Steve Bruce raves about quality of Rafa Benitez signing
Steve Bruce will tuck into Christmas Dinner sitting on 25 points.
A points total built on disciplined and gritty defending, minimal chances created, a whole lot of luck, along with some real moments of quality.
We saw all of those factors coming into play on Saturday.
Dubravka and his defence excellent, next to no chances created by NUFC, luck as Palace wasted some excellent chances, then the big moment of quality as Miguel Almiron hammered home the winner with Newcastle’s only serious effort on target in the entire game.
Miguel Almiron was always going to be the big talking point and Steve Bruce was more than happy to chat about the Paraguayan.
Saying about the excellent Rafa Benitez signing: ‘If there is one out there as good as him (Miguel Almiron), then I will bray down the door.’
Whilst the media have repeatedly slaughtered Almiron unfairly, the Newcastle fans have upset the journalists by refusing to join in with the calls to drop him.
On the very last day (31 January 2019) of his fourth and what proved final transfer window after promotion in 2017, Rafa Benitez was finally allowed to buy a player for over £10m, the then NUFC manager having repeatedly said that to stand a chance in the top tier, you have to properly invest in attacking players to boost creativity and goals. Whilst value for money is still possible to be found in more defensive positions, if players create and score goals then that is transparent to all.
When Rafa was finally allowed to spend £20m on quality to add to his attack, the impact was immediate.
Given a lot of freedom by Benitez, Almiron really sparked Newcastle’s play into life and Newcastle won three of his first four starts and he brought the best out of Rondon and Perez, not scoring himself but providing the platform for the pair to finish the season in excellent goalscoring form.
The form over the last 16 games of last season saw Newcastle with the fifth best in the PL and they scored 26 goals in those matches, the fifth highest in the top tier.
Speaking about Miguel Almiron, Steve Bruce says: ‘Can we find another one as good as him? I’m not so sure…But make no mistake. If we can find a player like him for that money, I will bray down the door if we can get him.’
This is the tricky part of course because Steve Bruce had no say in the summer signings, so why should we think anything will be different in January and beyond?
Mike Ashley insists on wasting £40m on Joelinton despite Rafa Benitez stating the Brazilian was not worth more than £20m at the very most and wasn’t what Newcastle needed.
Imagine the impact NUFC might have made this season if they had added a couple of goalscoring strikers to play alongside the likes of Almiron?
Steve Bruce talking about Rafa Benitez signing Miguel Almiron and the transfer window(s) coming up:
“My job is to say…If there is one out there as good as him (Miguel Almiron), then I will bray down the door.
“Can we find another one as good as him?
“I’m not so sure…
“But make no mistake.
“If we can find a player like him for that money, I will bray down the door if we can get him.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 0 – Saturday 21 December 3pm
Possession was Palace 58%, Newcastle 42%
Total shots were Palace 16 , Newcastle 8
Shots on target were Palace 4, Newcastle 3
Corners were Palace 5, Newcastle 4
Referee: Simon Hooper
Newcastle team v Crystal Palace:
Dubravka, Manquillo, Schar, Lejeune, Fernandez, Dummett (Yedlin 90+2), Hayden (Sean Longstaff 64), Shelvey, Almiron, Joelinton (Gayle 77), Carroll
Darlow, Krafth, Matty Longstaff, Atsu
(A must see as Jeff Stelling and Phil Thompson react to moment when Miguel Almiron scores – Watch/read HERE)
(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 0 – Read HERE)
(Roy Hodgson says he can’t believe Crystal Palace didn’t win, never mind lose to Newcastle United – Read HERE)
(After first goal in 405 days Miguel Almiron says he is on the Coke tonight to celebrate! – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 0 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s win – Read HERE)
(A message from Miguel Almiron as Steve Bruce raves about him and two other Newcastle stars – Read HERE)
(Watch THAT Miguel Almiron goal here and the official Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 0 match highlights – Watch HERE)
(Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 0 and Pat Nevin calls it right on Miguel Almiron! – Read HERE)
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