Newcastle travelled to Brentford looking to make the last four but ended up knocked out of the cup in farcical circumstances
Newcastle United are going nowhere – as this painful defeat at Championship Brentford demonstrated in front of nationwide TV audience.
It’s difficult to know where to start with this one as Newcastle did not look motivated to get the job done against the Bees.
Jonjo Shelvey plodded around in the middle – and he was supposed to be captain.
Bruce had called for the supply line to Callum Wilson to be improved, but nobody, other than Ryan Fraser seemed to heed the advice.
Newcastle simply went through the motions and it was no surprise when Brentford scored mid-way through the second half. In fact the biggest shock was that it took them so long!
Clearly there are problems for Bruce behind the scenes – or at least this performance suggested exactly that.
A lack of cohesion seems to be one of the biggest issues as players crashed into each other, crosses were over-hit and passes rolled wide of their intended target.
Perhaps that was underlined when Newcastle were chasing the game in the second half when sub Andy Carroll barged his own player out of the way in Sean Longstaff before firing the ball into orbit.
With Man City, Liverpool and Leicester next – the prospect of zero points over Christmas and new year now beckons.
But whether Newcastle make a big decision or simply stick with their plan of trying to stay in the Premier League remains to be seen.
Ashley has the club for sale but does he really care if Newcastle are 17th or 13th?
One thing is for certain, fans seem to be unanimous in their opinion that there should be change.
Bruce effectively went for broke in the League Cup by naming a strong side to face the Championship promotion hopefuls.
Brentford by contrast made six changes and dropped leading striker – and former Newcastle hopeful – Ivan Toney to the bench. Yet it was they who had the first sight of goal when Saman Ghoddos had a crack from outside the box but his shot flashed wide of the post on three minutes.
Moments later, Ethan Pinnock rose from a Brentford corner but his header went just over the top in another nervous early moment for the Magpies.
Newcastle’s attack spluttered into life when Wilson found a way into the box and fired the ball at Luke Daniels on 11 minutes. The Bees stopper kept the ball out initially but Wilson was unable to get a clean contact on the follow up.
Newcastle went in level at the break, however, it was Brentford who’d looked the more composed of the two sides and they got their reward twenty minutes into the second half as the impressive Josh DaSilva fired in a lovely goal from distance.
Unbelievably, Bruce then threw on three centre forwards to join Callum Wilson in a desperately mindless attempt to salvage a result that Newcastle had done nothing to deserve.
With five minutes left it appeared to be turning into a farce as Carroll eagerly barged his own player out the way in the shape of Longstaff but hammered the ball into orbit.
Moments later Carroll sent one wide of the target as Newcastle’s desperation increased.
Even when the game seeped into stoppage time, Newcastle lacked urgency and ended up giving free-kicks away at the other end.
Newcastle are in a total mess again – the only thing missing is the chorus of discontent from the supporters.