Louise gets it right again


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Louise gets it right again
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tino Offline

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Louise gets it right again

During his days as Newcastle’s manager, Rafa Benítez often discussed the problems of sleeping beneath a “short blanket”, frequently lamenting the impossibility of keeping both his neck and feet warm. It did not take a genius to deduce that Steve Bruce’s predecessor was not really talking about deficient bedding but deploying a diplomatic metaphor to emphasise his struggles to make the most of insufficient resources at St James’ Park.

Benítez’s way of making Newcastle appear more than the sum of their parts was to implement a possession-light, counterattacking approach big on shape and structure which left his team hard to beat. Bruce is attempting to make that framework a little more flexible and, by upping the possession and particularly the pass-completion statistics, provide increased scope for creativity and improvisation. “It’s the only way we’ll improve,” he maintains as he prepares for Sunday’s tricky trip to Leicester. “We can’t keep surrendering the ball; we’ve got to cross it more, we’ve got to create more chances.”

Few fans would disagree yet such philosophical transitions often prove uncomfortable and sometimes downright dangerous. At times this season Bruce’s XI’s have looked as unconvincing as the latest Peter Kenyon-led attempted takeover at St James’ Park. Although Benítez’s successor is convinced that, unless his players become more comfortable and fluent on the ball, they will continually be involved in relegation skirmishes, altering the squad’s deeply ingrained counterattacking mindset is much easier said than done.

With Bruce having won only one Premier League game since taking charge – albeit at Tottenham – and average home attendances down by almost 10,000, he could probably have done without reporters overhearing a comment from Isaac Hayden last Saturday. It was 30 minutes into the goalless draw against Brighton when the midfielder approached the technical area and told his manager: “This isn’t working.”

At present Bruce’s every tactical tweak – and so far they have amounted to experimenting with 3-5-2, modifying Benítez’s 3-4-3 and attempting to press higher up the pitch – appears freighted with risk. Already he has learned that attempting to build everything around Jonjo Shelvey’s languid playmaking skills does not work.

The task is further complicated by last season’s top scorers, Salomón Rondón and Ayoze Pérez, having left a club also missing the similarly departed Mo Diamé’s influential midfield heft. Granted, the £40m Brazilian striker Joelinton has arrived but the 23-year-old is struggling to adapt to a new Premier League habitat, as is the £16.5m former Nice winger Allan Saint-Maximin, 22. Meanwhile, Andy Carroll – who reportedly commands a basic £20,000-a-week wage supplemented by £35,000 per substitute appearance and £70,000 per start – has an ankle problem and may not begin a game until the new year.

While Pérez joined Leicester for £30m, Rondón was reunited with Benítez at China’s Dalian Yifang after Newcastle balked at paying £16m to turn a 30-year-old’s loan into a permanent deal. Diamé, 32, headed to Qatar’s al-Ahli when his contract was not extended. “Mo Diamé’s an excellent player,” says Bruce. “I’d have tried to keep him but it was all done and dusted by the time I arrived.”

He is left with tantalising yet unfulfilled potential. “Joelinton’s still learning the trade a little bit,” he says. “At Hoffenheim he played on the left, rather than through the middle, a lot and got used to that role. I don’t think that, as a team, we’ve created enough chances for him but I can’t – or won’t – change our style radically, it’s got be gradual, it can’t happen overnight.”

Benítez previously declined the chance to sign Joelinton but did push for January’s £20m acquisition of Miguel Almirón from Atlanta in the MLS. The gifted if enigmatic Paraguayan is still to score his first Newcastle goal. “The biggest problem, is what’s his best position?’” says Bruce. “He’s a really good footballer. He’s not a centre‑forward or a natural No 10, he’s an old-fashioned inside‑forward and we have to get the best out of him.”

His predecessor would argue that Almirón looked an infinitely better fit alongside the experienced Rondón but Bruce broadly endorses Newcastle’s reluctance to invest heavily in players aged over 25 due to a lack of resale value. “I agree with the policy because it’s everybody’s policy,” he says. “There’s not many Premier League teams who would want to spend big money on a 30-year-old.”

The trouble is, without Rondón, Bruce’s blanket seems even shorter than Benítez
(This post was last modified: 29th September 2019 12:21 PM by tino.)
29th September 2019 12:20 PM
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Surreymag Offline

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RE: Louise gets it right again

No surprises in any of that piece that’s for sure.
29th September 2019 01:13 PM
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guff Offline

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RE: Louise gets it right again

(29th September 2019 12:20 PM)tino Wrote: Guests cannot see links in the messages. Please register to forum by clicking here to see links.Benítez’s way of making Newcastle appear more than the sum of their parts was to implement a possession-light, counterattacking approach big on shape and structure which left his team hard to beat. Bruce is attempting to make that framework a little more flexible and, by upping the possession

Really?
29th September 2019 02:14 PM
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Jinkyjim Online

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Louise gets it right again

Mebee's learn how to fucking pass forst........

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29th September 2019 02:23 PM
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tino Offline

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RE: Louise gets it right again

It'll be the usual pass around the back 6 and then the hoof
29th September 2019 02:44 PM
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