As Newcastle suffered on and off the pitch, Steve Bruce experienced a miserable season, once more throwing frustrated fans into chaos…. The outbreak of the Corona virus that forced the training ground to close at the end of November is still having a big impact, although the form of soccer served by Bruce’s squad is firmly in the spotlight.
Here, news agency PA takes a peek at some of the big questions at St. James’ Park.How are the Magpies faring on the pitch? In the #PL table #NEWLEI pic.twitter.com/F4BTm9Gwsm- Premier League (@premierleague) January 3, 2021 Leicester hold on to go rd. Not as nice as they would like, but it could be worse. They have 19 points under their belt after 16 games and are 15th in the table, eight points ahead of Fulham, who have one less game, and four ahead of Arsenal in eleventh place. The problem is that only two of those points have been taken from the last five games and they have rarely looked convincing even when winning, except for a matchday one victory at West Ham and a spirited display in a 0-0 draw with champions Liverpool. That, combined with a poor performance in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals against Sky Bet Championship Brentford, has only added fuel to Bruce’s critics’ flames. Are the critics of Bruce right? Posted by Newcastle United on Wednesday, December 30, 2020On New Year’s Eve, Bruce celebrated his 60th birthday, spending three quarters of his life in professional football, and he knows as well as everyone else that managers are largely responsible for failure. When he took office, in the midst of frustration at the resignation of his predecessor, Rafael Benitez, he was conscious that he was not a common option and tried to persuade those who did not support his appointment that he was the right person for the role. After last season’s catastrophic 5-0 loss to Leicester, he abandoned his early attempts to adopt a more modern style of play, and his subsequent forays into similar territory have yielded decidedly mixed results. Will he have more fun soccer for the players to play? As he continues his recovery from the coronavirus, Allan Saint-Maximin is still missing (Alex Pantling/PA). This is probably the crux of the matter. The club had already spent a total of £ 56 million on the record signings of Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin when Bruce arrived on Tyneside in the summer of 2019, having already brought in Miguel Almiron for £ 21 million last January. The speed and ingenuity of Saint-Maximin – qualities which are otherwise in short supply – impressed the Toon Army immediately, while the attacking instincts and industriousness of Almiron were equally well received. However, after £ 20 m striker Callum Wilson arrived in the summer, the Paraguay international has fallen down the pecking order and Bruce adopted a different strategy, and his impact has waned when picked. #NUFC is proud to confirm the signing of @afcbournemouth’s Callum Wilson on a four-year contract! Callum, welcome! – Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) September 7, 2020There are some. The squad that Bruce inherited from Benitez, whose departure was partially due to his lack of influence over new signings, required – and needs to – to improve consistency. Last summer, he was allowed to spend heavily by the standards of the club, but three of his new arrivals – Wilson, the excellent success so far, Ryan Fraser and Jamal Lewis – came from relegation candidates, and Burnley loaned Jeff Hendrick. Covid-19 robbed him of Captain Jamaal Lascelles and Saint-Maximin for an extended period of time to compound his problems, while Federico Fernandez, Fabian Schar, Isaac Hayden and Emil Krafth are among those playing while struggling with the after-effects of the virus. Are Newcastle fans unfair at all? Sir Bobby Robson threatened to return the good days to Newcastle (Owen Humphreys/PA) It is a topic far beyond Tyneside that has fueled radio talk-ins and social media. There is a misconception that the fans of the club are demanding the kind of honor struggle they saw during the eras of Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson, but that is just not the case. Given that owner Mike Ashley is reluctant or unable to finance a plan to compete with the big boys, the vast majority know this is just not possible, but they want their team to try to win games instead of losing them. What happened to the takeover? Pulled out of an agreement by Amanda Staveley’s consortium, mainly supported by Saudi Arabia,