Bruce doesn’t have training ground sleepover

There are few who believe Steve Bruce will be in charge when Newcastle United host Tottenham on Sunday, so what are we waiting for?
Premier League
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A dash of courtesy, perhaps, but his way is not the direction the new owners will want to take, so there seems little point in keeping up appearances.
There is little desire out there to watch footage of Bruce getting into his car and leaving work every day, likewise pictures of 10-per-cent partner but evident face-of-the-takeover Amanda Staveley turning up for training to greet players she won’t want playing for the club in five years’ time.
Plenty of smiles, waves, thumbs-up, and then camera-clicking when Staveley’s husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi kicked a football, but let that be the end of it.
This is not a situation that warrants saga status, but rather one that needs addressing for the sake of all parties involved.
The sooner Newcastle get a new manager, the better, and at the very least give Bruce his golden handshake and Sports Direct mug this week.
On that note, Frank Lampard or Lucien Favre, anyone?

Southgate: Crime committer

He used to like drinking water but now he’s got a sore head and a penchant for breaking the law. Introducing the next Bond villain… Gareth Southgate?
"I have a headache and I commit a crime every time I pick a team," the England manager said yesterday, mainly because he was explaining why Phil Foden looks set to start on the bench against Hungary tonight.

Southgate: '"I commit a crime every time I pick a team" ahead of Hungary game

"It is very difficult every time. We have so many good players and such good, strong competition for places.”
He’s not wrong, in most departments, so perhaps now is the best time for Southgate to learn the power of substitutes, a year ahead of the World Cup, which is enough time to understand the power of deploying players not quite able to make the XI at a point during a game to make an impact. Oof. Salty.

Germany make it, while it’s in Wales’ hands

Chelsea and their supporters will be delighted to see Germany were done and dusted by Monday night and have returned Timo Werner and Kai Havertz not only in near-mint condition but also after the pair got on the scoresheet in the win over North Macedonia.
Werner even scored a double as Germany became the first team to qualify for next year’s World Cup, and that will be music to Tommy Tuchel’s ears ahead of what is quickly being called a tricky trip to Brentford this weekend.
Elsewhere, the Netherlands are almost there, but Norway are right behind them, while over in Group E Wales are edging ever closer to securing a play-off spot behind likely leaders Belgium after a nervy win in Estonia. It’s gonna be tight, but makes for a thrilling November in what some (club managers) are calling the third irritating obstacle of the domestic season already.


Regrets for Gini?

"Stay here and they will end up building a statue in your honour," Jurgen Klopp reportedly told Philippe Coutinho back in 2017. "Go somewhere else, to Barcelona, to Bayern Munich, to Real Madrid, and you will be just another player. Here you can be something more."

Gini Wijnaldum

Image credit: Getty Images

We don’t need to tell you how it worked out for Coutinho since leaving Anfield, but could Wijnaldum be having some regrets after signing for Paris Saint-Germain?
"I can't say I'm completely happy, because the situation is not what I wanted,” he told Dutch news outlet NOS, in the latest episode of Player Discusses Club Unhappiness During The International Break (brilliant podcast).
But that's football and I'll have to learn to deal with that. I'm a fighter. I have to stay positive and work hard to turn it around.
With Idrissa Gueye and Marco Verratti for competition, he’ll have to keep up the fight a little longer, and it’s not going to get any easier at a club which can click their fingers and make new players appear.


Speed from ESR

Sparing the blushes of 10-man England’s Under-21s last night, Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe, who absolutely pegged it to score the winner in Andorra.


A very good listen this, with the all-too easily derided Phil Jones opening up about the beast that is social media, why he removed himself from platforms long ago, and his own desire to get his career back on track.
"I stepped away from social media a long time ago but it's difficult because all your friends read it, your family read it and they support you, they want the best for you," Jones told the UTD Podcast.
"They don't want to see their mate, their husband, their dad getting slaughtered all over the papers or all over the media, so it's tough because mentally I was going through a tough time and (then) to read stuff as well.
It's difficult but it's something I've learned to deal with, especially over the time I've been at United and the more experience you get, the older you get, the better you learn to deal with those things. I suppose for young players coming into the game now, not just at Man United, but all over the world, it's a very hostile, toxic place to come into and they've got to be able to deal with that mentally as well as physically.


*Checks footballer’s birthdays* and a BIG happy 40th to Shola Ameobi: Toon legend, goalscorer at the Nou Camp 19 years ago, and 100-1 to become the next Newcastle manager if you fancy throwing some money away.


A feast of World Cup qualifiers, and we’ll have live blogs for both England vs Hungary and Portugal vs Luxembourg. Northern Ireland and Scotland are in qualifying action too – while Republic of Ireland have a friendly with next year’s hosts, Qatar.
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