Darren Bent has claimed that Newcastle United are in a “sorry state of affairs” at the moment, and that Steve Bruce’s coaching staff “didn’t know what to do” in the 5-0 defeat to Leicester City on Sunday.
That result left the Magpies in the bottom three with just one win from their opening seven games of the new season, and Sky Sports pundit Bent pulled no punches in his assessment.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “I honestly don’t know what Newcastle are going to do. Watching the game on the TV I half felt sorry. I felt like there were no leaders on the pitch, no characters.
“I felt Steve Bruce’s coaching staff on the side of the pitch didn’t know what to do and it was quite a sorry state of affairs because I never thought Leicester would find it as easy as they did. There were no tackles, no urgency.
“In other words, that was not a Steve Bruce team that I’m used to seeing.”
Bent couldn’t be more on the money with his assessment here. This Newcastle side are in trouble, and aside from that 1-0 win over Spurs a few weeks ago, there has been nothing this season to suggest that they have what it takes to beat the drop. So far this term, they have managed the fewest shots of any side in the Premier League, as well as the lowest number of completed passes, as per the league themselves. Similarly, as reported by the Chronicle, quoted from Wyscout, they also have the lowest average possession of any side in the division. In short, they don’t keep the ball effectively, and even when they do, they don’t know what to do with it. That is always going to be a recipe for disaster, and at the moment, it doesn’t feel as if Bruce has the antidote needed to fix things.