NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 30: Jonjo Shelvey of Newcastle United celebrates scoring his … [+] team’s second goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St. James Park on November 30, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Can the real Newcastle United please stand up? Monday night at Villa Park has been characterised by a number of different cliches, the most prominent of which was ‘wake up call’. It was certainly a sobering evening for all involved, as the bubble burst after two successive victories. Suddenly, with Premier League champions Manchester City visiting St James’ Park on Saturday, the fear, worry and doubt that has engulfed Tyneside over recent months returned. Steve Bruce knew what he was getting himself in for when he replaced Rafael Benitez this summer, but he has witnessed first hand how much each result dictates the mood of the area. That is why, as he woke up on Sunday morning, he’ll have felt much more relaxed.
Pep Guardiola won’t talk about the title race, but after the game, Bruce was asked whether Jonjo Shelvey had just won the league for his former club Liverpool. The Newcastle boss laughed and said that he couldn’t go that far, but the midfielder had certainly dealt a damaging blow with his 88th minute equaliser. Kevin De Bruyne thought he had won it for the visitors four minutes earlier, after Jetro Willems cancelled out Raheem Sterling’s opener in the first half.
There is arguably nobody