with Hughes for 6 months. A big mistake which we have not made with Bruce.

    City’s 2nd manager was Mancini who won them the league. He is notoriously tetchy and left.

    But now the fans and journos even, say our next manager will be there a couple of years before we move on. Justcoz Abramovich sacks managers at the drop of a hat and City made amistake with Hughes doesn’t mean we will go that route.

    Eric – I agree mate, totally different circumstances. City’s were around 8th in the league when they were taken over and their new owners were welcomed with open arms.
    We have a battle both on and off the pitch it seems to me.

    We don’t start getting the best out of these players & we will be in a relegation battle for sure. We get the wrong manager in & the players don’t respond & it could be curtains.
    We don’t just need the new manager bounce, we need sustained momentum because we need to be a club new signs want to come to – similar to the Keegan era ‘I want to be part of that!!’.

    you look at the fixtures we’ve played so far and we should have at least 12 points on the board so far imo – we have 3 – that’s a lot of points to make up, but we have plenty of games left, proving we can turn things around.

    But at the same time we are battling on the pitch, our new owners will be battling for their place at the table – and both are going to be tough fights.

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  3. I like the thought of Ralph Rangnick as DoF as I think what he’s done with the Red Bull clubs is excellent – and the type of set up I’d love to see at our club.

    But I also like the idea of Overmars if he can bring the Ajax set up with him – they have always been my favourite European team & have an amazing youth set up. That’s something I’ve always wanted at NUFC.

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  4. Bruce averaged about 1.1 points per game. We have 30 games left and that average plus the 3 we have would probably keep us up on about 35 points.

    This is by no means an impossible situation.

    I thought we would finish roughly where we did last season before s ball was kicked but Bruce went on one his death spirals to make the team seem worse than they are.

    Plus there was his negativity dressed up in his soft spoken tones. He has been negative all season and let it all hang out in his Luke Edwards interview.

    I have never heard anybody be so negative about a job. According to Bruce everybody was out to get him from the beginning.

    Did that include his pundit pals? Danny Murphy?

    I am going to repeat this. It was Villa fans who called him a cabbage and he knows it coz they threw one on the pitch.

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  5. Sharpy17:
    I like the thought of Ralph Rangnick as DoF as I think what he’s done with the Red Bull clubs is excellent – and the type of set up I’d love to see at our club.

    But I also like the idea of Overmars if he can bring the Ajax set up with him – they have always been my favourite European team & have an amazing youth set up.That’s something I’ve always wanted at NUFC.

    And bring some Ajax youngsters for the Academy. 17 and 18 year olds almost ready for the 1st team.

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  6. One player we have shown interest in before and I hope/think we should go back for is Boubacar Kamara at Marsielle. He’s a young holding midfielder who has been playing really well for them this season.

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  7. Attacking & entertaining football is all well and good – but it needs to be affective too. We need points on the board quickly.

    Fonseca could well be the man to bring us the football we want to watch – but immediately, he is a coach that favours a formation with 3 CBs and whether we like it or not our current squad favour that formation too.
    That could be vital in the transition phase.

    There isn’t much change to our squad that got the 10, 13,13,12 place finishes – and they were with 3 CBs for the most part.

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  8. This narrative that our next Manager will be a place holder for someone better is a bit disingenuous.

    Are they going to say to Fonseca come and join us and save us from relegation then you have the summer transfer window. If we are not top 6 by Xmas we will see if Conte fancies it. And here’s 2 year contract.

    Of course they are not unless it is Eddie Howe.

    Fonseca would be mad to accept less than a 3 year deal. Amanda has said this is a “project” and any manager worth their salt would want to know they are part of it beyond 18 months.

    But this is all twitter, blog and journo speculation anyway. Who knows what the consortium think. It will be different to City though and all of these media expect it to be exactly the same.

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  9. Sharpy
    I also like Denis Zakaria from Borrusia M, Favre might like him as he’s Swiss
    Both are in the last years of their contract. Both would be a good addition.

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  10. Hells bells I’ve just saw Artetas interview about Steve Bruce leaving now – he thinks because you say a player isn’t good enough or a manager makes a mistakes then we fans hate them 🤦🏼‍♂️.
    You are allowed to criticise, be annoyed and get frustrated with someone without hating them for god sake.

    If I do something wrong at work and my gaffer pulls me up on it, I can just get out of it now by saying they hate me …. Yeah right 🙄. Pathetic!!.

    Also, every manager has a public opinion on it now – funny they only find the courage to speak up once the fellas gone.

    None has said – well to be fair he does have them 2nd bottom & nobody give a sh!t when the Watford manager was sacked last week 🤷🏼‍♂️.

    One of the most important English managers in the last 100 years I think Arteta described him as 😮🤯😂

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  11. PremAndUp:
    Sharpy
    I also like Denis Zakaria from Borrusia M, Favre might like him as he’s Swiss
    Both are in the last years of their contract. Both would be a good addition.

    Prem – yeah midfield is a position that desperately needs strengthening and I’d be happy with either or both of them mate.

    Are you favouring Favre like mate?

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  12. I am, but only on CV
    Both play 3-4-2-1, I assume with a diamond midfield
    Also I think that although they both prefer attacking football, Favre is a bit more pragmatic and would replace the defense first.
    My urgency is in order of Priority
    LCB Romagnoli from AC Milan
    CF Muani from Nantes
    CDM Zakaria or kamara
    Then if we want Tarkowski and Lingard they are a bonus

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  13. You know these player montages you see on YouTube of their highlights. Someone should do one on Bruce but of his negativity and vitriol, especially over the last year.

    We have to dispell this Mr Nice Guy myth. As I have said, his last interview with Edwards shows the real Steve Bruce. His victim mentality, his pettiness, his blaming, his overblown ego. And they are just the good bits.

    I mean. He gets justifiably sacked way too late and he brings his fcn wife into it.

    Have you EVER seen any other manager do that?

    We could start the montage with Brucie’s attack on Wor Lee Ryder for asking about his Portugal trip. Easy target as Wor Lee asking the tough questions is like having your ankles nipped by a miniature poodle.

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  14. PremAndUp:
    I am, but only on CV
    Both play 3-4-2-1, I assume with a diamond midfield
    Also I think that although they both prefer attacking football, Favre is a bit more pragmatic and would replace the defense first.
    My urgency is in order of Priority
    LCB Romagnoli from AC Milan
    CF Muani from Nantes
    CDM Zakaria or kamara
    Then if we want Tarkowski and Lingard they are a bonus

    Prem – I’m definitely in favour of getting someone who plays 3 at the back. That’s how this squad have been set up to play for the last 4 years and the urgency is for points now. I have always said the playing 3 CBs does not automatically mean a defensive approach – it’s about striking a balance.

    Bruce just wasn’t able to get that balance right & ultimately couldn’t figure out the right formation in the end.

    We need to get the new manager in with plenty of time to review this squad though – can either get more from the likes of Frazer, Gayle – and even the likes of Almiron and Joelinton when it comes to finishing. I’m not expecting miracles here – but can they coach them to be more clinical and take more of their chances.

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  15. All these managers leaping to the defence of Bruce now he’s been sacked & stating he got badly abused – there was a small section of fans who crossed the line with it all – but every club has them. Look at what Wenger got at Arsenal or what they’ve recently been like with Arteta.

    These people want to go have a shift with a police officer or paramedic and see what abuse is really like!! – and none of them walk away with £8m.

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  16. Talksport are at SJP today – it will be interesting to hear what their tone is after a week of slating the new owners & the handling of Bruce.

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  17. I am not on twitter but from what I have seen there is abuse to everybody on their. Mother Theresa would have been called “short-arse” if she was still alive 🙂 On this blog all I have seen is a bit of name calling, which I have done – Cabbage, Doubtfire and Fat Tw@t. But since he is fat and a tw@t – look at his recent press conferences and interview with Edwards – I thought that was appropriate.

    I am amazed he brought his wife into it. He said his family had been abused. Never seen anything towards his wife. Now Alex is fair game. He makes his mouth go all of the time on Talksport and the like. He is a football pundit FFS so we can refute whatever he says.

    Alex Bruce seemed to make a living for the past 2 years talking about how badly his Dad is treated. Now that rug has been pulled from under him we will see if he gets invited on the shows? What’s he going to talk about now? Football? Never!

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  18. These pundits reason for existence is that they played the game at a high level and therefore should know more than the average fan. That sounds reasonable until you hear Chris Sutton and Danny Murphy 🙂 But what about Alex Bruce? I really cant be bothered to look up his career but I bet it was journeyman. All I remember is that he played for his Dad at Hull.

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  19. I dont care what these Managers say about Bruce. They only saw one side of his personality, the jovial fat man before and after the game. Maybe a game of golf or after an awards dinner. They didnt see the petty, vindictive clown in his press conferences. Does anybody reall think Pep watches Bruce’s pressers? And I doubt they listened in when he went on Talksport and blamed the fans for HIS problems or read his latest Luke Edwards interview. They havent seen the full picture.

    Mourinho is already up to his old tricks. He put out a 2nd team and Roma got beat 6-1 by a Norwegian team. That’s like England losing to Iceland! He said it was all on him and he accepted the blame, then went on to blame the players. Maybe it was the media or keyboard warriors as well. He should give Bruce a call to update his Big Book of Excuses.

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  20. Graeme Jones did exactly the right thing when he was asked about his relationship with Bruce saying that it was good on a personal and professional level and he was sorry that he was leaving. That is how you deal with the press, whether you belive what you are saying are not. But I have no reason to doubt him. You do not list your greivances like Brucie did as if he was in that Seinfeld Festivus episode.

    Anyway, I think Bruce did not welcome Jones with open arms. You could see it by the body language in the 1st few games. I said at the times that Jones was caretaker-in-waiting. I dont need a medal for pointing this out because it was obvious. But now it has come to pass. I just hope that if we get a few good results that they dont appoint him permanently. That hardly ever works. The only time I can remember is Dean Smith at Villa.

    Team selection and formation should be interesting tomorrow. Over to you Olly, good luck figuring out this one. I want to see if he picks Donkey. If there was an obligation to do so with Ashley and Bruce then surely that is gone with the new owners.

    A forward line of Miggy, ASM and Wilson sounds good.

    Midfield – Longstaff, Willock, Hayden.

    I have no idea about the defense and am not sure if Dubs will replace Darlow.

    I would like to see Fraser get more time, but it will probably be as a sub. He should be 1st sub though.

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  21. All of the Managerial candidates are pretty much much of a muchness. They all have flaws, whether it be lack of PL experience or lack of experience in general. My one fear, as I have said, is that the owners view them as temporary, as seat warmers until we get a DoF and better players. That will transfer down to the current squad and even the January arrivals who might just be coming for the payday knowing they might be replaced with a new Manager after the next one.

    On the other hand, to get to the top in the PL like Lingard and Coutinho you absolutely must have an ego. They will believe in themselves no matter what their treatment from recent Managers. They should be up for the challenge.

    Am I contradicting myself? I dont know what to think anymore,

    But giving Jones the Chelsea game might be a good idea as that would be tough for a new Manager.

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  22. I see several stories that our new owners sent urgent reminders about new financial fair play rules and the importance of spending restraint. The premier league and other clubs are so biased against us and afraid too. I don’t remember anyone warning city, or Chelsea or manure … it’s ok for those few clubs to be where they are but not ok for us to try and catch up or overtake them. Much of basta.rds … I wonder at what point they will change from being totally against us to sucking up to us when we start winning things! 😂😂😂

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