Newcastle travel to Bramall Lane tonight to for a tough game against a Sheffield United side that has surprised everyone with the way they have adapted to the Premier League.
While it may have been seen as one of Newcastle’s more winnable games in the summer, it now looks a lot more difficult 14 games into the season.
According to the Chronicle, Steve Bruce has urged his side to match the “hunger in the bellies” of the Blades tonight, as he looks to build on Saturday’s fine draw with Manchester City.
But that comment has bothered me to a point where the more I am stewing on it, the angrier I am feeling.
Why should a manager have to tell his players to match their opponents for hunger on a football pitch?
Players should be playing with that hunger week in, week out, and if they need to be told to do so by their manager, then serious questions should be asked of their attitude.
Fans have to pay to play football and they always give everything
Footballers are privileged to be paid fortunes to play the same game we mere mortals have to pay subs and pitch fees to play every Saturday or Sunday.
And yet, not one player that pays to play for their side would ever have to be told to match their opponents hunger or intensity – it would be an automatically given expectation.
Newcastle players are earning millions of pounds to wear the black and white shirt, and they owe it to the football club to have a desire and hunger every time they pull it on.
On top of that, the 2,865 Toon fans – some of who will have to take a half-day off work – who have each paid £30 for a ticket, and then the cost of travel too, deserve to know their team’s stars will be busting a gut for them when they run onto the pitch.
For a manager to feel the need to have to tell his players they have to match the desire of their opponents is disgraceful and insulting to me.