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Opinion

New Newcastle United manager and these 5 team changes can transform this NUFC side

1 month ago
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It goes without saying that we need a new Newcastle United manager in place ASAP.

Even if for some bizarre reason you had still thought Steve Bruce was the man for the job, the shambles on Sunday surely convinced you finally.

Despite the luxury and lift of that early Callum Wilson goal, there was absolutely no strategy to go on and win the game from that point.

It was bewildering as fans tried to work out what the tactics were and indeed even where certain players were supposed to be playing.

Then afterwards, we had this usual nonsense from Steve Bruce where he talks about how bad Newcastle were both in terms of attacking threat and defending, yet gives no guidance at all in terms of what he is going to do to fix it (aside from ‘dusting worselves doon’) and indeed, makes it sound like the shambles we have seen yet again on the pitch is actually nothing to do with him and as though he could / should have no influence on it.

Everything crossed then that very (very, very) soon we will hear Steve Bruce has gone, with a new Newcastle United manager revealed quickly.

Surely nobody doubts that whoever comes in can get more out of this group of players and indeed, even if say Graeme Jones ended up caretaker boss for Saturday at Palace, I would expect a far better showing.

A significant part of that, will be hopefully a number of team changes, regardless of who is in charge.

This is the team that Steve Bruce had out on the pitch against Spurs:

Darlow, Manquillo, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Longstaff, Hayden, Willock, Joelinton, ASM, Wilson

The one change I would definitely make and that I cannot blame Bruce for not making, is goalkeeper.

We urgently need Martin Dubravka back in the team, a real top quality keeper and potential game changer for us. Darlow did well initially last season when filling in but his form declined drastically, whilst this season he’s had a shocker to be honest. Brought back in for these last four matches, Darlow was at fault for the Leeds goal, could / should have done better for both Wolves goals, whilst no idea what he was doing when gifting Kane the chance to put Spurs into the lead.

As for the centre of defence, Fernandez and Schar must honestly be looking at it in disbelief.

Ciaran Clark has been a great servant to the club but how on earth is he still in the team? Instead of a new contract he should have been off in the summer to a Championship club or abroad for one last go at regular football, in the Premier League though he is so badly exposed now.

As for Jamaal Lascelles, those couple of PL seasons under Rafa Benitez and talks of an England call up, now seem like a lifetime ago. Gets caught out time after time, isn’t reading the game, slow, whilst as for on the ball, he was never great…but now he just literally kicks it anywhere like a Sunday league defender.

Federico Fernandez isn’t quick either but is a calm head and decent organiser, I think he can help pull things together in the short-term and give NUFC a chance of correcting this horrendous record of 19 goals in only eight PL matches this season. Lets pick a new defence and stick with it, I would make the former Argentine international the captain as well.

As for Fabian Schar, he isn’t the best defender if we are honest BUT compared to what we watched on Sunday and in so many other games, he would be a major upgrade. Plus on top of that we get a football player who will get us playing better football and not just gifting possession back to the opposition.

At left-back, Matt Ritchie never gives up…but enough is enough. We can’t have him continuing a moment longer as an out and out left-back. He is a seriously liability in defence game after game and needs to be relieved of this task.

Steve Bruce paid £15m for Jamal Lewis and yet has just simply refused to give him a chance, not a single Premier League start since February and minimal minutes off the bench. Watching him for Northern Ireland I think he looks decent and how on earth he can’t get a chance in our shambles of team is a total mystery. Quick and relatively young (23), get him in the team and give him and the side a chance.

The other change is of course a no-brainer and that is Miguel Almiron back in the side. Steve Bruce said last Friday he wouldn’t be playing the Paraguayan because of his long journey back from Bolivia. Well some of our players against Tottenham made it look like they had travelled an awful lot further than making it back from South America!

Almiron has to be in, even purely just for his workrate BUT when / if a new manager comes in, we will also hopefully see him played to his real strengths further up the pitch and given more license to press higher up and help give NUFC more of a threat.

So, this is what I would see as the first choice eleven under a new Newcastle United manager, starting on Saturday hopefully, I’m not greatest fan of Hayden and think he has been poor for some time, including on Sunday, so would potentially play Ritchie ahead of him in a new look midfield and shape:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Fernandez, Schar, Lewis, Longstaff, Hayden or Ritchie, Willock, Almiron, ASM, Wilson

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