The Steve Bruce enigma at Newcastle United has always puzzled everyone involved with the club. Certain pundits love the job Bruce has done on Tyneside, while others consider Bruce a head coach who inevitably will drive Newcastle United into another stint in the Championship.
Negative football-playing dividends
Despite Newcastle united sitting comfortably in the Premier League seven points from the dreaded bottom three and eight points off the top four with a game in hand. Many fans will not let anyone forget that Newcastle sits bottom in terms of shots on target, passes in opposition half completed and second bottom in terms of possession in opposition half and possession in general.
With all of this Newcastle have eighteen points from thirteen games. A decent home record. However, when you look at Newcastle United play football, it isn't like watching boring football it merely is just awful.
More and more we are seeing Newcastle getting caught out. The Leeds United game, for example, Bruce couldn't win. When he defended the team got battered when he attacked the lads got battered. Fulham is another example, for the last half hour of the match, Fulham had ten men. Newcastle, with the one player advantage, was sitting back. The game only resulted in a draw due to Callum Wilson diving for a penalty.
The attacking power the Toon Army have is phenomenal and up there in an analytical sense of the top ten attacks in the Premier League. However, at this moment, it is ranked 19th. The reasons for this are vast and complicated, but it needs to change.
Dressing room bust-up rumours
New and recent information out of some places of Newcastle with others refuting it as a bad taste suggests that Magpies captain Jamaal Lascelles and superstar Allan Saint-Maximin Steve have a falling out with head coach Steve Bruce. Daniel Storey stated the news first on The Totally Football Show declaring it had of course been unsubstantial.
"There are report that there has been a falling out between Bruce and Lascelles and Saint-Maximin who is reportedly in France at the moment not training with the first team"
For clarity, The Chronicle has dismissed these claims with senior sources close to Bruce claiming it "100% untrue."
For a second let us just think, whether the claims are valid or not it is not right that after an awful week of football for Newcastle reports of a bust-up with your captain and fans favourite player is not good. No matter what happens.
No fans at St James Park a blessing?
Steve Bruce has been previously quoted saying:
"It would have been really good to have the fans here cheering the team on getting them over the line"
It is a question, does Steve Bruce know what Newcastle fans actually think.
During the Fulham fixture at St James' Park and four out Newcastles last five home games, the result contradicts Bruce's comments.
Only one fixture would have got the fans up and cheering, and that was Everton, which had some impressive individual performances. But the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham, would have been an atmosphere that could only be described a toxic.
Now, of course, that is hypothetical, and it has not actually happened but just for a second think. Would any fan be happy with a performance in which you see lack of effort, enthusiasm and a plan?
No, any football fan wouldn't.
With the reports of bust-ups and overall lack of a spark in the Newcastle squad ahead of Brentford game, and last seasons top two in Manchester City and Liverpool, Newcastle indeed appears to on edge. What will be the push that sends Steve Bruce's time at Newcastle over a cliff?