The hard truth about Newcastle United’s inconsistency

Newcastle United's head coach Steve Bruce. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / POOL / AFP)
Newcastle United's head coach Steve Bruce. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / POOL / AFP) /

The inconsistency Newcastle United are displaying this season is extremely frustrating for the Toon Army.

Newcastle United and consistency have not gone hand in hand since their first season back in the Premier League in 2017. The Magpies were a team of hot and cold stretches with Rafa Benitez, but they have not developed any rhythm with Steve Bruce.

In fact, since Bruce took charge in the summer of 2019, Newcastle United have not won three consecutive Premier League games. So far this season, the Toon have a balanced record of three victories, two draws, and three defeats, but the club’s form in those defeats has been shocking.

One week Newcastle United perform well offensively and are disciplined in the back, but the next week the team looks out of sync and forget the basic fundamentals of the sport.

What fans witnessed against Southampton was a disgrace. The Magpies’ performance essentially forced us all to lower our heads in shame.

The opportunity to break into the top four was there against a team without key players, but motivation was lacking, there was no urgency, and the most basic unforced errors enabled the Saints to cruise to a 2-0 victory.

What’s the Solution?

That is the million dollar question, and everyone will have different opinions on the matter, but here is my take. Newcastle United need a new manager and a new captain.

The first part of that statement comes as no surprise seeing that #BruceOut is always trending on social media platforms, but the last part of that statement might be considered a hot take.

We all know that Bruce is essentially clueless. He has proved time and time again that he doesn’t know what his best team is, and nearly 18 months on the job and he is still experimenting different formations. Of course inconsistency will be a problem when that is the case.

Jamaal Lascelles, on the other hand, needs to wake up. His lack of leadership on the pitch is contributing to the team’s inconsistency.

A captain should be a vocal leader for 90 minutes. A captain should be calling players out for not trying hard enough. A captain must hold his teammates accountable for errors, especially those that lead to dangerous plays or goals.

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We have not seen any of that from Lascelles. The status quo needs to change. When looking at the squad, there are three players who would be better generals on the pitch with the captain’s armband: Federico Fernandez, Callum Wilson, and Martin Dubravka – when he returns.