It looked like a shock could’ve been on the cards at Old Trafford when Javier Manquillo equalised on the counter-attack but three goals followed for the Red Devils with at least two of them having glaringly obvious defensive errors from the five at the back defence.
Will Newcastle United get relegated this season?
Bruce decided to persist with three centre backs for the Man United game although he did drop Fabian Schar and Federico Fernandez for Ciaran Clark and Issac Hayden which saw the midfielder play in a less than natural centre back role.
Ryder couldn’t understand the reasoning behind Bruce’s defensive selection.
(09:27) “Fabian Schar maybe, he’d been on international duty, okay, I get that, but Fernandez hasn’t been on international duty and talk of the six players that were on international duty has been a reason why you can’t do more in the international break.
“Again, that doesn’t really wash with me. I know they’ve got to have some time off, I get that but realistically, you needed an experienced back five at Man United and it wasn’t. It was just let’s see, it just felt like let’s see if this works.”
TIF Thoughts on Newcastle’s defensive options…
It seems a simple problem for Bruce, Newcastle have to stop conceding so many goals, they’ve already shipped 12 goals in four games as well as conceding four on two separate occasions, despite being level at some point during both of those matches against West Ham and Man United respectively.
It was a bizarre decision for Bruce to deploy a central midfielder as one of his three centre backs against Ronaldo and it ultimately backfired as Hayden got nowhere near the Portuguese international for his second goal.
It’s another relentless side up next for the Magpies as they welcome Leeds United to St James’ Park on Friday night and the visitors are once again, pressing the most out of any other team in the league. So Bruce will have to tighten up his backline otherwise there could be another whole host of goals conceded as the stats also don’t lie, with Newcastle having the highest expected goals against in the entire league with 9.1 (according to FBRef).