Here is the Newcastle team v Bournemouth that could save both Steve McClaren and Newcastle United today.
The lack of both mobility and attacking threat on Wednesday night was just so bad.
As soon as you saw the team sheet and your attacking four included the immobile and isolated Mitrovic, plus Gouffran(!), you did wonder where on earth we were going to score a goal from.
Factor into the mix that Wijnaldum has not scored a goal away from home all season and Moussa Sissoko hasn’t scored anywhere…
To make matters worse, it was revealed by McClaren afterwards that Aleksandar Mitrovic had played despite not being 100%.
With six minutes to go, Doumbia and Perez came on to try and save the game against Stoke and almost did it, Butland pulling off an outstanding save from Seydou Doumbia’s sharp first time effort – United’s first serious shot of the night.
That has to be the starting point, get Perez and Doumbia up front and give them plenty of service – it goes without saying that Newcastle will concede and so we have to have an absolute minimum of two or three goals in the team – playing Mitrovic by himself will seriously harm those chances.
Obviously Jonjo Shelvey will play again in midfield but we need him pushed up a lot higher to have more influence on the attacking third, Jack Colback can hang back and do the dirty work.
It was pretty much the first time Shelvey got into the final third at Stoke in the closing minutes and he created Doumbia’s chance.
Wijnaldum I would nominally have on the wing but encouraged to come inside as much as possible, especially when Newcastle are attacking down the right, we need him ghosting into the box as much as possible and doing what he is best at – scoring goals.
This is obviously the type of attacking formation that would give McClaren sleepless nights but all out defence gets us nowhere, time to be brave.
My Newcastle team v Bournemouth:
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