Lots of Newcastle fans are fuming at Steve Bruce for what they deem to be a bad excuse for Sunday’s defeat to Arsenal.
If truth be told, Sunday afternoon could have gone a lot worse for the Magpies. It wasn’t too long ago that they had no new signings and no manager, but for the large part they went toe-to-toe with a side expected to be in the running for the top four.
Bruce’s side made a couple of half-chances in the 1-0 defeat, most notably Joelinton’s flicked header in the first half, which skipped just past the far post.
But the Northumberland-born boss’ first substitution as manager of the club backfired, as he brought left-back Jetro Willems on for central midfielder Jonjo Shelvey with the game still goalless.
His side sacrificed all control over the match after that, and there seemed to be some confusion as to where Willems was actually supposed to be playing, before he eventually gave the ball away leading to the Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal.
Bruce has explained why the defender was his only option to bring on in the situation, as reported by Sky Sports’ Keith Downie, citing injury troubles in his defensive ranks.
Steve Bruce says he had defenders on the bench because pre-match Dummett had a knock & Lascelles wasn’t feeling 100%. Shelvey came off injured. Ki was fit but not selected due to the need for defenders in reserve #NUFC
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) August 11, 2019
Needless to say, fans aren’t exactly buying it, as you can see from the Twitter reactions down below…
He’s a fraud, let’s not beat about the bush he’s one big excuse. He didn’t have a clue what to do today completely out his depth
— Garwain (@Garwain) August 11, 2019
— John Walker (@JohnMacjakedom) August 11, 2019
He should have played Fernandez instead of lascelles then. Risking 2 defenders and not having a cm on the bench is just poor planning. Nuts in fact
— Simon (@LittleHenryD) August 11, 2019
So name 2 defenders…not 4. Clueless is a understatement
— Shaun (@ShaunGrey22) August 11, 2019
Bruce doesn’t even know you can only make 3 subs then as why have 4 defenders and no cm? Laughably outnof his depth at a Sunday league club nevermind a prem team. McClaren all over again this is
— Mark Douglas (@markattias) August 11, 2019
EXCUSES ALREADY DEAR ME!!
— Wayne Gilmore (@WGilly82) August 11, 2019
It’s Alan Pardew all over again ?
— Rob (@laidler22) August 11, 2019
Were a shambles ahahahahah
— tom (@Bennett17__) August 11, 2019
Pathetic excuse for his incompetence
— Leemcg (@Leemcg4) August 11, 2019