Newcastle United lost their opening game of the season and accusing fingers have already been pointed at Steve Bruce. Arsenal travelled to St James’ Park and sneaked a 1-0 win without ever getting into second gear.
It was Bruce’s first match in charge since leaving Sheffield Wednesday in the summer. He replaced Rafa Benitez – a popular figure on Tyneside – as the next Newcastle manager, much to the dissatisfaction of a number of vocal supporters.
In his first game in the charge, there was a moment of madness, as reported by journalist Craig Hope. Jonjo Shelvey was hauled off for Jetro Willems early in the second half with the scores level at 0-0.
Willems slotted into central midfield (where Shelvey had been playing) but struggled to adapt to the pace of the game initially. Bruce was furious with this and barked instructions from the side suggesting that Willems should have been at left-wing-back with Matt Ritchie moving into midfield.
Eventually, Bruce got his way. Willems moved to left-wing-back and immediately gave the ball away, resulting in the only goal of the game. Here are some tweets from Newcastle fans reacting to this decision by Bruce.
To be fair surely he or his coaching staff should be giving the lad instructions before he sends him on?!
Then again, he doesn’t do tactics. *Gulp*
— Dan Hedley (@DanHedley92) August 11, 2019
Almost like they’ve lost a world class tactician as a manager?....
— Rebecca (@evilwelshbird) August 11, 2019
Awful pointless substitution which allows arsenal to take the lead, well done Steve Bruce totally out of your depth
— Mark (@mja1980) August 11, 2019
Jesus that’s gone wrong... no one knows where they’re playing since Shelvey went off
— gc21 (@gcross2102) August 11, 2019
Did he not put him on like? His obscene lack of authority is clear for all to see
— Mark Shipley (@Mship1994) August 11, 2019
Imagine Rafa sending on someone who doesn’t know where on the field they’re meant to be? Na me either
— shaun (@ameobi23) August 11, 2019