Two games, no points, and very little to get excited about. Those are the plain facts, laid bare for all to see at Newcastle United after an incredibly disappointing start to the season.
During a remarkable, mind-boggling summer – even by Newcastle’s standards – fans were left underwhelmed by the appointment of Steve Bruce, and openly questioned his ability to be a success in the role.
In response, fans were bombarded with people from within the game telling them what a lovely guy Bruce is, what a likeable bloke he is and how you could not find a nicer man.
That may well be true, but the facts are: two games, no points, and very little to get excited about.
Following his substitution against Arsenal, the players had no clue who was supposed to be playing where, and that led directly to Arsenal’s winning goal.
He deployed Ritchie to central midfield following a Jonjo Shelvey injury, because he had failed to do the basics by including cover for every position on the bench.
Schoolboy stuff from a seasoned manager.
But again, we were told how this is the dream job for the amiable Geordie. How he deserved his opportunity, because he is such a top bloke, who is ‘one of us’.
I dare say that is right, but the facts are still: two games, no points and very little to get excited about.
There is very little for Newcastle fans to be positive about
The team was a disgrace on Saturday at Norwich, and received a well deserved hammering.
The players lacked direction, inspiration and any sort of guidance to what their game plan was supposed to be.
They were beaten as soon as the first goal was scored, and it is a worrying precedent for tougher times ahead.
But we will be told once again, what a solid chap Bruce is. How he is the consummate professional, and all-round Mr Nice Guy.
And still the facts remain: two games, no points and very little to get excited about.
I am sick of hearing how nice he is. I am sick of hearing how it is his dream job. I am sick of hearing how he is ‘one of us’.
You can be the nicest, most charitable person in the world, but if you cannot organise a football team, you will get relegated. Being a canny fella does not win you points.
So please can everyone stop with those benign, meaningless comments, and look at what really matters:
And very little to get excited about!