Bruce promised attacking football on Tyneside but what has gone wrong?
Photo Credit:(Gettyimages/Serena Taylor)

Steve Bruce told Newcastle United fans to expect attacking football and to play on the front foot in the Premier League.

However, six-games into the season and the Magpies are the poorest team in the final third and playing with no identity.

After three seasons of Rafa Benitez's defensive and pragmatic style of football, a lot of fans were happy to hear of the prospect of attacking football returning to Tyneside.

Empty promises

Bruce may have underestimated the task on hand when he took the job at Newcastle in terms of what he could achieve straight away.

He has encountered the same problems Benitez did in terms of playing on the front foot and dominating games with little attacking quality in the final third.

However, under the Spaniard, the Magpies had a clear identity and gameplan which was to be compact at the back and launch quick and effective counter-attacks.

It proved to be devastating a lot of times with Ayoze Perez, Salomon Rondon and Miguel Almiron showing how to be effective with very little of the ball.

Bruce meanwhile is struggling to put a stamp on this Newcastle side as he searches for a formation and tactics that can benefit all the players.

The Magpies are not dominating possession, just like under Benitez as they have averaged 33 per cent this season which is the lowest in the league.

Relegation a real concern

Newcastle are currently the favourites to be relegated despite having points now comapred to this stage last season.

Under Steve McLaren and Alan Pardew, the Magpies had a style of play it was to try an outscore opponents, hence there were so many heavy defeats.

However, Bruce is not playing expansive football nor is he keeping it tight at the back which is what resulted in the booing at both half and full-time against Brighton & Hove Albion.

The fans are unsure how they are meant to be playing and neither do some of the players as Isaac Hayden was heard shouting at Bruce 'this isn't working' as Christian Atsu and Almiron seemed unsure on where they were playing.

Damning statistics

However, what was more telling was that Jamaal Lascelles said: 'Brighton were a lot more direct last season but they have a new manager and probably work all week on passing the ball.'

This raises the question if the Magpies do not work on keeping the ball and attacking when they are playing against teams around them, then what exactly does Bruce work on during the week?

Since the start of the season Newcastle have had the fewest touches in the opposition's box (76) and the fewest passes in the final third (419).

However, Bruce will believe he can turn things around and that may happen as it is only September and plenty of points still up for grabs.

With Andy Carroll and Allan Saint-Maximin returning to fitness, it is sure to bring more goals to a struggling Magpies side as well as Florian Lejeune set to return in October.

Bruce knows he needs results to start picking up sooner rather than later before his relationship with the fans becomes completely tarnished.