Newcastle striker Yoshinori Muto says that Steve Bruce’s tactics left him isolated during the 3-1 defeat against newly-promoted Norwich City on Saturday.
He said: “It was really hard. I felt isolated and I was always surrounded by three or four opponents. As a forward that was very tough. As a team we struggled overall.
“When I was watching in the first half I was expecting it to be difficult when I came on because Joelinton was struggling as well. I’d like to change things.”
TBR’s View – Muto’s comments don’t bode well for a manager supposed to bring attacking play
Under Rafa Benitez, the bedrock of Newcastle’s relative success – staying in the Premier League – was on their defensive organisation, which did come at the expense of attacking ambition at times.
Steve Bruce could boast a more attacking style when he came in to replace the popular Spaniard, so Muto’s comments paint a damning picture.
Against a newly-promoted side, Bruce should have been able to engineer some quality service for his frontman but Muto could see from the outset on Saturday that wasn’t going to be the case.
In truth, the early signs are that Bruce is out of his depth tactically in the Premier League, which is what many expected as soon as he was appointed.