The BBC pundit claimed that with him having played under Bruce during his career, he imagined the Magpies boss would be disappointed by the 3-1 defeat to Norwich, as usually, his teams have more a structure and a “you shall not pass” mentality.
Richards added that Norwich could have easily scored five, six or even seven goals against the Magpies on Saturday, but did suggest that Newcastle may take confidence from Jonjo Shelvey scoring a consolation goal.
“Yea it was strange really,” said Richards on Final Score (BBC One, 17:13, Saturday, August 17th).
“It wasn’t a typical Steve Bruce performance, normally he sets up with a structure where, it’s sort of ‘you shall not pass’, but today as we mentioned before, Norwich could have scored five, six or seven.
“So he will be very very disappointed with the way the team played, they may take a little bit of confidence from the fact they got a goal and it may be a positive to take into next week, but for a player who has played under Steve Bruce, he’ll be very disappointed.”
Is Bruce really known for shutting up shop? The Magpies manager’s track record in the Premier League implies that his sides aren’t defensively strong after all. The 58-year-old manager has been in charge of 394 matches in England’s top-flight and has overseen his side conceded 519 goals in the process, as per the Premier League, so it’s not like Magpies fans were expecting their side to be solid at the back this season. However, it’s fair to say that, it was a bit of shock to see how easy Norwich were able to carve out chances on Saturday. As a result, Richards is right to suggest that Norwich could have ended up with more than three goals to their name. Norwich had 15 efforts on goal, with eight hitting the target (Source: BBC), and you have to believe that if the Magpies didn’t have a goalkeeper as capable as Martin Dubravka, then the Canaries would have scored more than three. Hopefully, Bruce is able to get his side in better shape defensively ahead of the Magpies’ next game, as they face a tough task as they’re set to face Tottenham in their next outing.