New dawn fades…

Well, that was much quicker than even I expected!!

Precisely 11 days into the new season and we are already being fed the following line from our Head Coach…

“We have to keep believing we can turn things around”

The problem is Steve, we don’t. No-one does.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t at the game last night – work commitments dictated that – and despite the bairn constantly moaning about the fact we were missing the game I have to say I felt a tinge of relief about not being in a position to make the c.90-mile trip up the coast, because let’s be honest, we ALL knew what was coming, before a ball had even been kicked.

I was however in contact with many attending Mags both during and after the game, and suffice to say, none of the reports in relation to what they witnessed surprised me in the least – on the pitch we (again) demonstrated a lack of creativity and cutting edge, off the pitch we (again) showed a total lack of ability to react to what was unfolding on the pitch, to change our shape and tactical approach, or to make the necessary substitutions at the right stage of the game.

Let me take you back to 33 hours prior to last night’s fixture – Steve Bruce was widely quoted to have said the following:

“We will take the cup seriously, like I always have done since I have been here.”

So how then can he justify making 9 changes to the team that only 72 hours earlier he believed represented our best chance of taking 3 vital points at Villa Park?

Does he think the Barrack Rd cabal are all suffering from collective amnesia and would forget such mutterings?

Let me assure you one thing – he doesn’t believe that for a minute…

What Steve Bruce does, is feed the press whatever nonsense and word soup he can think of at the time in order to simply ‘get through’ each pre- & post-match presser he subjects us to – what he says during them is largely irrelevant and should be as good as ignored by the fanbase.

These public utterings (don’t forget they are contractual) are an exercise that are merely used to pay lip service to what he thinks the fans and his paymasters want to hear, with one end goal -to do all Steve Bruce can to protect and prolong his place in the SJP dugout.

There are positives however – some of the reports I have heard from last night however have genuinely increased my belief that he knows that his time is running out.

Having listened to Alex Hurst and Marc Corby’s post-match True Faith pod, they painted a picture of a distressed man, a man that was both anxious and confused in equal measure.

A man that is aware of the fact that his total lack of competency is no longer being protected by the shield that was ‘Behind closed doors football’? We can only hope, can’t we?…

Then we see that utterly bemusing image of the Bruce’s ‘Involvement’ in the pre-penalty shootout huddle.

A man of the periphery of things. A man either excluding himself, or more tellingly, BEING excluded by the collective group. If it is the latter, it is only a matter of time until he will no longer be associated with our club.

Let me be clear, I wish no ill on Steve Bruce – whilst I vehemently opposed his appointment in July 2019 and have continued to do so ever since, I long to be proven wrong.

Why do I long to be proven wrong?

Because if Steve Bruce was demonstrating any sign that he was capable of improving the players at his disposal, or Newcastle United in general, it would mean the club that I find it impossible to walk away from wouldn’t represent the burden in my life that it now feels like it has become.

The burden in my life that I am filled with regret for bestowing upon my son.

As unlikely as it seems, Saturday may see us turn Ralph Hassenhuttl’s Southampton on Barrack Road and as ever, I’ll be there with the lad, radged up as ever and we will both vociferously celebrate a black and white victory, should it be achieved.

The problem, as we all know, it any victory will only be another small, temporary bump in the road in the loveless marriage between Steve Bruce and the Newcastle United fanbase.

Go now, Steve. For the sake of our once great football club – but more importantly the sake of your health, your family, and your friends.

No one is winning here…

Lee Forster @LeeDForster