Steve Bruce isn’t a very good coach or manager, in fact he’s probably not very good at washing up.

I think he certainly wouldn’t do all away round the plate for instance. Caked in sauce.

However he is very good at taking stick. Whatever we throw at him he comes back for more, like a journeyman boxer at the end of his career. He takes the stick and this enables the players to get away with relatively nothing at all. Is this right?

All I here about from fans, experts and journalists (and it was repeated by a reputed journalist over the weekend) is that we would suddenly have a top ten or higher team if we change managers.

Is this really a valid point?  Newcastle at this point in time are again staring down the gun of another season fighting and possibly losing relegation, having not won a match going into the Tottenham game in mid-October.

Would we really become this side capable of doing a ‘West Ham’? and breaking into the European places?

The obvious answer to that is we were about to do such a thing when Benitez was coach . He had turned the tide. The team was organised and penetrative after seasons of being anything but.

The Leicester, Fulham and strangely more so because we lost, the Liverpool game showed that we were on the cusp of doing exactly what West Ham have done with a few signings.

Bruce ,unfortunately though got the job and his lack of tactical nous, engagement with the players, industry to be better and coping with the pressure means we are always looking  down rather than up .

That’s a fact.  BUT, we now have a situation cooking away in the background where players now are in this bubble where they  know despite what balls up they do this week, it doesn’t matter, Bruce will get called and that to me creates as much of a problem as Bruce changing formation every ten minutes. Yes, but, I hear you cry , certain players do not know where they are playing because of the manager!! What? they are so inept that they cant change formation at the drop of a hat.

Take change and run with it? This isn’t under 8s football (apologies to boys and girls at that level ) these are elite footballers and this Newcastle side are terrible when the going gets tough and that’s the worst sort of team for me. Some players get played in strange positions , yes, but It’s hardly like we are asking Joelinton to take over the gloves from Darlow is it?

Every time we have come under any sort of pressure this season and remember for quite a few of the games (whisper it) we have had a lot more possession than we are used to , we have cracked and at times capitulated.

West Ham on the opening day was a classic case of how to get hammered in a game we were in total control of. West Ham didn’t believe their luck as we caved in against a simple enough tactic of reeling everyone forward and demoralising them on the break. Elite footballers should have something about them to stop what was happening before we were losing 4-2. The second half was embarrassing.

Villa could have went either way but seconds before a half time whistle which was crucial, Lascelles slices out for a throw in which ends with Ings putting in a brilliant goal.

Schaar diving out of the way of the ball would again, be more akin to pre teen football, not an international footballer.

Southampton was the epitome of ineptitude in the first half. We played like a team who didn’t know each other … Bruce and Jones input was stamped all over, but this side has to do better than that.

Having gathered themselves to actually  getting into a position where we were claiming a win which is still beyond us 6 weeks later, we gave the ball away 36 times in a minute and brought enough pressure on to give a pen away. I’m sorry that’s just shit game management and professional footballers shouldn’t need a manager (however rubbish ) to know when to get rid in the 5th minute of injury time.

Man Utd ? we played well for large parts but yet again mistakes at deadly times cost us. I know everyone makes mistakes but we constantly do the same ones over and over and it does my head in.

Leeds? Over ran in the first half and desperately in need of a cohesive plan we ran our luck and got in the end a deserved point.

Watford? Complete control for most of the game but crazy attacking decisions which get  more ridiculous every time you look. St Maximin and Longstaff’s attempts to outdo each other in the balls up stakes, or Murphy in injury time? Leaving Saar unmarked? This is basic stuff here and yes, as the players wander off after another failure to do the basics the coach quite rightly gets it.

Wolves was another game where we cracked under the rare time Wolves put us under pressure. Come on , Wolves were awful. This group of players need to do more. Injury to Wilson has hit us hard as he’s a threat, an outlet and in the games he has played he’s almost got us out of a hole we have dug ourselves.

But how long is this allowed to go on without at least a section of blame to the players on the pitch, however badly led they are?

Unless they are doing some things to get the manager out, Newcastle as a squad are not doing enough to deserve to be anywhere else than second bottom.

The root cause is Ashley and Bruce of course.

Ashley treats this club with distain and Bruce is quite happy to abide by whatever rules he plays ,but this does not escape the fact some of our players are playing well under themselves. If they are top ten material with a different manager , then prove it. Personally at the minute they are top ten in the championship and think I’m being harsh , just look at some of the games.

The problem is the squad is Championship material.

We played Rotherham United (a team in the third division) 5 years ago almost to the day and in that squad that day we had Darlow, Ritchie, Hayden, Shelvey, Dummett, Lascelles and Clark.

If fit all of those would have played at Molineux. Other teams evolve , we just stand still. Add to that mind blowing failures of our ‘Upgrades’ like Joelinton and we have to go back to lads that were winning 1-0 at the New York Stadium again.

The furore when Bruce said Almiron needs to have more end product was unnerving. Although he’s not being played in the positions that enables him to flourish, he does need to score and assist more doesn’t he?

A perfect example of players being mediocre and just accepting it. I’m not advocating us barracking players left right and centre but it does make me laugh when people say how good these players would be in an ideal Bruce-less world.

I despise everything Bruce does and says but the players need to win football matches and to do that? Simple, they need to be better.