Read it and weep (unless you’re a Sunderland fan, in which case read it and do a little jig):
At least they’re consistent*, even more consistent than Leeds United’s non-existent defence.
As much as Steve Bruce seems like a very good bloke, I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest he’s a slight downgrade on Rafa Benitez. I don’t know what Bruce does to keep on getting jobs (he’s managed ten clubs in the last 20 years!). He must interview really well, because I’m not sure any of the teams he’s managed has played genuinely good football. If you look at the stats above, it’s not just that Newcastle can’t seem to finish off attacking moves, they don’t even attempt to attack, at least not compared with other teams.
Bruce can manage the pragmatic stuff – shape, discipline, getting rid – but watching his teams play is a chore. Like most supporters, Newcastle fans crave escapism: a dash of Asprilla, a pinch of Ginola, a grain of Solano, even a smattering of Lauren Robert. Matt Ritchie is never going to play havoc with your pulse. In their 0-0 draw with Liverpool last night, a creditable result it should be said, goalkeeper Karl Darlow was their most exciting player.
*Reminds me of this: