A few Newcastle United supporters have been reacting with sheer frustration and disappointment to Steve Bruce’s key decision making against Arsenal on Sunday, as the Magpies opened the Premier League season with a defeat.
One of the most telling moments of the encounter came early in the second half, when the former Sheffield Wednesday head coach could be seen screaming at his bench ‘what the **** is happening?’ as he watched summer signing Jetro Willems bomb around the centre of the field, moments after coming on to play at left wing-back with Matt Ritchie supposed to move into midfield.
Not long after his boisterous cameo in the heart of play, he was caught flat-footed by Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who broke free with the ball to play in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for what would prove to be the winning goal for Arsenal.
More changes were on the cards for Bruce in response, as he decided to substitute off another central midfielder in Sean Longstaff for Allan Saint-Maximin, but further confusion pursued as Isaac Hayden stood as the sole presence in the middle.
The boss had to yell over to Saint-Maximin to come in more centrally and play in behind Joelinton, rather than in his more natural position on the wing, as he made his English top-flight debut. This caused Miguel Almiron to slot in further behind our new number nine, despite looking lively in that supporting role.
In the end, we lost the game with a far more dismal performance in the second half than in the first, with Bruce’s calls leading to fans sharing their confusion and frustration on social media.
Here’s what these Toon supporters have had to say…