After playing three League One teams and losing to a sixth tier one, Steve Bruce watched on as his Newcastle United players lost to Burnley.
The behind closed doors game seeing Newcastle lose 1-0, Joelinton having a couple of chances and hitting the post with a header when he should have scored, but overall Burnley well worth the behind closed doors win.
Next up is more Premier League opposition with newly promoted Norwich on Saturday.
When asked about the final friendly, Steve Bruce declaring: ‘Yeah yeah, Norwich are a good side, as we have seen for years. It will be a good tough workout.’
I don’t want to be picky but Steve Bruce seems to think they are all a ‘good side’ when Newcastle are set to play them, in the last eight seasons Norwich have played in the Premier League in three of them, relegated each time.
However, unlike Newcastle United, Norwich have been very busy in this transfer window, doing everything they can to try and not make it four relegations in four Premier League seasons.
Mike Ashley is aiming for his third relegation whilst in charge at NUFC and with his refusal to allow even a single signing this summer, he is going the right way about it.
So as things stand, we are having to rely on the same Newcastle United players as last season, though no Joe Willock. Jonjo Shelvey played his first 30 minutes of pre-season at Burnley as he recovers from a calf injury but still missing altogether were Dummett, Almiron, ASM, Anderson, Darlow, Dubravka, Wilson and Manquillo.
Asked about the ongoing absence of many ‘key’ Newcastle United players with just over a week to go until the Premier League kicks off, Steve Bruce stating: ‘Well, Almiron will now start [training] with the group, which is good, so he’s back. Then of course we have got the illness to Allan Saint-Maximin which we hope by the weekend will be ok. Yes we’ve got a few missing [but] the ones who played, good for them.’
Steve Bruce has kept claiming that he’s confident of all three of Almiron, ASM and Wilson lining up against West Ham but I don’t see it.
Wilson has a hamstring issue and has missed the last two friendlies, Bruce not even mentioning him in his update. Almiron has just over a week of training to make up for a past two and a half months away from Tyneside, surely that would be reckless to even try and get the Paraguayan involved against West Ham. Whilst if Allan Saint-Maximin really has been as ill as has been suggested, causing him to miss these last three friendlies, Bruce has to tread very carefully with the club’s biggest asset.
Injuries and illness strike all clubs but when you have one such as Newcastle United, with an owner who doesn’t even allow a single signing to come in and be ready for the new season, it is a significantly bigger problem club, which is inviting disaster.
Steve Bruce speaking to NUFC TV after 1-0 defeat at Burnley – 3 August 2021:
“Was that another worthwhile workout?”
“Yeah, I mean it was an opportunity to see all the young uns in the second half. Which I wanted to do that.
“So yeah, I mean, look, it is all about fitness-wise, minutes and this, that and the other. It was ok.
“We new what we were going to get with Burnley, so yeah, as I said, another worthwhile game.”
“Results not important obviously but chances in first half…?”
“Yeah yeah, we a really good few opportunities first half. We hit the post and [Joelinton] should have scored basically but didn’t.
“As I said, we were very young second half.
“As I said, not about results just yet.”
“Jonjo Shelvey got half an hour?”
“Yeah, it will be decent for Jonjo.
“He’s had a really tough time with it, you know, getting injured before we even started.
“It was cruel for him, he has to make it up somewhere. So he’s on the way to recovery.”
“Missing quite a lot of key players, can you give us an update?”
“Well, Almiron will now start [training] with the group, which is good, so he’s back.
“Then of course we have got the illness to Allan Saint-Maximin which we hope by the weekend will be ok.
“Yes we’ve got a few missing [but] the ones who played, good for them.”
“Paul Dummett, what’s he…?”
“…Yeah, it is unfortunate, he’s nicked a calf at Doncaster the other night, which is a shame as he’s had a really good three weeks.
“But we have been unfortunate in that department.”
“Next stop then, Norwich City at St James Park, with a crowd, it will be different and it will be a good workout?”
“Yeah yeah, Norwich are a good side, as we have seen for years. It will be a good tough workout.
“We’ll get ready for it and another important part of pre-season.
“We are nearly there, thankfully, I hated it [pre-season] as a player, I hate it even more as a manager.
“But it is all about building up to the start, which is nearly a week away.”