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Were We Wrong?

It is no secret that Steve Bruce isn't a fan favourite at St James Park. From December 2020 Newcastle started a downward spiral that would see the Mags slip to the brink of a relegation place via a resurgence from Fulham. Us fans certainly weren't happy and we all called for the head of Bruce (figuratively speaking) I myself was on the side of "Bruce Out" after the loss to Sheffield United who have had relegation confirmed recently. And given the results we had every reason to feel that way.

On the 30th of January 2021, United ended a run of eleven games without a win, with only two of those games resulting in a draw, to put that in perspective, take away the fact that two of those games were cup fixtures (Brentford 1-0 Defeat EFL Cup and Arsenal 2-0 Defeat, after extra time FA Cup) that's two points out of a possible twenty-seven. Sure, there were some pretty tough games in that run from December including the likes of Man City (2-0 Defeat), Liverpool (0-0), Leicester City (2-1 Defeat) and Arsenal in the Premier League (3-0 Defeat). But we also lost to some teams we should at least look to beat, Such As: Fulham (1-1) and Sheffield United (1-0 Defeat). But the main issue we as fans had was that it appeared as though the team just gave up. At the end of November, we lost some key players to the Covid Virus including Allan Saint-Maximin who creates a lot of energy in the forward position.

Saint-Maximin eventually returned in the 2-1 defeat to Leeds United on the 26th of January. But when he came on the pitch The Mags witnessed something we had not seen for over a Month, energy. His appearance made us push on to grab a goal back from a potential second hammering by the lads from Yorkshire in as many months, Miguel Almiron picking up a goal for what was the first goal in four games since Andy Carroll's goal against Leicester City at the beginning of the year. After the Leeds game Newcastle went on to finally get that win that alluded them all calendar year in a 2-0 Victory at Goodison Park against Everton with Callum Wilson getting on the scoresheet for United. Then came a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace which we still looked rather positive going forward, two lapses of concentration cancelled out Jonjo Shelvey's early strike to lose us all three points. But United would once again taste victory in the game after Southampton in an extremely entertaining 3-2 victory with a goal from Willock and a brace from Almiron, but the game wasn't without consequence, We had many casualties from that game including Manqulllio, Schar and Wilson.

After the victory over Southampton, Newcastle had began to suffer yet again through injuries and talk of player unrest at the club with defeats to Chelsea (2-0) and Manchester United (3-1). Then came the Wolves game, Saint-Maximin looked decent, and we appeared to be on top throughout the game. We drew that game at St James Park 1-1 with a stoppage time headed goal by the captain Jamal Lascelles. We lost the other two of our three key players with Almiron and Saint-Maximin picking up injuries that put them on the side line alongside Wilson. This game sparked a lot of controversy following the match with talks of players calling for the manager to be sacked, most notably Matt Ritchie falling out with the manager. We know there was an altercation but it is not certain what was said, however United's future in the Premier League looked bleak. With our main three out Newcastle picked up two draws in their next two games. Underwhelmingly, United picked up a 0-0 draw with West Brom and surprisingly a 1-1 against Aston Villa.

But then came the game that had the fans putting banners outside of St James Park. Newcastle were hammered 3-0 by Brighton in what was at the time seen as a crucial game in the push for survival. A Fulham victory prior to that game put Fulham just one point behind the Toon, and after the game Fulham were five goals ahead of us on goal difference. Many of the fans thought that it was the end of our run in the Premier League unless Mike Ashley sacked Steve Bruce the next morning.

This is the reason for this article, as I stated before, I, myself was in agreement with my fellow Toon Army. I wanted Bruce Out. I believed that if we didn't have a change of Manager, our status in the top flight would come to an end. I was extremely pessimistic about our future, I could see us going the same way as Leeds United had, or the same way as what Blackburn and Wigan are going through now. And of course I believed we would be re-united once again with our bitter rivals Sunderland. Relegation would have meant key players such as Saint-Maximin, Wilson, Almiron and Hayden would be out of the door, Maybe Dubravka would seek an exit also.

So we all called for the head of the gaffer, but were we wrong to do so? Historically sacking the manager near the end of the season hasn't worked in our favour, such as when Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer took over from Joe Kinnear with Eight games to go, unfortunately Damien Duff's own goal sent Shearer's Mags down that season. History repeated it's self in 2016 When Rafael Benitez was brought in to replace Steve McLaren with Ten games left in the season. Benitez has a great deal more experience than Shearer and even he couldn't keep us in the top flight.

But this time Mike Ashley has held his nerve and since the dooms day that was the game against Brighton, Newcastle are currently at the time of writing unbeaten in four games with a 2-2 draw against Spurs, goals from Joelinton and on loan Gunner Joe Willock. Miguel Almiron starting and Saint-Maximin returning from the bench Newcastle then went onto play Burnley at Turf Moor when that man again Allan Saint-Maximin came off the bench to set up Murphy for an equalizer and then got the winner himself in a 2-1 victory over Sean Dyche's men. Dyche being one of the managers some of the fans wanted to replace Bruce. United were then back at home in a 3-2 victory against West Ham, with goals coming from an own goal from Diop, another goal from Joelinton and finally the winner coming from the Super Sub Joe Willock (Sorry Joe). And then came the most recent game at the time of writing which was Liverpool, at Anfield. Mo Salah started the game by putting Liverpool ahead early on. And then there was controversy as Wilson's equalizer was ruled out for offside. But the Magpies resilience showed as they set out late on to reclaim the equalizer with the lad from Arsenal stepping up yet again to earn the point for his new team up north. Showing us he's worth that twenty million price tag.

It's not over yet, This season has been a rollercoaster ride with a few more turns around the track yet to come. But we are certainly in a better position now with Fulham needing ten points from five games, with Chelsea, Manchester United and of course Newcastle set to take on the cottages, realistically they could claim victory against Burnley who are now on form, and Southampton who are very much off form. This all depends on us not picking up any more points for the remainder of the season. Luckily for us Scott Parkers Cottagers have it all to do and we appear to be in the drivers seat.

By Sam West

Howay The Lads!


2 comentários

George Sancaster
George Sancaster
01 de mai. de 2021

You were definitely not wrong Sam it did look like the team lost all faith in Bruce after a shambolic display at Brighton but credit where credit is due the lads and Bruce has put up some fight and energy at last. I always believed we would stay up as I thought the players would have this out as a group because that are better players than the table suggests, but as you rightly said Covid and a bad run of injuries definitely had its effects on a thin squad in terms of quality but we are all but safe now, the question is will Bruce be sacked or walk away I think we all know the answer too that…

Sam West
Sam West
01 de mai. de 2021
Respondendo a

Definitely mate. We need a change from next season like

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