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Opinion

The way forward for Newcastle United – Lessons need to be learnt

4 weeks ago
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Sunday’s loss against Brighton just highlights the disparity in the way a football club is run.

Brighton with all due respect, are recent entrants compared to Newcastle, but the Board has got their appointments bang on.

A progressive coach, wise investments in players and most importantly, ambition to move forward and not just stay put.

Congratulations to Graham Potter and the players on a clinical performance with almosty negligible summer spend this
season.

This is what a good coach can do – make the team better than the sum of its parts. Imagine Graham being the Newcastle coach, at least we would be able to see some better football than the dire defensive football that we have had to see week in and out last season (Mr. Ashley, hope you did have your eyes open). But more than the defeat, the manner of it, with no attempt to even try to make a match of it, was the most disappointing as a Newcastle supporter.

I think all Newcastle fans can agree we do not have any philosophy of how we want to approach a football match.

Last season we carried on from Rafa’s playbook of playing a back three and hitting teams on the counter with Almiron and ASM and we just about scraped through (yes we might have finished 13th ) but that’s mainly because the other teams were more dreadful than us and we managed to survive, thanks mainly to wins against 10 man Sheffield and relegated Bournemouth after the restart.

Steve Bruce just believes in picking the players and “let them do their stuff”, but with many of the Premier League Managers being amongst the best in the world, this will no longer work in the long run and I fear for our survival this season.

So he should stick to what we did best last season and pray for the best .

So what should Bruce do?

Defence:

Except Lewis, all our defenders cannot defend against pace.

With a back four, more gaps creep in and we will be opened up when teams play quick midfield interchanges and quick counters (Brighton’s second goal). We cannot play a back four with Lewis wanting to join in attacks. We have to revert to a back three, keeping things tight and compact so that opposition teams have to go for aerial crosses which our defenders can deal with.

Midfield:

Jonjo Shelvey will have an odd good game but is extremely inconsistent and really can’t dictate the game, especially when we have to chase. We need energy and bite in midfield to hassle opponents to win the ball back, at least in our half; players who can transition quickly from defence to attack and vice versa so that they can join the counters and overload the opposition box when we get a chance.

I would have Almiron and the Longstaff brothers in midfield. This makes our engine room dynamic, pacy and agile.

Attack:

ASM is not going to defend and really can’t. I would rather use his energy in the opposition half rather than having him track back. With Ryan and Wilson as the other two we can at least hope to have a few opportunities in the game.

This is going to be a long hard season for Newcastle Fans, new signings notwithstanding.

Let’s look at teams expected to be at the bottom:

Crystal Place have stated off with two wins, including beating Man Utd.

Villa have shelled out around £70m.

Brighton have just beaten us.

Leeds look like they could hit us for a six and West Brom and Fulham will fight tooth and nail under a Croatian who you would not like to face in a bar fight and our very own former captain Scott Parker who will bring his dogged determination.

Some changes have to be made quickly if we Newcastle United are to survive this season.

(Ganesh Mani – A passionate Newcastle United fan from India)

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