Samantha Miller told Collymore that Newcastle made the most tackles in the Premier League in the first week of fixtures as they made 39 in their 1-0 loss to Arsenal, and the pundit believes it was a reflection of Steve Bruce’s management style.
Collymore stated that Aston Villa fans will see Newcastle’s tackle statistics as being an indication that Bruce was back in town and suggested he wanted to see fewer tackles and more fast-following football out of the Magpies.
“Villa fans will be going urgggh, Steve Bruce welcome back to town,” said Collymore on The Last Word With Stan Collymore on podfollow.com (12mins, 59 secs).
“Bruce likes to play a back five with two wing-backs going all the way back to Elmohamady in his Hull City days and Aston Villa days.
“The fact Steve Bruce is rolling his sleeves up already against the Gooners and putting in tackles left right and centre, they have got quality and will come to that with Hugh very shortly when we advertise the games but the most tackles of the weekend, Newcastle United.
“Less tackles, more interceptions, more fast-flowing football.”
Newcastle being the Premier League side to make the most tackles surely is a double-edged sword, as it can be seen as both a positive and a negative. While it shows that the Magpies’ team got stuck in against Arsenal, it also shows how often they found themselves without the ball at their feet. Newcastle only had 38% possession in their loss to Arsenal, as per BBC, and you feel that showed how the Gunners were in control of the game for the majority of it. However, given that the London club finished fifth in the league with 70 points last season, which was 25 points more than the Magpies, and they’re likely to finish in a similar position again, then Bruce’s side not seeing much of the ball in Sunday’s clash was to be expected. Also what is interesting about Collymore’s remarks, is that he clearly feels Bruce has already got the Magpies’ side playing like he wants to. After all, he is implying that the 58-year-old manager’s stint at Aston Villa, saw the Villans regularly making a lot of tackles, rather than wowing fans with fast-flowing football.