Durham described Bruce as currently being the worst version of former Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez and hinted that he believes the club is on course to be relegated unless the manager changes his ways.
“He has a golden opportunity and he is blowing it and I want to know why he is choosing to do it like this,” said Durham on talkSPORT, as seen and heard in a clip on the station’s Twitter account.
“When you’ve got something so special you have to cherish it, so here’s a message to Steve Bruce, you’ll never be Rafa Benitez, we all know that, all the Newcastle fans know that and he knows that.
“So what he needs to do is stop with the dull negative tactics that are officially, statistically, making Newcastle the least attacking team in the Premier League.
“What Steve Bruce needs to do is channel his inner-Keegan and go for it, play attacking football, give yourself a chance of scoring goals, winning games, playing entertaining football, be remembered for trying to entertain the Toon Army rather than being the worst version of Rafa Benitez and getting relegated.
“Why does he choose to play such dull boring football when he has this opportunity? I can’t get my head around it, Steve you’ve unexpectedly been given the honour so don’t look back in a year’s time, saying I should have played expansive football, why didn’t I try and entertain? At least try to do that, this is the only chance you’ll get to manage Newcastle United or to manage a big club, so don’t waste it.”
It has been a bit surprising that Bruce has appeared to opt to instruct his Newcastle side to play defensively even when facing sides like Brighton, but when you consider his attacking options then perhaps there is logic to his madness? The Magpies’ squad isn’t exactly blessed with fit in-form attacking players, so perhaps Bruce is aware of that and doesn’t believe playing on the front foot will see Newcastle reap the rewards. Bruce currently has summer signing Joelinton leading the line, and he has only been able to show glimpses of his talent. The Brazilian has scored one goal in his first six outings and has proven to be a physical threat for the Magpies as he has won 6.8 aerial duels per match, as per WhoScored, however the likes of Christian Atsu and Miguel Almiron haven’t been able to carve out plenty of chances for him when on the ball, and even if they saw the ball more it doesn’t mean they’ll fare any better. If anything playing a more open style may see the Magpies still struggle to flourish going forward and also see them become vulnerable at the back.