Amongst the many problems Newcastle faced last season, was the fact that the team contained so few goalscorers.
Only five players scored more than two Premier League goals as Newcastle were relegated and taking out Wijnaldum and Mitrovic, the rest of the squad only scored 23 goals between them, plus an own goal.
Last season there were 14 goalscorers all season (including the opposition one who scored the own goal) and remarkably, this summer’s five friendlies have seen that total matched.
A surprising sharing of the goals around the squad with 13 Newcastle players and a Vitesse Arnhem own goal yesterday.
The full list of Newcastle goalscorers in pre-season is:
Gayle (Bohemians, Vitesse)
Perez (Donaster, Lokeren x2)
Own Goal (Vitesse)
So 17 goals in 5 pre-season friendlies, as compared to last summer when 7 pre-season friendlies produced just 9 goals (only 6 in 6 if you take the 4-3 defeat to Portland Timbers’ second team). The goalscorers a year ago were Cisse, Sissoko, Wijnaldum x2, Aarons x2, de Jong, Perez and an own goal.
Obviously still early days and the competitive stuff is when it all kicks off but heartening to see Newcastle producing goals from all areas, even set-pieces!
Rafa Benitez was asked the question after beating Vitesse Arnhem by the club’s own TV channel:
‘Going forward that is 14 different goalscorers this pre-season…?’
“I didn’t know that but yes it is important to have people who can score goals and even better, to have a lot of them.
“Always good when you need a goal and anyone can score one – if you have just one top scorer then easier to mark him.”