Three Newcastle goal scorers to make my (our) season.
I woke up this morning and looking out at the sunshine over the Tyne and decided to put my positive head on.
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Last season had many problems but the lack of Newcastle goal scorers was almost fatal.
People talk about the bad luck United had last season, but when you consider that almost half (18 out of 40) of Newcastle’s goals came via Papiss Cisse and Ayoze Perez, you have to accept just how lucky we were.
Perez was one for the future who ended up playing in 36 of Newcastle’s 38 matches and scored an invaluable seven goals. They must be seen as simply a massive bonus for a young player stepping out of the Spanish second tier.
With Papiss Cisse, he was only fit enough to start 11 matches and so his return of 11 goals was astonishing. Alan Pardew regularly pointed out that Cisse wouldn’t be right until next (2015/16) season and claimed the striker was playing with a pronounced limp.
If the likes of Ferreyra and Riviere had been anywhere near good enough then I think it is clear that Papiss Cisse would have been given far more time recuperating and Ayoze Perez would have been eased in.
Apart from their combined 18 goals, the next highest with four goals was Jack Colback and Moussa Sissoko, then the next highest had two!
Newcastle’s problems at the end of last season were many, and we have been desperate for a new defence for ages, but the fact remains that in football, and the Premier League in particular, you are knackered if you don’t have goal scorers.
Suarez and Sturridge almost won the Premier League for Liverpool pretty much on their own two seasons ago, finishing in first and second place in the PL top goal scorers list. At the other end of the tabel, many a club has stayed up thanks to relying on having one decent goal scorer, whilst their rivals without that, go down.
Looking at United, I see salvation and potential excitement ahead, with three Newcastle goal scorers.
Last season these three had the following records in their respective leagues:
11 starts 11 goals – Papiss Cisse
36 starts 20 goals – Aleksandar Mitrovic
32 starts 14 goals – Gini Wijnaldum
That is 79 matches (plus 13 combined sub appearances, most of which were brief cameos for Cisse) started in total and a return of 45 goals (compared to NUFC’s feeble total of 40 last season).
Yes two of the players were featuring in weaker leagues but they can only score goals against what os put in front of them.
Talk of selling Papiss Cisse is crazy unless you have a nailed on credible goal scorer to replace him.
These three players should be the focus of our team, particularly when nobody else in the current squad can be relied on to score goals. Unless you count on Siem de Jong getting and staying fit and Rolando Aarons emerging as a Premier League player, not forgetting Chancel Mbemba helping out on set-plays – fingers crossed.
However, with Cisse, Wijnaldum and Mitrovic we have three natural Newcastle goal scorers, the layout of the team has to be geared towards getting the ball to them in goalscoring positions.
If Steve McClaren can produce that side (creating the chances/getting the ball to them in forward positions) of the equation then we could have exciting times ahead.
Look farward not back (at our defence…).