Newcastle United are one of the hardest teams to predict in the league and fans, pundits and even bookmakers such as novibet.co.uk aren’t quite sure what to make of the Magpies this season. The Geordies are currently 4th favorites on Novibet to be relegated this season but things are incredibly tight down there at the bottom and which way Newcastle go is yet to be seen. The Toon currently sit pretty in 14th position, just 5 points from the relegation zone and with City and Sheffield United up next, they will know that they could be back down to 18th after a couple of weeks. Steve Bruce has been here before however, and here is what he needs to do to help his side beat the drop.
Joelinton came in with a hefty £40million price take in the summer and the forward has massively struggled, scoring just 1 goal and notching up 1 assist in his 13 games for the Magpies. This has been compounded by the lack of confidence in front of goal of Almiron and Saint-Maximim, who have been woeful at best. Andy Carroll has the talent to start scoring goals and improving the confidence of those around him, which will in turn give Joelinton many more chances once he comes back into the fold. Get Carroll fit, forget the price tag and give Joelinton some bench time.
Last week’s game against Aston Villa was a true 6 pointer for Newcastle but they really shot themselves in the foot with their midfield lineup. To play Shelvey and Hayden in the center of the park was a foolish idea given Villa’s energy, and Newcastle paid the price. We have already seen what the Longstaff brothers can do in that position and they deserve to get a string of games so that they can solidify the midfield.
Counter Attack Improvement
Despite their inability to score goals, this is a team which is absolutely at their best when they are on the counter attack, with the pace of Almiron and Saint Maximin scaring defenders to death. Unfortunately however there is a real lack of logic when they do this and far too often we see one of the wingers bursting forward with absolutely no support. Tracking back makes some sense for the wingers but not if it leaves them stuck in defense whilst the remaining attackers attempt to get forward.
We are very dangerous in the opposition box but we have to improve our crossing ability if we are going to win corners and put the pressure on. Almiron cuts back far too many times, so too does Yedlin and in doing that we bring the ball back to the middle and put ourselves at risk of a counter attack. Newcastle should do what Burnley do and make crossing and aerial dominance the thing that scares defenders, once they do that they can open up more spaces on the edge of the box for the likes of Shelvey or the Longstaffs to get shots away.
It will be a tough year for Newcastle and improvement must be made if they want to survive.