Speaking to the Chronicle, as quoted on their live blog (12/09), Bruce did admit that Schar’s performances didn’t surprise him over the two-week break.
“It was a great goal, wasn’t it? Wow, what a goal,” he said.
“That doesn’t surprise me because out of the centre-halves who joined in with the shooting practice and all the rest of it, he enjoys it.
“It doesn’t surprise me. Also, he played in the middle of the three as well, which gave me food for thought.”
Schar scored in Switzerland’s 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland over the break, finishing off a passing move in their European qualification clash.
The Swiss enforcer has been one of Newcastle’s standout performers, not only this season but for the last couple of years. To have a defender that is capable of chipping in with goals every once in a while is a valuable trait to have, and Schar is definitely one of those players. With captain Jamaal Lascelles currently occupying the central role in the back three, it would be hard to imagine a switch, but Schar’s capabilities going forward would certainly help Bruce. The 27-year-old has consistently proven he is good in possession of the ball, averaging 41.5 passes per game at a success rate of 72.3% according to WhoScored. Schar also averages 1.3 shots on goal in each outing, proving he can get forward more than the usual central defender. The 27-year-old has completed the most passes per game on average so far, and significantly more than Lascelles – proving he could be much more suited to the central role at St James’ Park.