The trouble with pundits such as Charlie Nicholas is that they think they know better.
The Sky Sports pundit believes that he knows it all based on minimal knowledge and doing zero research.
This is why Charlie Nicholas has got it embarrassingly wrong (yet again!) when trying to lecture Newcastle United fans.
It is so annoyingly familiar with pundits who cover Premier League football, that they believe their job is to turn up in front of the cameras, without doing even the minimum of work / research beforehand.
What this leads to, is they then think they have superior knowledge and insight than NUFC supporters who follow in intense detail what happens at their club, on and off the pitch.
Charlie Nicholas says about Joelinton scoring against Sheffield United: ‘They only needed to get Joelinton into a position where he can score…You did feel sorry for him, and it is uncomfortable when you watch them and the fans are getting on his back.’
When exactly have Newcastle fans got on the striker’s back? When your club’s owner has insisted on spending £40m (Ashley says £43m) on a striker with no decent goalscoring record, after happily moving out the only two goalscorers at the club, and that striker then scores only one goal in the opening 29 Premier League matches, there is not one other set of fans who would have remained so supportive at matches, home and away.
Yes fans debate and shake their heads about the Joelinton signing in between games BUT at matches, the lack of stick the Brazilian has got has been remarkable. He has worked hard a lot of the time but bottom line is that he has been hopeless when it comes to scoring goals.
I was as happy as anybody when Joelinton eventually scored on Sunday BUT to claim he only need to get into a goalscoring position where he could score, is blatantly untrue. The negative Steve Bruce tactics this season have meant there haven’t been loads of PL goalscoring chances, but there been plenty enough to have scored a lot more than one before last weekend. Charlie Nicholas totally ignoring the fact that Joelinton missed an easy one on one in the first half on Sunday, then did get his goal from close range when Sheffield United had given up and were ragged, 2-0 down and a man down, far more space and opportunity than usual.
Charlie Nicholas gives Steve Bruce credit as well for the goal, saying he must have worked on it / him, before adding; ‘Surely the worry disappears with the fans not being there and the high demands that they make sometimes.’
You have to laugh…’High demands’, watching such negative football until these last couple of PL matches, the lowest goalscorers in the PL before Sunday and a £40m+ striker who had one PL goal before last weekend.
High demands?!!! At the same time today I have seen an article elsewhere about Liverpool fans set to end ’30 years of hurt’, 30 years during which they have won the Champions League twice (and been losing finalists), as well as winning the UEFA Cup, three European Super Cups, the Club World Cup, three FA Cups, four League Cups and two Charity / Community Shields.
Charlie Nicholas is of course also one of the many pundits who have constantly lectured Newcastle fans about how great Steve Bruce is, doing better job, better football etc etc than Rafa Benitez, Newcastle supporters don’t have a clue and so on.
Continuing this theme, Nicholas states: ‘Not only have I complimented Steve Bruce at every opportunity, but I cannot remember the last time Newcastle won 3-0.’
Newcastle fans acknowledge that Steve Bruce has done an ok job in terms of points gained but at the same time know what their eyes tell them, the football and tactics have been shocking and Bruce has carried immense luck in so many games, plus so over reliant on Martin Dubravka performing heroics so often.
In trying to be pro Bruce and anti-Rafa Benitez, Charlie Nicholas makes that point about how long is is since NUFC won 3-0?
Well if he did the minimum of research he would have known that in his very last match, Rafa’s team actually won by three (or more), 4-0 and away from home at Fulham on the final day of last season.
Plus it is fact as well, that whilst Steve Bruce has managed only 28 goals so far with his team in 30 PL matches, Rafa’s final 16 games saw 26 scored, the fifth highest goals total in the Premier League in the last 16 matches of last season AND the fifth highest number of points (the final 28 PL matches of last season saw Rafa’s team with the eighth best form).
The problems that constantly trouble Newcastle United are not due to the fans, they are purely down to how Mike Ashley runs the club. Rafa Benitez told him that Joelinton wouldn’t be the out and out goalscorer Newcastle needed and that he was worth £20m at the very very most.
NUFC desperately need the new owners to take over and (effectively) caretaker boss Steve Bruce will get his pay-off and be replaced by a manager who has a CV that suggests he can bring progress and eventual success to Newcastle United.
Charlie Nicholas speaking to Sky Sports:
“Not only have I complimented Steve Bruce at every opportunity, but I cannot remember the last time Newcastle won 3-0.
“They only needed to get Joelinton into a position where he can score and sometimes that is all it takes.
“You did feel sorry for him, and it is uncomfortable when you watch them and the fans are getting on his back.
“Steve Bruce has probably worked with him as well as others on having some belief, that if you get into the right areas, you will score. They are the most important goals and you need to be in the areas where it matters.
“Joelinton got in amongst it and in and around these areas where the opportunities may arise.
“Surely the worry disappears with the fans not being there and the high demands that they make sometimes.
“The players may have become more courageous.
“The best strikers miss chances but they are always back for more, and this is what builds and instils confidence.
“I thought Aston Villa did well against Chelsea and thought they were going to prove me wrong again. Chelsea did not even work for it and the equalising goal was a shambles defensively for Villa.
“Jack Grealish is still playing his part. If you have to play two forwards, play two. If you disrupt the shape and take risks, do it.
“Newcastle are sitting sweet and there will be a takeover sooner or later.
“I do not see enough Villa players wanting to get on the ball and making things happen.
“Perhaps John McGinn or Conor Hourihane should get in behind, but the wide men are not delivering and have to do more. Dean Smith will play with the same system and it is just not enough.
“Prediction is Newcastle 2 Aston Villa 1.”