After watching Newcastle struggle to a 1-1 draw at home to bottom club Swansea, Ian Wright says they must take immediate action in the January transfer window.
Newcastle United have failed to win any of their last seven Premier League home matches and the last two have been tame draws against fellow relegation strugglers Brighton and Swansea.
In five of those seven PL games at St James Park, Rafa’s players have failed to score a goal.
In fact if you take out the six goals Newcastle have managed in three hours of football against West Ham, they have only scored 15 goals in their other 21 Premier League games, home and away.
Ian Wright picked up on Newcastle’s shortcomings up front in that previous home game against Brighton, particularly Dwight Gayle, who Wright said needed to ‘quicken up on everything’.
On Saturday, it was more just a case of a striker not taking chances when they came. Gayle wasting three very decent chances.
Though he wasn’t alone as others also missed chances, or in other cases, never looked likely to get into shooting positions.
It took a Joselu goal when coming off the bench to save the day but we already know he won’t be the main goalscoring answer. He is now lead scorer with four goals but despite his workrate and other contributions in team play, you can see he is not a natural scorer.
Rafa Benitez both before and after the game stated yet again he needed signings in this window.
As Ian Wright says – ‘Newcastle are desperate for a striker.’
Ian Wright speaking on Match of The Day after the Swansea match:
“Without doubt (Newcastle need to sign a striker).
“Newcastle had more than enough chances to win the game.
“You can see with the (lack of) confidence, you see Ayoze (Perez), great ball from Matt Ritchie, it is perfect for his left foot – hit it across the goalkeeper. He (instead) tries with his right and he can’t get the power.
“I mentioned Dwight Gayle last week (after last home match v Brighton – read below) with his header. This one, he actually jumps to head it (and easy save for keeper), when he should be attacking it. The ball isn’t too high where he can’t attack it by standing.
“Again, he is in the middle of the goal (on the next chance). Yes you want to head it back where it’s coming from – but you just have to try and hit the target (instead the ball goes some yards wide).
“He then gets through on goal but it’s quite a tame effort (puts it wide with left foot).
“Newcastle are desperate for a striker, they do need to score some goals.”
Ian Wright – 30 December 2017 (after Brighton 0-0 match):
“I saw Dwight Gayle miss a really good chance in the last knockings of the Manchester City game, The kind of chance he has to be taking now.
“He has got three goals up to now, think he is top scorer at Newcastle. Not enough.
“I think he (Gayle) could do more with the header, he just lets it hit him, he’s put nothing on it.
“He has got to whip his head on it, he has got to get the goalkeeper to work more.
“(Ball breaks for Dwight Gayle just inside Brighton box) He doesn’t look at at Dunk at all, he doesn’t make a positive move. The touch is poor and he doesn’t get it out of his feet. Dunk is stretching and in the end he makes a good challenge – but Gayle’s touch is poor.
“Dwight Gayle needs to quicken up on everything.
“I don’t know what he is doing in training…he needs to do everything quicker, half a yard quicker, he just seems to be on his heels.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 1 Swansea 1
Newcastle: Joselu 68
Swansea: Ayew 60
Possession was Swansea 58% Newcastle 42%
Total shots were Swansea 8 Newcastle 12
Shots on target were Swansea 5 Newcastle 4
Corners were Swansea 5 Newcastle 4
Referee: Graham Scott
Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey (Merino 82), Atsu, Gayle (Joselu 64), Perez
Elliot, Haidara, Manquillo, Hayden, Murphy
Crowd: 51,444 (Swansea 1,100)
(Alan Shearer spells it out after watching Newcastle 1 Swansea 1 – Read it HERE)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Swansea draw HERE)
(Swansea boss says Newcastle lucky to avoid red card, penalty and defeat – Read it HERE)
(Give us your Newcastle v Swansea player ratings HERE)
(Read what Rafa Benitez had to say after the game HERE)