Garth Crooks has slammed Newcastle United after their 3-1 defeat at Norwich City on Saturday.
The Magpies fell to their second loss in as many games at the beginning of the Premier League as a Teemu Pukki hattrick gave the Canaries all three points at Carrow Road.
The BBC pundit remarked on Steve Bruce’s side when placing Pukki in his team of the week, claiming they have passed the point of being up the creek without a paddle.
“The departure of Rafael Benitez from St James’ Park left the Magpies up the creek without a paddle,” he said.
“It’s only the second weekend of the Premier League season and Newcastle look absolutely rudderless.”
Bruce slammed his Newcastle side after their performance on Saturday, with the Daily Mail reporting that the manager couldn’t forgive players who delivered a performance where they didn’t even put their boots on.
After the game on Saturday, it was hard to tell who the newly-promoted side was at Carrow Road. Norwich outclassed Newcastle from minute one, and although the Magpies did create some chances – in all honesty, it could have been more embarrassing. Crooks is right, Newcastle seemed to have lost their vision, it isn’t clear which direction Bruce is taking the club in at this moment. His system was different than the one deployed against Arsenal, with his midfield three looking clueless as to where they were supposed to play. Benitez had his side exactly how he wanted them during his three years at the club, and they knew exactly where they were meant to be and the specific job he wanted them to do. Isaac Hayden, in particular, excelled against Norwich, but he was the main player who looked out of position. The holding midfielder was deployed on the right-hand side of the middle three and was constantly made to play out wide rather than anchoring the midfield in front of the defence. Bruce needs to solidify a system or face many more embarrassments before the season ends.