The Newcastle team must rely on professional pride to keep them in the Premier League as Bruce remains
The Newcastle hierarchy has turned their backs on the players by refusing to fire Steve Bruce after the Brighton horror show … the team must now rely on professional pride to keep them in the Premier League amid disagreements in the locker rooms
- Newcastle will face Spurs on Saturday and need points to survive
- A miserable 3-0 defeat to Brighton in the last game of The Magpies was another low point
- There are players in the locker room who want Steve Bruce to be fired
- With survival on the line and Bruce going nowhere, they now face a choice
The Newcastle United players have to make a decision on Sunday afternoon.
Last time out, in a 3-0 surrender at Brighton two weeks ago, they played as if they were trying to fire Steve Bruce. By doing their very best, they turned out to be doing their best to bring about change in time to save the season.
If that was their intention, it didn’t work. Mike Ashley, from a recliner in Dubai, circulated within 12 hours that the manager was not going anywhere.
The Newcastle players appeared to have beaten tools in their 3-0 defeat to Brighton last time
Despite some team members reportedly losing faith in Steve Bruce, the boss isn’t going anywhere
Sources close to Bruce have since claimed that Ashley believes the head coach has been “ betrayed ” by the rise of disagreement in the public domain dressing room. Others within the club were also upset about Brighton’s apparent lack of effort.
Basically, the hierarchy has kicked responsibility back to those on the field.
So what to do? A repeat of the Brighton no show? Or does professional pride begin?
You would of course expect the latter. A decent part of the squad may want to get rid of Bruce, but overall they’ve proven to be an honest and hard-working group and that, coupled with some very talented individuals, has masked a lack of identity and strategy.
The Magpies are now preparing to face Spurs and must rally if they are to survive
Factor in wage reduction clauses in many players’ contracts, and further motivation can be found for an improvement of the application.
If they don’t have the desire to do it for Bruce – and we know there are several who want change – then it should be reason enough for themselves, supporters and the club paying their handsome salary to fight against Spurs.
But the psychology of a football player is often more complex. If resentment exists towards Bruce’s presence, it will likely resurface when in-game events conspire against them.
Sources say Bruce’s removal during the international break would have instantly improved the mood in the locker room. The manager is also the cause of fan torment and media tensions.
It’s been a miserable season for the Magpies and it’s amazing that Bruce is still at work
The tacky feat against Brighton is the kind of form that can’t pass for survival
Keeping him posted seemed unthinkable. But Bruce remains, largely as a token of the club’s resistance to those above dissenters.
Still, Newcastle should have enough to survive. They are two points away from 18th seed Fulham with game in hand. Bruce is right when he says that another nine points out of so many games should last them.
But that’s how the bar has fallen so low among this management team, for whom the ambition is one point per game. It was telling when Bruce called their return of 28 out of 29 games a “ decent platform. ”
This season has been far from decent and with the players available Newcastle should not be in this position.
It is now left to those same players to fix the mess that many believe is the product of bad tactics, preparation and motivation.
Only they can decide how Newcastle’s season goes.