Connolly explained that Bruce likely wouldn’t have signed Miguel Almiron himself, as it’s not clear what to do with the Magpies attacker, and claimed Bruce not having his type of players could be a reason why Newcastle find themselves 19th in the Premier League.
Durham, however, couldn’t help but pipe up to point out that while Bruce may not have hand-picked his Newcastle squad, it’s not like he has bad players to pick from.
“Yeah but they’re not bad players are they?” said Durham on talkSPORT (Friday October 4th, 18:46).
While Durham is usually controversial, he is spot-on with his eight-word objection to Connolly’s claim about Newcastle.
Granted there’s no denying that Bruce didn’t build Newcastle’s squad from the ground up, as he succeeded Rafa Benitez as Magpies manager in the summer, but surely putting the club’s poor form down to him not having signed every member of his squad is just a pitiful excuse.
As just like Durham said, the players that were at Newcastle ahead of Bruce’s arrival aren’t exactly bad.
After all, a lot of them helped the Magpies finish 13th last and 10th in the 2017/18 season, so it’s not like the players aren’t capable of producing results that lead their club to be a midtable side.
The likes of Paul Dummett, Jamaal Lascelles, Isaac Hayden, Matt Ritchie, Ki Sung-Yeung, Javier Manquillo, DeAndre Yedlin, Andy Carroll, Dwight Gayle, Federico Fernandez, Fabian Schar and Martin Dubravka have all enough Premier League experience individually to suggest they’re players good enough to at least be able to deliver respectable performances in the top-flight.
Also, it’s not like Bruce’s squad wasn’t boosted upon arriving in the transfer market.
Newcastle broke their club-record transfer fee by spending £40million on attacker Joelinton, as per BBC, and when you consider that Benitez had to wait until the final portion of his stint at St James Park to see the club break their record by spending £20million on Almiron, as per BBC, Bruce has been handed more tools than some.
So with that in mind, it’s hard to deny Durham wasn’t spot-on to shutdown Connolly’s defence of Bruce.