We have now brought in Shelvey and judging by the West Ham game, he is showing signs of being the catalyst to allow the team to change its negative two holding midfielders formation, allowing Wijnaldum and Sissoko to be much more effective and involved.
Hopefully the potential addition of Townsend this week will provide even more creativity and flexibility by being able to play on both wings.
But what next in the January transfer window?
I am fully aware the defence needs to improve and although Colo and Dummett have been playing well lately, I still think they need to be replaced.
We have now played 22 games.
11 of which we have conceded 2 or more goals.
This shows the defence is simply not good enough, so a left back and a centre half needed.
Newcastle have always had a prolific goal scorer; Macdonald, Quinny, Cole, Beardsley, Shearer and Ferdinand to name but a few I was blessed to watch. They all had a goals to game ratio ranging from 1 in 1.2 games to 1 in 2.5 games, but how are we doing now?
Of the 22 PL games….
10 we have not scored a goal
5 we have only scored 1 goal
Our striker stats:
Mitrovic has currently scored 1 every 3.75 games played
Perez has currently scored 1 every 3.5 games played
Cisse has currently scored 1 every 4 games played
Don’t get me wrong, Cisse has already proven himself but injury has hampered him, and the other two should have been introduced gradually to the Premiership, but it highlights a problem.
We are currently in 17th position and of the teams above us, all of the following have a better goals to games striker than us:
Chelsea in 14th: 1 in 2.8
Watford in 12th: 1 in 1.5
Everton in 11th: 1.5
Southampton in 10th: 1.4
Liverpool in 9th: 2.1
This shows a significant gap and I think if we secure a prolific striker with proven Premiership experience of the standard shown above, we stand the chance of climbing the table.
We have missed out on Charlie Austin who was a snip at £4 million, a player who was a ‘long term target’ even though it’s not clear we ever put a bid in for him.
We are rumoured to be interested in Bafetimi Gomis (1 in 3.5 games), although why Swansea would consider releasing him, given their position, is beyond me and he is no better than what we have currently.
We are constantly linked with Lacazette who simply wants a move to a bigger club so we shouldn’t be wasting time pursuing him and don’t be surprised if we bid in the region of £20 million for Berahino (1 in 2.9 games)
So in summary, I feel we need to address 3 positions; a prolific striker, a centre half and a left back, in that order, to complete the most successful transfer window in recent times and give us the strength in depth to drag us out of our current position.
Over to you NUFC.
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