Steve Bruce lost his first game in charge of Newcastle on Sunday, with a bizarre tactical error being highlighted by many, which has led to a spat between a reporter and the manager’s son Alex.
The Daily Mail’s north east reporter Craig Hope wrote an article highlighting the errors, and his headline claiming “the buck stops with Bruce”, had Steve’s son, Alex, reacting to it on Twitter.
Never seen so much nonsense and lazy journalism, nothing in the game at all most people with a brain could see that except one mistake, this is a prime example of exactly what Graeme Souness was on about yesterday https://t.co/rp1QWMp28F
— Alex Bruce (@AlexBruce84) August 12, 2019
The article commented on the total confusion that followed the manager’s introduction of new signing Jetro Willems into the fray, and the player not seeming to know where he was meant to be playing.
It also played on Bruce’s decision to not name a midfield option on the bench – something he addressed afterwards by claiming illness and a niggle to defenders led to him covering that position instead.
There is no doubt that Jonjo Shelvey’s withdrawal changed the game, and Newcastle conceded within minutes of it, never looking like the same team afterwards.
Shelvey’s injury was unfortunate but no bench replacement was unforgivable
I have a modicum of sympathy for the manager regarding his predicament, considering what was on the bench and Shelvey’s unfortunate knock.
But putting himself in that position in the first place is unfathomable and unacceptable, and his decision not to include a midfielder like Ki Sung Yueng was not becoming of a top flight manager.
Had one of the issues he mentioned affected a defender, he had options to switch to a back four, or even drop Hayden or Longstaff into an emergency centre-back role.
Either of those would have allowed him the freedom to name a midfielder on the bench.
Some Newcastle fans have been quick to criticise the manager’s tactics in reply to his son during his Twitter exchange with the reporter.
Here are a few of the replies:
You’re right Alex, there was nothing in the game. So fine margins make the difference, yes? A player coming on & not knowing where he is playing is a fine margin. Two minutes later & he is caught cold for the goal. For that, the buck stops with the manager.
— Craig Hope (@CraigHope_DM) August 12, 2019
Most people with a brain wouldn’t need four defenders on the bench to cover two, and replace the midfielders instead.
— Ali Al-Mufti (@AliAlMufti86) August 12, 2019
Sounds like your dad is going to be exactly like Graeme souness blame everyone but himself .
— Arron Mcgarr (@arronmcgarr) August 12, 2019
The most unorganised we have looked in years. Not looking forward to the club being ripped apart. Of course you’ll defend him but he is absolutely clueless.
— NUFC1892 (@TOONANDY1986) August 12, 2019
Yer da put a left back in centre mid and we played 2-3-3-2 for the entire second half.
— Josh (@JoshDWR) August 12, 2019
Watch the second half and please tell us why we shouldn’t be worried about the season.
SB will get a fair chance but yesterday was a very poor start. He’ll be judged on results and performances like everyone else is #nufc
— Jack (@JackStanley86) August 12, 2019
Arsenal were in first gear all day. Would of got w point under Rafa, that’s the difference and why Steve Bruce will take Newcastle to the championship. Still he’ll probably walk away for when a shiner new job comes on offer like he’s always done
— Alex Leighton (@AlexWLeighton) August 12, 2019