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Tony Cottee says Newcastle United were ‘slightly unfortunate’ at Leicester as analyses West Ham game

1 year ago
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Tony Cottee is a West Ham legend.

The striker scoring well over 100 goals across two spells at the club.

He also made a habit of scoring against Newcastle United.

The most ‘memorable’ being when scoring after only 33 seconds of the start of the season in 1988, going on to get a hat-trick as Newcastle lost 4-0 to Everton. The Magpies seeing their season over within seconds with eventual relegation nine months later.

Tony Cottee sees this as a game potentially won in midfield, between homegrown/British players.

It is also a game possibly to be decided by the two strikers who cost £40m (Joelinton) and £45m (Haller) in the summer.

Cottee talking about the need for better service for Haller, whilst Joelinton as rarely seen the ball so far in the penalty area.

Everything is relative though and the West Ham striker already has four PL goals and an assist in nine games, compared to one PL goal and no assists for the NUFC forward.

Newcastle were regularly linked with Haller (and many others) in the past before bizarrely Mike Ashley insisted that Joelinton was the one that Newcastle had to spend £40m on.

The past five seasons Haller has only failed to score double figures in the league once and that was still nine in 26 Bundesliga games for Eintracht Franfurt in 2017/18.

In contrast Joelinton has never got double figures in a league season and his best is eight in the weak Austrian league.

Last season, Joelinton got eight goal and six assists for Hoffenheim in all competitions, whilst Haller got 20 goals and 12 assists. The figures simply don’t add up as to why Ashley insisted Joelinton was worth £40m+.

Can Joelinton get the goal(s) today to start proving people wrong and maybe most importantly, can a Newcastle team that have faile dto get a single corner or effort on goal in the last two away games, manage to get any kind of decent service to the Brazilian?

Tony Cottee talking to the official West Ham site:

“We could see an all-British central midfield battle, with Declan Rice, Mark Noble and Snoddy up against the likes of Jonjo Shelvey and young Matthew Longstaff. The older Longstaff brother, Sean, is of course suspended, but that area of the field could have a big impact on the outcome of today’s game.

“I watched Steve Bruce’s men recently in their match at Leicester, when they conceded five after going down to ten men and were slightly unfortunate, because they actually defended well for long periods of the game and only ran out of energy late on.

“Whether they play a back four or back five today, I would expect them to follow a similar pattern of play, perhaps not as adventurous going forward as Sheffield United, but they will make it difficult for us.

“From our point of view, it will again be about producing the right quality and approach to break them down. I personally would like to see us find a way of providing Sebastien Haller with a bit more aerial service from wide areas – crosses that he can attack or get on the end of in the box, because he certainly has the quality in that sense. He wins a lot of headers and flick-ons with his back to goal, and we must do more to utilise that strength close to goal.

“There has been a lot of talk about how we can play to Sebastien’s strengths and prevent him from looking isolated, but in my opinion it is more about the quality of delivery than how we line up or the shape of our attack. We know that we have the players capable of making assists for him because we have seen evidence of it already this season – but we do have to be more ruthless when those opportunities present themselves.

Today, though, will definitely be a case of winning the midfield battle before being able to make our extra quality count.

“The players shouldn’t be too down-hearted about how the last two home games (leading in both but losing one and drawing the other) have turned out – it’s all about fine margins, and if we keep playing and having belief in our ability, the goals will definitely come.”

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