Newcastle United

Newcastle United: Malcolm MacDonald slams Steve Bruce for Dwight Gayle’s exclusion

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Image for Newcastle United: Malcolm MacDonald slams Steve Bruce for Dwight Gayle’s exclusion

Former Newcastle United player Malcolm MacDonald has slammed Steve Bruce for his decision not to play Dwight Gayle more often.

Newcastle have not made a great start to the season, having failed to pick up a win in the Premier League so far this term and scoring just seven goals in the process. Their lack of ability in front of goal was perhaps best summed up by Jacob Murphy’s poor effort when through one-on-one against Watford last weekend.

31-year-old Gayle is someone who has had to watch this all unfold in front of his eyes, as he has started all of this season’s Premier League games on the bench, only coming on for the final few minutes against the Hornets.

And speaking on the latest edition of NUFC Matters, MacDonald had some rather interesting remarks about Gayle’s absence, suggesting that there might be something sinister at hand when it comes to Bruce’s decision not to play him.

He said: “I can’t help but feel that Steve Bruce has something against Dwight Gayle, because it was so glaring in its demand for his presence out on the field, so glaring. And yet he just didn’t do anything about it. Even when you could see that Newcastle, they were toiling, they were at risk of even losing the game that they should have had sewn up, simply because nobody was sticking the ball in the net.

“I will keep banging this drum, it’s people who are not known as goalscorers who are missing. You’ve got a goalscorer on the bench, for heaven’s sake, stick him on.

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“He will score goals, particularly in a circumstance like the Watford game where there were plenty of chances. And you put plenty of chances in front of Dwight Gayle and he will score a hatful of goals for you. So, is there something personal going on?

“I think it’s quite clear that Steve Bruce does not like Dwight Gayle, for whatever reason.”

TIF Thoughts on Malcolm MacDonald’s comments about Steve Bruce and Dwight Gayle at Newcastle United…

Is Dwight Gayle good enough to play for Newcastle in the PL?

Yes

Yes

No

No

MacDonald is perhaps clutching at straws here with his assessment of the situation surrounding Gayle, because his record shows that he isn’t all that great when it comes to playing in the Premier League, having failed to reach double digits in any of his campaigns, either with Newcastle or former side Crystal Palace.

So whilst MacDonald holds out some hope that Gayle could be the answer to Newcastle United’s problems in front of goal, the numbers don’t exactly back him up, plus considering his record when it comes to injuries, he can’t always be relied upon to be available whenever needed, either.

It just goes to show how desperate things are at Newcastle if someone like Gayle is seen as the solution to their poor start to the season, and that centre-forward is an area that the club should probably prioritise investing in come the January transfer window.

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Freelance sports journalist & broadcaster.