Charlie Nicholas is like a dog with a bone.
I have never seen anything like it.
He is not alone and is indeed one of numerous ones doing it, though he is one of the very worst.
Every single Newcastle match, before and after, Charlie Nicholas feels it necessary to make a declaration on how Steve Bruce has done this season.
So now, in the aftermath of a truly dreadful feeble performance against Man City where at no time did Newcastle have a plan of attack and the only chance came when Otamendi gifted the ball on the edge of his own box, Charlie Nicholas has passed judgement on the NUFC Head Coach. Despite predicting a 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth who are in the worst form of any PL team, Nicholas declares: ‘Newcastle have been ever so good with what Steve Bruce has done.’
The Sky Sports man adding: ‘..they will take pride from the way they performed and defended’ against Manchester City.
I’m sure it must have been just as demoralising and depressing to have played in Sunday’s game, as it was for us who were forced to watch it.
A very strange team selection and formation, not helped by the injuries and fatigue caused by Steve Bruce’s clueless decision to play the exact same 11 players against Sheff Utd and Villa only three days apart.
Who knows what team and tactics Steve Bruce chooses tonight.
Only twice in the past seven months have Newcastle scored more than one goal in a Premier League match, against Sheffield United when they went down to 10 men when the score was 0-0, the only other that bizarre / amusing conclusion to the match where Everton battered NUFC, only for Lejeune to score twice in added time. In the other 13 Premier League matches since 8 December 2019, Newcastle have scored only seven goals.
The biggest hope appears to be that forced to change his team tonight, Steve Bruce may accidentally come across a team selection and tactics that produces goals, maybe Carroll and Gayle getting a chance together due to fatigue and injuries in the squad?
Steve Bruce has done an ok job in terms of points, despite the football being overwhelmingly terrible and negative, with huge amounts of luck bringing many of the 39 points so far. Embarrassingly, Steve Bruce moved the goalposts on Tuesday, announcing that the season will have been a great success if he beats the average Premier League points of the last five years, Bruce doing it so he can include the relegation season of 2015/16 and the almost relegation under John Carver of 2014/15 – only surviving on the final day of the season.
That sums up life under Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce (and the opinion of Charlie Nicholas), telling us that success for Newcastle United should be not getting relegated, despite £80m spent on three attacking players in 2019, after Rafa Benitez had been starved of transfer funds for two years.
Charlie Nicholas talking to Sky Sports:
“Newcastle have been ever so good with what Steve Bruce has done.
“They did get a reality check against Manchester City and tried to squeeze them.
“Dwight Gayle missed the chance at 0-1 and that was unfortunate, but they will take pride from the way they performed and defended.
“Bournemouth will be open and have to go after it.
“Brighton have created a gap, but what does a draw do for Bournemouth now?
“They have awkward games coming up too.
“I think Bournemouth will edge it.
“You keep looking at the bottom lot and no teams are getting anywhere, but because of what is happening at Watford and West Ham, Bournemouth will know they cannot keep passing up these opportunities.
“Prediction is Bournemouth 2 Newcastle 1.”