This Newcastle United team is tied for last in the Premier League with six goals scored. Something needs to change.
But what? Who needs to be benched and who deserves a chance? The squad depth is severely lacking, making it a quite a chore to confidently make a change.
Oddly enough, Newcastle cannot find the net but our two forwards seem to be the safest bets to start. Aleksandar Mitrovic has been a rare bright spot, and his potential is remarkably high. He’ll only get better.
And Ayoze Perez’s performances have convinced me that he should start every single game. In my eyes, he is the first name on the team sheet. He makes things happen. He works his tail off. He has flair and can find the back of the net. That ticks all the boxes for me, especially in a team that’s struggling like Newcastle is.
So those two are safe, and the lack of depth leads me to believe that Janmaat, Colo, and Mbemba are by far the best options in the back. And at the moment, with the wealth of injuries Newcastle is experiencing, anyone who can breathe and walk is good enough to play left-back.
So, the midfield. If there are changes to be made, I think it needs to be here.
Wijnaldum needs to start; I think he is still finding his feet a bit, but his play has been solid. Hopefully he’ll just get better. Position wise, it’s still a mystery where he fits best for Newcastle. Is it better for him to play the middle, with Perez on the wing? Might be worth a shot.
When Colback is healthy he should keep his spot in the line-up as well. His play is not overwhelmingly great, but it’s consistent and he gives it his all.
Fans have been clamouring for Sissoko to get dropped. I don’t think his form has been that terrible yet, but there’s no denying how frustrating it is to watch the Frenchman give such lacklustre performances. But Newcastle cannot afford to drop him right now. Even when his form is this underwhelming, it’s good enough to start for this bottom of the table team.
After a great deal of thought, the change I would advocate is moving Sissoko back to play alongside Colback. In his place on the wing, I would give Aarons or Thauvin a chance. I’d prefer Aarons, because Thauvin needs more time to adapt to the league, but I can also see the reason behind keeping the young winger out of the squad in such a bad stretch for the club.
It’s not exactly a great environment to toss a young player into. Either player could come in for Anita and maybe provide a spark. And even though Sissoko isn’t great as a number 6, he did produce some of his trademark bursts from that spot last year.
Anita doesn’t necessarily deserve to be dropped. He might even have to slide over and play left-back given the injuries.
It’s not a change that I’m confident in proposing, but the team needs a change. And given the lack of depth, it’s honestly the best one I could come up with.
Comment if you have any better ideas and hopefully happier times are ahead.
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