Sky Sports pundit asks ‘Will Newcastle stumble further’ – says Villa summer signings as good
Former Sunderland striker and now Sky Sports pundit, Don Goodman, has posed the question ‘Will Newcastle stumble further?’.
After three defeats in a week he says that whilst it is ‘obvious’ that Newcastle United are the ‘strongest in the Championship’ it ‘counts for nothing’ unless the results on the pitch show it.
Don Goodman believes that rather than ability it will now be ‘more about morale and character’ for Rafa Benitez’ players, in terms of how they react to these recent setbacks.
Newcastle face Birmingham, who have been in the top six for most of the season, and then go to Wigan (live on TV, see details of all 7 NUFC live upcoming games HERE – including those announced yesterday). Goodman says that despite being second bottom (though only seven points from 12 place in a very tight division) Wigan can spring a surprise – the fact they have already beaten three teams – Huddersfield, Wolves and Blackburn – who Newcastle have lost to, shows how any result can happen in the Championship.
Don Goodman makes an interesting claim as well about Newcastle and Aston Villa’s transfer activity in the summer.
The two clubs spent roughly the same amount of cash and he believes Villa’s signings were just as good but (for once!) Newcastle acted quickly and gave themselves an advantage by bringing in players early and got them integrated. Whereas Villa recruited later and were hampered partly by Roberto di Matteo only being appointed in June, whereas Rafa Benitez came in three months earlier and had a chance to see his players in action, as well as work with and judge them on the training pitch.
Don Goodman speaking to Sky Sports:
“It exasperated me that Wolves didn’t try and get Steve Bruce, and make him an offer that he couldn’t possibly turn down, and he ended up at Villa. It was a no-brainer for Villa.
“Personally, I think the recruitment done at Villa was good in the summer, perhaps later than Newcastle, but on a par with them.
“For whatever reason, it didn’t work out for Roberto Di Matteo, whether tactically or whether he didn’t motivate the players, and that’s a shame. But Villa have got the right man in Steve Bruce now.
“Will Newcastle stumble further?
“After facing Birmingham at home they go to Wigan, a team who are capable of springing up a surprise in this division.
“It’s obvious Rafa Benitez’s side are the strongest in the Championship, but that counts for nothing if you go on a wretched run that is difficult to dig yourself out of.
“It’s more about morale and character in those situations than skill, particularly in this league.”
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