Paraguayan football writer explains how Steve Bruce is clueless in understanding Miguel Almiron
Miguel Almiron made an immediate impact when arriving earlier this year, signing on 31 January 2019.
Newcastle going from a team in the middle of a serious relegation struggle, once again, to a side that reached safety a month early.
His nine starts produced five wins, one draw and three defeats, a return of 16 points in the nine games.
In the opening 25 Premier League games before Miguel Almiron came on as a sub at Wolves in the 1-1 draw, Newcastle only picked up 24 points.
Almiron also completely transformed Newcastle’s attacking threat, becoming part of a forward trio with Perez and Rondon, Newcastle scored 21 goals in the final 13 games, having scored the same number (21) in the first 21 PL matches.
He may not have got any goals or assists himself but Almiron’s running with the ball from the left and through the middle gave Newcastle a completely different look, regularly helping to create chances and space for others.
Difficult to believe that he is the same player this season.
Steve Bruce changed Newcastle’s formation at the start of the season, Miguel Almiron ending up having to fill a huge gap between midfield and Joelinton, so the immobile Jonjo Shelvey could be fitted into the team as a third central midfielder. Bruce then scrapped that and in more recent matches has ended up playing on the right.
Whilst individual players can always do better, Newcastle fans believe that Miguel Almiron has been the biggest victim of Steve Bruce’s ever changing and clueless tactics.
Now Paraguayan football writer Robert Rojas (see below) has backed up this sentiment, saying that Steve Bruce is playing Almiron out of position and stifling his game, to the player and team’s detriment.
Newcastle fans coined the term ‘Pardewed’ to describe the impact the former manager had on so many players who had shown promise, it looks like ‘Bruced’ is set to quickly come into common usage.
Robert Rojas via Twitter:
Steve Bruce on Miguel Almiron:
“He is not an out and out centre-forward or a natural number ten either, he is an old-fashioned inside forward. So we have got to try and get the best out of him.”
With all due respect, that’s simply not true and I find it difficult there.
You demonstrate your productivity by playing in the position you’re best at.
And as an attacking midfielder, Almiron has shown that at club & internationally for Paraguay too.
Tata Martino once called him an “atypical number 10”, but mainly functioning on an attacking side.
From a critical standpoint, you can see that Almiron seems pressured and stressed by the way he’s playing, and that’s where the critics come about if he’s “Premier League ready”, which personally, I think he is and using the eye test in previous games shows that he is.
Therefore, in a defensive side that Bruce is implementing (which doesn’t seem to be working), I just don’t see how Almiron & Newcastle can move forward being wasted in a position that doesn’t function him by being able to go in diagonally from the right wing, that’s my issue.
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