Things are looking really bad for Newcastle United even this early in the season.

By any reasonable metric we have improved our squad over last season.

We have greater depth and more choice in more positions; the players we have brought in have addressed and strengthened some of the most obvious weaknesses in our squad.

Yet the performance against Brighton and that in the Carabau Cup against Blackburn last Tuesday have already demonstrated that the team on the pitch lacks discipline and an understanding of the roles that individuals have to play in that team.

And apparently they have no understanding of what the tactical objective of the team is or how to achieve it.

In short, remember Norwich away and countless other disasters last season. The team doesn’t know what it’s doing because the manager hasn’t got a clue.

I had decided that I would judge Steve Bruce more on his performance this season rather than last, despite the dishonesty behind much of what Bruce himself and others in the media and punditry classes, had said in his defence.

It may, therefore, seem harsh to start judging Bruce after only three games one of which we won comfortably, but I think we need to revisit the West Ham game and recognise that West Ham played a bigger part in their defeat than Newcastle United did; the other two games speak for themselves in terms of how awful they were.

So, here we are with money having been spent on good players that Steve himself wanted to bring to the club (I assume), still playing like we have no direction, no great motivation and no great self-belief; still playing like we did far too often last season, in a way that, without a good deal of luck, should have seen us relegated.

As the situation stands we have new, better playing personnel but an incompetent at the helm.

Steve Bruce may well not be the manager of Newcastle United at the end of this season, but it will have nothing to do with a Saudi takeover of the club.

What do you think? As ever, we would welcome your comments, opinions and views below.

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