One moment changed the game for the worse on Saturday for Newcastle.

It wasn’t the injury to Miguel Almiron, or Allan Saint-Maximin limping off.

Instead, it was the departure of Emil Krafth.

The 26-year-old has really struggled in recent weeks, at a time when he is the only fit right-back at the club.

But he was the third player to go off injured against Wolves, and his exit had the biggest impact.

While Newcastle had direct replacements for the attacking duo, there was no right-back on standby to replace Krafth.

Instead, Matt Ritchie came on, armed with the honour of passing on tactical instructions courtesy of Steve Bruce.

Newcastle United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The only issue was that these instructions weren’t passed on, no one knew what they were doing, and Ruben Neves netted an equaliser.

It was an error that cost Newcastle a win, at a time when we desperately need three points.

There was clearly a lot of crossed wires, as after the game Lascelles told Sky that he was just about to go into the changing room to find out what went wrong.

And after the game, rather than take the blame himself, Bruce pointed the finger at Ritchie.


“The direction, which unfortunately Matt Ritchie didn’t get on quick enough,” Bruce told the Northern Echo.

“It was the instructions of how we were doing it. That was a frustration for all of us, but we’ll have to concede that one and make sure our instructions (get on). We’ll do it from the sideline (next time).”

West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United - FA Cup Fifth Round
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

I mean, where to begin? Why can’t the manager pass on his own instructions? It’s not like St James’ Park is a cauldron of noise right now.

And the worrying thing is that this isn’t even the first time this has happened.

Deja vu strikes under Steve Bruce

Bruce’s first game as Newcastle manager was a home defeat to Arsenal.

It wasn’t a terrible performance, but things fell apart late on as confusion reigned supreme.

Jetro Willems came on for his debut, and seemingly didn’t know where he was meant to be playing.

Newcastle United v Arsenal FC - Premier League
(Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

After the game, Bruce put it down to a ‘lack of communication’.

How on earth can this keep happening? Why is everything so difficult under Bruce?

Throw ins take an eternity, while substitutions cause confusion like a Countdown conundrum.

But who are we to question Steve Bruce? What do us fans know, eh?

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