New report proves how ridiculous Steve Bruce has been with treatment of Miguel Almiron
The treatment of Miguel Almiron by Steve Bruce pretty much sums up his management ability and ‘style’ at Newcastle United.
In the vast majority of the matches he has started in these past 19 months, Miguel Almiron has basically been played as an extra defender by Steve Bruce.
Almiron was excellent when he first arrived at the club, Rafa Benitez instantly changing the way Newcastle played to a front foot style in the vast majority of games, now he finally had some pace in his frontline.
In the final sixteen Premier League games before Mike Ashley forced him out, with the help of Miguel Almiron, Rafa Benitez’ Newcastle United had the fifth best form of the 20 PL clubs over the course of those 16 PL games, also scoring the fifth highest number of goals.
I think it is fair to say that Steve Bruce hasn’t had a clue in terms of what to do with Miguel Almiron, where to play him, in what formation etc etc.
This season, one of the (many many) excuses that Steve Bruce has used for the shocking football we have watched and the team ending up fourth bottom, is that he has hardly had any opportunities to play his best attacking players together on the pitch, blaming injuries and illness.
Well, Miguel Almiron has been available all season and has been named in every single one of Bruce’s 24 Premier League matchday squads this season.
However, you may be surprised to learn that Miguel Almiron has only started two thirds (16 of 24) of Newcastle’s Premier League matches.
Indeed, in Newcastle United’s first 17 Premier League games of the season, Almiron only started nine of them.
Things reached the absolute ridiculous with the extreme negative team selection and tactics Steve Bruce chose for the Sheffield United game on 12 January 2021. Newcastle losing to and totally outplayed by a team who had lost 18 of their last 20 Premier League matches, drawing two and winning none.
Steve Bruce didn’t start Miguel Almiron and didn’t even bring him off the bench in that dire match, unbelievable.
Desperate for a change in fortune, a clueless Steve Bruce had no choice but to put Miguel Almiron back in, the Paraguayan starting these last seven Premier League matches. Nobody would claim this has been an instant cure BUT Newcastle United have looked far better with Miguel Almiron starting each match and playing further up the pitch in a more attacking position. You know, like what happened and where he played when he was first signed by Rafa Benitez!
These last seven games seeing seven goals scored, Miguel Almiron scoring three of them, bringing two wins. The previous eight games having brought zero wins, the previous six only one goal in over nine hours of football.
I wouldn’t claim that Miguel Almiron is the greatest player in the world BUT he should always be one of the first to be named in this Newcastle United team, with only Callum Wilson ahead of him.
Indeed, with Wilson out injured now, probably for the rest of the season, Miguel Almiron is top scorer of the rest of the squad with four Premier League goals, then a massive red light flashing when you consider that Jeff Hendrick is the only other NUFC player to have scored more than one PL goal this season.
What about the underlying statistics though?
Has Steve Bruce proved correct in leaving Miguel Almiron out of the team and treating him so shabbily?
Well, a new report has been published after the weekend’s results.
The table below has been published by ‘The Other 14’ (who specialise on stats/tables etc on the 14 clubs who aren’t the ‘Big Six’) which shows the Premier League players who have created the most chances in open play (not including set-pieces):
Who would have guessed it, out of all the players featuring for ‘other 14’ teams, the top twenty features only Miguel Almiron.
The Paraguayan creating on average 1.36 chances per 90 minutes in Premier League matches. Not a single other Newcastle United player features.
No surprise to see Villa and Leeds players dominating at the top of this list.
However, when it comes to the relegation battle, interesting to see Brighton with three in the table above Almiron AND especially Fulham with two so high, even West Brom having a player creating more chances than any NUFC player, as well as Burnley with one higher.
Quite incredible just how often Steve Bruce has left out Miguel Almiron (as well as playing him in the wrong position(s)), instead finding places in the team for the likes of Joelinton, Hendrick, Carroll, Murphy etc etc.
I can’t believe a single other Premier League manager would have been so clueless and not known how to play Miguel Almiron, certainly not leaving him out of the team like Bruce, absolutely criminal.
Yet when in recent games Miguel Almiron has at last played further up the pitch and been Newcastle’s best player, Steve Bruce’s mates in the media have tried to give the NUFC Head Coach the credit for the improved form!!!
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