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Opinion

The big problem isn’t Miguel Almiron it is Newcastle United signing 2 strikers who don’t score goals

4 weeks ago
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Miguel Almiron has become the main target for the lazy and feeble-minded.

Somehow he has ended up with the lion’s share of the blame for Newcastle United not scoring enough goals.

This is especially so when you subtract the goals that defenders have contributed to Newcastle’s meagre total so far this season.

The bottom line for me is that when you look at his career as a whole, Miguel Almiron isn’t really a regular goalscorer. So if anybody believed/expected he would be scoring regularly in the Premier League, they had very unrealistic expectations. Even the player himself has said (see below) ‘I’ve never been a massive goalscorer.’

He now has 31 goals in 171 league appearances and with one goal in 24 appearances for Paraguay, that is 32 goals in 195 appearance in international football and club league football. Just less than one goal every six games on average.

So I do think Miguel Almiron should obviously be scoring more than he has done so far at Newcastle BUT I think we should also accept that we are looking at a player who could/should be getting maybe six goals or so at best a season, rather than be expecting double figures, plus he has never played at a standard close to the level of the Premier League.

At his first club in Paraguay, Miguel Almiron scored only six goals in 39 league appearances, whilst with Lanus in Argentina it was three goals in 35 league appearances.

When he signed for Atlanta United in 2017, Almiron actually made a great start in terms of goals, getting his first goal in only his second game and scoring seven goals in the first 11 starts, getting nine goals in all that season. In his second MLS season it was a very similar story, first goal in his second appearance of the season and six goals in first six games of the campaign, scoring 13 in total by the end.

Altogether, Miguel Almiron scored 22 goals in 68 MLS appearances but one strange thing is how few games these goals came in. Almiron failed to score in 54 of the 68 MLS games, whilst of the 14 games he scored in, only seven of the matches did he score once in and in the other seven scoring games he got one hat-trick and scored twice on another six occasions. Another consideration is that Almiron also regularly took the penalties for Atlanta United, so five of his 22 MLS goals were penalties, plus he missed a penalty as well.

To be honest, it is the same with Allan Saint-Maximin, is it realistic to expect many goals from him?

Well, a quick look at his stats shows that he scored 13 goals in 127 league appearances before he arrived at Newcastle, an average of around a goal every 10 games. It will be a big surprise if ASM scores bucket loads.

I think that rather than looking at ASM and Almiron, you have to look at the ‘strategy’ in the summer for signing strikers.

Newcastle United had lost their only two regular goalscorers in Rondon and Perez, so they had to replace them with two credible goalscoring options.

Instead, Mike Ashley insisted on signing Andy Carroll who has now scored three league goals in the last 32 months and isn’t even capable of starting games, as well as making Joelinton an essential £40m (allegedly) buy.

The Brazilian has now scored only four league goals in the past almost 13 months, his best season was scoring eight goals in the very weak Austrian league.

This is by far the biggest reason Newcastle are struggling for goals from attacking players, signing two strikers who don’t score many.

I would argue that ASM and Miguel Almiron are actually doing a very good job, playing in a negative formation, they are the ones who get Newcastle up the pitch with their running on the ball and indeed get NUFC into the positions, especially set-piece ones, where Newcastle have scored most of their goals from.

Newcastle needed to recruit the like of ASM and Almiron but they also needed to buy in a couple of regular goalscoring central strikers. That is where they have gone badly wrong.

Miguel Almiron after the opening day of the season defeat to Arsenal and searching for that elusive goal – 13 August 2019:

“I’m very happy in the city, with the people and how I’m treated by the fans, and hopefully that reflects on the field. I want to pay back all those kind thoughts and good wishes I receive all the time from the fans by performing.

“I’m quite relaxed about it (waiting to score his first goal for Newcastle), the main thing is that I’m performing well and providing opportunities for other players, and I’m bringing things to the side other than just goals.

“I’ve never been a massive goalscorer but I’m confident that the goal will come.

“You don’t have to worry about these things too much and the goal will come. I feel good in myself, and the main thing is to help the team in every aspect.

“The fact that quality players have come in, attacking players, is a positive for the club and the team.”

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