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Bruce calls Newcastle thumping at Leicester City ‘complete surrender’

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Steve Bruce did not hold back after his Newcastle side was obliterated 5-0 at the hands of Leicester City.

The Magpies boss called the defeat “a complete surrender” and blasted his team’s effort on the field in the loss.

“We have to apply ourselves better than what I’ve just witnessed there because it was a complete surrender too quickly and too easily,” he said after the defeat. “Too many felt sorry for themselves. Yes, we made mistakes and we got badly punished but to react in that way was the disappointment for myself, the players and the traveling support, which was quite unbelievable.”

Bruce, who took over for the departed Rafa Benitez despite heavy fan protest, said his players were soundly beaten in the second half and failed to respond to any of the adversity faced.

“Effort is a big, big part of the game and we have not done enough,” Bruce said to BBC Sport after the match. “The nitty gritty is we have not laid a glove on Leicester in the second half and the white flag came out too early.”

Most shockingly, Bruce seemed to admit the job might be out of his depth. He took responsibility for the defeat, but said that the best coaching would not have saved the players on the day.

“Being a manager or coach, I ultimately accept the responsibility because it’s as bad an afternoon as I can remember,” Bruce said. “I have heard lots of nonsense about tactics but the big thing is about showing pride and having a go. We have let everybody down today. I always knew it was a challenge, I was delighted to take the challenge but let us hope we can turn it around. I have the appetite to do that.”

Newcastle sits 19th in the Premier League table, with only the defensively challenged Watford below them. They next face Manchester United on Sunday, followed by a visit to Chelsea and a match against Wolves.

Premier League preview: Leicester City v. Newcastle

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  • Leicester City five points behind second-place Man City
  • Newcastle United 19th through six games
  • Leicester have lost their last two home games against Newcastle

In Sunday’s lone match, Leicester City have the clear-cut opportunity to move behind Liverpool and Manchester City, but Newcastle United will look to make things difficult for the home side when they face-off at 11:30 a.m ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ] 

It’s late September, and there’s no way around it: Brendan Rodgers has done well for the Foxes so far this season. In six games, Leicester have gathered three wins, drawn twice and lost once – to Manchester United at Old Trafford in a game that could have gone either way. In other words, in position to move into the top three with a win on Sunday.

From the looks of it, Jamie Vardy has held on to the Midas touch, and the departure of Harry Maguire is a thing of the past thanks to the emergence of 23-year-old Çağlar Söyüncü. James Maddison, who took a hit to the ankle against Tottenham is doubtful, but all things point to Rodgers having a near-healthy squad to choose from.

As far as things go for Newcastle, their situation is polar opposite. The Magpies have won only a game – a 1-0 victory over Tottenham – this season under Steve Bruce. And to no surprise, as the weeks go by, the pile continues to pile on the 58-year-old manager.

The serious hamstring injury Jonjo Shelvey suffered does Bruce and company zero favors; although, there is a break in the clouds for Newcastle as USMNT fullback DeAndre Yedlin is expected to be back on the bench after months of inactivity. Still, there is lots of work to be done for Bruce, who can really buy himself time with any positive result.

Injuries/suspensions

Leicester City: OUT – Daniel Amartey (ankle), Matty James (calf); QUESTIONABLE –  James Maddison (ankle)

Newcastle United: OUT – Matt Ritchie (ankle), Jonjo Shelvey (hamstring), Florian Lejeuene (knee), Dwight Gayle (calf); QUESTIONABLE – Allan Saint-Maximin (hamstring), DeAndre Yedlin (groin)


Projected lineups

Leicester City: Schmeichel; Chillwell, Söyüncü, Evans, Pereira; Maddison, Tielemans, Ndidi; Barnes, Vardy, Perez.

Newcastle United: Dubravka; Dummett, Lascelles, Schär; Willems, Longstaff, Hayden, Manquillo; Almiron, Joelinton, Atsu


What they’re saying

Leicester City manager Rodgers on facing Newcastle: “For us, we expect a very tough game,” he added. “They set up well, defend low, set deep and we have to be at our best to get the result.”

Newcastle United manager Bruce on their counterparts: “They’re a good side, and they’ve evolved into a very, very good side over the years. We know if we’re going to get something we’ll have to be at our best. We certainly have to be better in terms of goals – we understand that – and let’s hope that we can be with the players we’ve got coming back.”


Prediction

Newcastle performed well in Leicester under Rafa Benitez. He is no longer around, and the Magpies’ fortunes have turned upside down under Bruce. The visitors’ dire state and Leicester’s recent fine form put Newcastle’s chances bleak at best. Leicester City, 3-0.

Bruce talks struggles of Almiron at Newcastle

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Miguel Almiron has been very poor for Newcastle United this season.

His manager knows this, but Steve Bruce isn’t yet worried after the Paraguayan struggled mightily again and Newcastle drew Watford 1-1 at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

[ RECAP: Newcastle 1-1 Watford ]

“Well look, he’s a delight work with day in and day out,” Bruce said. “Hopefully when he gets one, he’ll get off and running because the two big chances fell to him today, but his work-rate and his appetite and his energy, and he’s a good footballer, the kid.”

Almiron flubbed a trap in a point-blank scoring position early in the draw, and made more buzz for his play-acting than his production.

He is working hard and chipping in defensively, but that’s not supposed to be the focus of Almiron’s game.Over four matches, the 25-year-old ex-Atlanta United star isn’t just failing the eye test, he has some of the worst stats on the team.

Bruce just wants a bit of luck for his embattled big money signing.

From The Chronicle:

“As I said, he might need just one to come off his backside and get up and running, and we sincerely hope so,” Almiron said. “But we had two big opportunities and didn’t quite take them.”

The jump from MLS to Premier League was always going to be difficult, but this isn’t quite that; Remember: Almiron was very good last season even if he failed to find the score sheet.

And while Rafa Benitez is clearly going to bring more to a player’s tactical development than Steve Bruce, the new boss has been moving Almiron around and trying to find something to get him firing on more cylinders. It’s coming, but it sure hasn’t been easy to watch the journey.

We’re on minute 1,123 and counting with no goals and no assists.

Newcastle’s Bruce heard criticism, happy to beat Spurs

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Steve Bruce heard a lot of the criticism from fans upon his hiring at Newcastle United, and it rang out louder after the Magpies started 0-2 including a loss at newly-promoted Norwich City.

[ RECAP: Spurs 0-1 Newcastle ]

He may well hear plenty more down the road, but the childhood Newcastle supporter was feeling relieved and maybe redeemed after a fortunate and wonderful 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday. From the BBC:

“We came to this fantastic stadium, this fantastic club and we performed. I mean, to say I ‘cannot even do a warm up’ is mad. I have managed 900-odd games and over the years you would think there would be some sort of respect but I go back to the fact that whoever took over from Rafa Benitez was going to get the abuse.”

Newcastle faces struggling Watford at St. James’ Park next week, and another result will ease a lot of nerves (though certainly not all of them.

PL Sunday preview: Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal, Wolves all open season

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There will be no shortage of headlines Sunday as Chelsea travel to Old Trafford to commence their era under Frank Lampard and American superstar Christian Pulisic. The mouth-watering bout will be only one of three matchups, however.

A new-look Arsenal – without Mezut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac – will start to write its own story, with Steve Bruce‘s Newcastle as the first chapter’s antagonist. Meanwhile, Leicester City will look to take advantage of a well-traveled Wolverhampton Wanderers, who have been busy qualifying for Europa League ahead of the Premier League’s start.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ]

Arsenal v. Newcastle — 9:00 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

With a slew of new signings – including record signing Nicolas Pepe – and an instructional, yet painful year behind them, Unai Emery‘ second time around is expected to offer bigger and better things for Arsenal. A trip to St. James Park is first on the menu for the Gunners. Injuries and fitness setbacks in mind, Arsenal will look to hit the ground running with their undeniable high-power attack, while fielding a once familiar foe in the backline – David Luiz.

Newcastle, on the other hand, will start from zero under Steve Bruce. There isn’t a healthy amount of optimism behind the Magpies, but new seasons always call for a new set of hopes. At home, Newcastle biggest wish will be to smash paradigms from the get-go.

Wolves v. Leicester City — 9:00 a.m. ET, on CNBC and NBCSports.com

Wolves are taking advantage of their head start: the Europa League. Thus far, in two rounds of qualification play, Wolves have outscored opponents 10-1, something that will surely benefit Nuno Espírito Santo’s side when they travel to King Power Stadium. Raul Jimenez, Diogo Jota and Ruben Neves all look in midseason form already, too. There’s no better scenario for the West Midlands’ side to prove their legitimacy than a season-opening victory against the Foxes.

But the same goes for Leicester, who will look to make a statement against one of the two sides that edged them to that same European position. The Foxes will certainly miss Harry McGuire, but Brendan Rogers’ men have enough pieces to make up for the lost quality.

Chelsea v. Manchester United — 11:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

There’s arguably no better way to wrap up the first weekend of a new campaign: Chelsea v. Manchester United at the Theatre of Dreams.

On Chelsea’s end, the storylines fit the expectations. Club legend Frank Lampard kickstarts his coaching era with the Blues, while American sensation Christian Pulisic makes his Premier League debut – following a $73 million move from Borussia Dortmund to London last January. No Eden Hazard this time around for this new-era Chelsea, who will look to challenge the likes of Man City, Liverpool and Tottenham for the league title in the months to come.

Having added the likes of Maguire – the most expensive defender in history – Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Daniel James, the Red Devils are hoping for a better season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who they finished sixth with last year. With Romelu Lukaku long gone in Italy at Inter Milan and no immediate replacement coming inline, all eyes are on 21-year-old Marcus Rashford. Will he and his teammates show up against Chelsea? Or will Lampard – this time as a coach – walkaway from Old Trafford with a grin on his face?

The stage is set..