Newcastle United icon Alan Shearer has sparked a flurry of social media activity among some Magpies supporters, after admitting that relegation is already a real possibility in his column for The Sun, as quoted by the Chronicle.
It took until the eleventh round of fixtures for United to put three points on the board last season, but opening the new term with back-to-back defeats under Steve Bruce has left many fans concerned that Championship football may be on the horizon.
Bruce’s tactics have been questioned frequently since he first stepped inside the St James’ Park dugout, with his 3-5-2 leaving club-record signing Joelinton isolated in attack as the engine room has become too congested with three central midfielders.
The first-team’s first-half performance against Arsenal offered brief signs that Bruce may be able to get something from the players, as they challenged the Gunners with a lot of intensity until the visitors broke free following a mistake by Jetro Willems, and scored what proved to be the winning goal of the game.
Things only got worse against Norwich City at the weekend, sadly, as the Canaries bettered the Magpies throughout the tie once Joelinton missed a glaring chance to open the scoring.
Newcastle forward Yoshinori Muto has already echoed concerns that Bruce’s favoured formation is leaving the solo-striker with too much work to do, while Paul Dummett has insisted the players know their performance was not up to scratch.
And after two games, Shearer is already concerned by what he has seen.
“I am really worried about what I have seen so far from Newcastle – and I think relegation is a real possibility,” he noted.
“Before the season, I thought there might be three worse teams than Steve Bruce’s side. But on the evidence of two matches, I’m definitely concerned.
“Against Norwich, Newcastle were also all over the place defensively, and they got what they deserved – a hiding. Rafa Benitez’s strength when he was in charge was making the team well organised and, at times, difficult to beat. But at Carrow Road, Newcastle were very poor defensively, had no creativity in midfield, and there was nothing up front.”
Here’s how these fans reacted to the Toon icon’s comments…
There goes our most famous fan writing us off ! He’s just like the rest of us …….. he’s realistic!
— Neil Cook (@Cook3Neil) August 20, 2019
Am certainly worried like and if we keep playing like we did against Norwich then we will be relegated
— Michael Marr (@mickey_marr) August 20, 2019
Everyone can see it apart from the the owner and his minions, or perhaps they don’t care.
— Toon Crier (@CrierToon) August 20, 2019
That’s meant to be his pal ????????♂️
— ALEXCROWN (@geordiealex) August 20, 2019
Its been a possibility for 12 yrs,why fat mike would hire the best lawyers in the business because he knows they are good at what they do,if he had of took rafs advice and his ideas for club top to bottom he could of made millions without gambling with the likes if 40m for jl
— ronnie battista (@Lucageno37) August 20, 2019
The word is probability #nufc
— Sidney Falco (@falco_sidney) August 20, 2019
,, closely followed by ‘certainty’
— joe 911_991.2 (@991_2_911) August 20, 2019
Of course it’s a real possibility. It’d be a real possibility for Man City if Bruce was in charge. Our season hinges on whether Bruce is sacked this calendar year & someone decent is brought in until the end of the season i.e. with nothing to lose by taking over for a few months.
— Barry Blakely (@BarryBlakely) August 20, 2019