6 ways Newcastle United would improve without Steve Bruce

Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United. (Photo by Daniel Leal Olivas - Pool/Getty Images)
Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United. (Photo by Daniel Leal Olivas - Pool/Getty Images) /
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Newcastle United F.C.
Newcastle United’s head coach Steve Bruce. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / POOL / AFP) /

Mike, save your £300m investment by telling Steve Bruce he is relieved of his duties as Newcastle United head coach.

Newcastle United supporters have had enough of Steve Bruce and his anti-modern football approach to every game. Yesterday’s defeat and elimination from the EFL Cup against Brentford’s “B” team was the icing on the cake for the Toon Army.

Steve Bruce has transformed this club into a laughing stock with the boring, slow, and fearful football they display on the pitch. His overall record with the Magpies is terrible, and his public statements clearly indicate that he relies on luck, which he has had much of in the last 18 months.

In the press conference after yesterday’s embarrassing defeat, Bruce made it known that he is aware of the growing criticism from fans. If the alarming form in the last three games will not get him sacked, then surely a good spanking from Manchester City and Liverpool will do the trick, so we hope. That being said, here are six general ways that Newcastle United would improve without Bruce on the sideline.

1. Say Goodbye to Parking the Bus

Newcastle United play the WORST style of football in the Premier League, and one could even argue in all of Europe’s top five leagues. The excessive defending, the lack of possession, and the lack of proper ball movement force the Magpies to chase the game from the opening whistle. Offensively, Newcastle United are dead last in so many categories because of how Bruce unnecessarily sets the team up like a bunker.

What is more alarming, though, is that despite parking the bus against almost every team, the Magpies’ defensive record has only gotten worse with Bruce. As things stand, the ratio of goals scored and goals conceded since he took over is 55:80 (Premier League).

It is important to remember that prior to his arrival, Newcastle United were recognized as one of the best defensive teams, in terms of stability, outside the top six. So many progressive managers are available and would change this negative trend in an instant.

2. Understanding Player Roles

Aside from Karl Darlow in goal and Callum Wilson up top, not a single player in between understands what their role is in Bruce’s so-called system. How many times have we as fans witnessed players in odd positions and struggling as a result? How many times have Twitter discussions been centered on guessing the formation?

How long did it take for Bruce to realize that Joelinton cannot lead the front line because he is not a center-forward? How many times have Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin been moved around? How many formations has Bruce experimented with?

The answer to the last question is actually ten, and we will get to how that contributes to the team’s inconsistency on the next slide. Under Rafa Benitez, and those who came before him, the players at least knew what their tasks and objectives were in games. Bruce’s eventual replacement will surely provide some clarity regardless of who that individual is.