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Rowan Vine: Lack of Consistency a Flaw in Steve Bruce

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Following another unconvincing result, ex-Birmingham striker Rowan Vine has lifted the lid on life under Newcastle manager Steve Bruce.

What’s the story?

The Magpies’ last-gasp draw against Aston Villa will have done little to allay the worst fears of many Newcastle fans as their side languishes just two points above the relegation zone, albeit with a game in hand over their nearest survival rivals Fulham.

Unsurprisingly, there has been a consistent view for some time that Bruce’s position is increasingly untenable.

Bruce has previously issued fierce bouts of criticism at the media, arguing that speculating over future Newcastle managers is disrespectful while he remains in the job.

Following Vine’s comments, the 38-year-old has revealed what Bruce is like to work with behind the scenes and even questioned Bruce’s tactical nous:

Speaking to Undr The Cosh [via The Shields Gazette], Vine said:

“My philosophy on managers… if you play centre-half then it’s very hard to know about strikers.

“So if you’ve got eight strikers, Iike he (Bruce) did have, he just thinks ‘I’ll throw four of them on and we’ll win 7-0.

“The reality is, you need to pick the right team and the right formation and do it that way. He (Bruce) just kept changing it and changing it.”

With plenty of forward options in Mikael Forssell, Cameron Jerome, DJ Campbell, Nicklas Bendtner and Gary McSheffrey at his disposal, Vine felt he was the victim of Bruce’s decision-making.

He continued: “Mikael Forssell was trying to come back from a knee injury and his knees were bad.

“We had a lot of options – I started playing right and left midfield because I played there before and I was doing well.

“I got six man of the matches from seven home games. I played 17 games and scored one goal but I still felt I was the fall guy all the time.”

The Verdict

Vine’s insights will do little to allay the fears of the Newcastle faithful.

His account portrays the picture of a manager making up his style as he goes along with no semblance of consistency or faith.

It may shed light on the true issues behind the scenes at Newcastle and only exacerbates calls for Bruce to be sacked.

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