Steve Bruce faces division in his ranks at Newcastle United unless the Toon boss is able to solve the tactical conundrum he faces, after Yoshinori Muto questioned the Magpies boss’ game plan, according to the Mirror.
It was the 27-year-old’s first taste of competitive action under the new head coach, having been left on the bench during our opening day defeat against Arsenal as the Gunners left Tyneside with the spoils following a one-nil win.
Twenty-three minutes in Bruce’s favoured 3-5-2 system was enough for Muto to draw conclusions, though, with the 29-cap Japan international feeling a lack of support was on hand at Carrow Road.
“It was really hard,” Muto noted after the defeat. “I felt isolated, and was always surrounded by three or four opponents.
“As a forward, that was very tough and 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.
“Pukki got a hat-trick and he reacted well on the counter-attack. That is the sort of image that I’d like to provide for my team. I’d like to change things. We want to change the situation after two defeats.”
Muto is understood to have raised his concerns with Bruce, and urged the former Sheffield Wednesday boss to make changes ahead of our trip to Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend.
Failing to make adequate adjusts will likely see Newcastle suffer our third defeat of the term, and potentially end the game rock bottom of the pack if Spurs are able to fire substantial numbers past Martin Dubravka after hitting Aston Villa for three and Manchester City for two.
Bruce maintaining a status quo in his tactics also risks dividing himself from the players, especially after Muto needed just 23 minutes to realise the flaws with the 58-year-old’s system.