A horde of Newcastle United fans have been laughing off Kevin Kilbane and Micah Richards’ suggestion that the Toon are playing better football under Steve Bruce than we were under Rafa Benitez last season.
The pair voiced their views on BBC Radio 5 Live Sport ahead of our trip to Burnley on Saturday, and suggested that Bruce should be lauded more than he currently has been, as the former Aston Villa boss has done a “fairly remarkable” job in getting the squad playing as they have.
“I think what they’ve done this season is fairly remarkable after Steve Bruce’s appointment and the negativity around it,” Kilbane said, via quotes by the Chronicle. “I actually think they’re playing better football than last year.
“I saw the last couple of games where they didn’t actually play too well across the course of the games, but across the season they’ve played better football than last year.”
Richards added: “At the end of the day, they’re playing good football like you said, they’re two points off fifth. They’ve got a couple of injuries
“When we were on this show about a month ago, everyone was saying Newcastle are going down, and they’ll be down by Christmas. I just feel Bruce deserves a little bit more respect now, I think he should have earned the fans respect.”
Who plays the better football?
We travelled to Turf Moor at the weekend on the back of recording successive Premier League wins for the second time in the Bruce-era, having beaten Sheffield United and Southampton after previous back-to-back triumphs in November.
Our results preceding the Burnley game moved the club up to 11th in the league standings on 22 points, with six wins and four draws from 17 games – two points fewer than fifth-placed Manchester United. But losing at the Clarets saw the Toon remain seven points clear of the relegation places, after 18th-placed Southampton also lost.
Bruce’s Toon are also averaging the least possession of any top-flight side this season with 39%, with which we are creating the 19th-most shots per game (10.1) and 18th-most shots on target (3.5).
At this stage of last season, Benitez had overseen four wins and four draws in 17 games for a total of 16 points, as we sat four points above the bottom three without the help of £21million January arrival Miguel Almiron or summer signings Allan Saint-Maximin and Joelinton at £20m and £40m respectively.
Here are some of the messages shared as fans reacted to Kilbane and Richards’ comment that Bruce has the Toon playing better football than we did under Benitez last season…
— Jari (@jarisal9) December 15, 2019
This is absolute litter.
— Liam Taylor (@27liamdavid) December 15, 2019
No they aren’t
— Paul Davison (@dubtoon) December 15, 2019
— Gordon (@GB4G) December 15, 2019
Results are better; the football apart from west ham away has been dire to watch. Yday & at home to Brighton are two of the worst performances i can recall. Almiron, Rondon & Perez were playing some great stuff last year. Thumping Fulham 0-4 away playing nice football #nufc
— Kevin Nichol (@Kevin_Nichol) December 15, 2019
You no them teams that come sjp and we say couldn’t watch them every week. That is us now
— paul (@powley33) December 15, 2019
Apart from the first half away to West Ham we have been horrible to watch and moons away from how we played from January till the end of the last season
— Mark (@mja1980) December 15, 2019
Nonsense, results have been decent but performances have been awful, except west ham
— shaun saunders (@sms5441) December 15, 2019
We’re not. Where this myth is coming from is beyond me. It’s like because Bruce is British they want to put a positive spin on it.
— BurstOfTheStar (@BurstOfTheStar) December 15, 2019
No. No. No.
— TMW (@TilehurstsOwn) December 15, 2019
Only difference between us winning or losing now is luck. Pundits confuse Rafa’s pragmatism with anti football. We actually played very nice football at times. When we played long we got bodies around Rondon to make it stick. Now we just hoof it up aimlessly at any attempt.
— Finn Thompson (@FinnThompson12) December 15, 2019
In other Newcastle United news, the Toon are being made to wait over a potential January deal as Bruce identifies a £14m target.
This article was originally posted here