Newcastle United’s Premier League season has not started well. The Magpies were beaten by Arsenal at St James’ Park on the opening weekend. The Tyneside outfit were then comfortably overcome by newly-promoted Norwich City.
Steve Bruce’s side face another tough test this weekend. Newcastle will take on Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson believes it will become three defeats in three matches for Newcastle. In his Premier League predictions column, the former Liverpool defender has forecast a 2-0 win for Spurs.
However, Lawrenson has called for Bruce to be shown patience. Lawrenson said, “Newcastle are still a bit all over the place. They have already lost to Norwich and Arsenal but remember, former boss Rafael Benitez had a bad start last season and they picked things up. Steve Bruce has made some new signings and the fans just need to get behind the team now”.
It’s surely too early in the season for Bruce’s job to be seriously under threat. There’s no shame in losing to Spurs, so another defeat would not cause outrage amongst the fans. However, the manner of the loss might. The Magpies have looked utterly toothless in attack so far this season. They at least need to demonstrate some progress with their performance.
It’s all well and good for Lawrenson to call on fans to get behind the team and the manager. Benitez was granted patience after a tough start as he’d already proven himself at the club. However, Bruce doesn’t boast anything close to Benitez’s track record.
What’s more, he needs to demonstrate that he has a clear vision for the club. His team need to develop an identity in the way they play. So far, they have looked incoherent and disorganised on the pitch. There is only so long that that can be tolerated before Bruce’s suitability for his position has to come into question.