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Kieran Trippier needed, back 4 embarrassment, looking for scapegoats and 4 January signings essential

1 month ago

The scoreline might have ended up as Newcastle 0 Manchester City 4….but NUFC actually had a lot more good situations and pressure up front than I’d had any hope of.

Obviously we didn’t take advantage, but on another day, could and should have scored at least two or three.

With Callum Wilson’s header (only effort on target!) bringing a quality save from Ederson, the ridiculous penalty decision that wasn’t given, or even apparently looked at by VAR…Isaac Hayden with a free header in the middle of the goal only six yards out, Joelinton’s powerful run and shot that went just wide, plus a number of other ok moments.

The thing is though, when reflecting on what I watched at St James Park yesterday, that Isaac Hayden feeble header wide from just six yards, sums up our entire squad in an attacking sense.

Absolutely none of our players, with the exception of Callum Wilson, have any desire or belief that they are going to score goals.

I think to be honest, the only other player I would put remotely in that category is Fabian Schar. When he strikes a ball he does have belief, as we have seen with his shooting, usually from long range, previously. A central defender, he has seven goals despite on 61 Premier League starts for Newcastle United and I reckon his success ratio of shots to goals must be pretty good, considering few opportunities he gets from his defensive position.

I am not advocating playing Fabian Schar in midfield because that most definitely isn’t the answer.

I just think other players have to step up. Other players have to be putting in the work on the training ground and telling themselves they do have it in them to score goals, more than once in a very long while.

Yes Joelinton has improved markedly under Eddie Howe and now looks a real player, however, to be properly effective and of use, he has to be hitting the target regularly and making the keeper have to save.

ASM is another, he scores some but nowhere near enough, his shooting is invariably high and / or wide. Almiron is capable but hasn’t scored in an age.

Alan Shearer has said that he is willing to do whatever to help since the new owners took control, just maybe he could be asked to go along to the training ground and watch Newcastle’s attacking players go through their sessions, giving them advice on where they are going wrong, how they can improve, how to strike the ball like a…legend. As things stand, it looks more like NUFC’s loans (that’s another issue of total failure!) supremo Shola Ameobi is having a word in the ears of Joelinton, ASM and the rest…

Concentrating back on Newcastle 0 Manchester City 4, you have to say that when you saw the back four you knew there was going to be pain.

I see Martin Dubravka getting some stick now from some fans and whilst it is well over the top and undeserved, I do think he may well be losing the plot a bit, after having played behind this lot for so long.

Ciaran Clark, Matt Ritchie, Jamaal Lascelles and Jacob Murphy were first choice under Steve Bruce in a back four or five, whilst quite bizarrely, the likes of Jamal Lewis and Javier Manquillo were consistently ignored.

With the likes of Manquillo, Fernandez and Lewis ruled out on Sunday, Eddie Howe had pretty much no alternative but to play those four above, well unless he played that cracking Steve Bruce signing, Emil Krafth…

Yet I see some fans questioning why Newcastle United would sign somebody like Kieran Trippier, the current England first choice right-back, who won La Liga only seven months ago. Yes he is 31 and yes he will cost money and expect paying but this idea of money better spent elsewhere is crazy. Yes Newcastle need better players in other areas of the pitch but nowhere more so than in defence, it wouldn’t be just signing a right-back if Trippier came, it would be signing somebody who could also make players around him better, as in other defenders…in particular.

I find the criticism of ASM somewhat bizarre, when he came on yesterday after the break he caused Man City problems. Yes he is still a diamond that needs plenty of polishing still BUT he is one of the VERY few positives in this Newcastle team.

I have just noticed more and more people as they are getting more p.ssed off and looking for somebody to blame, a scapegoat, pick up on his mannerisms, where he will have hands on hips etc. No wonder when he dribbles past five people over half the pitch and then passes and somebody misses easy chance!

Lot of idiots not realising how much physically it takes to be the one dribbling and repeatedly taking on people in such a hopeless team.

These people / critics have gone down a route of ASM supposedly not working as hard as others, which in their eyes is defending. All the attacking stars show though that ASM is easily our best player, the one who gets the team up the pitch, creates chances, takes the ball into the opposition penalty area and so on. He is also, along with Callum Wilson, our most productive player when it comes to goals. Wilson involved in six PL goals (scoring six), whilst ASM is also involved in six so far (scoring three and three assists), next most productive this season is Javier Manquillo! The Spaniard scoring one with two assists.

In an ideal world I think we need a minimum of four decent players arriving ASAP in January, whether they are loans or buys. Get those four playing with our few decent quality players (ASM, Wilson, Dubravka) and then hope Almiron can step it up again, Joelinton can continue this upward curve he recently started and a few others can rise to the occasion as well.

It isn’t ideal BUT it could be enough for survival.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Manchester City 4  – Sunday 19 December 2pm

(Half-time stats in brackets)


Man City:

Dias 5, Cancelo 27, Mahrez 63, Sterling 86


Possession was Man City 74% (64%) Newcastle 26% (36%)

Total shots were Man City 18 (6) Newcastle 5 (3)

Shots on target were Man City 7 (3) Newcastle 1 (0)

Corners were Man City 6 (3) Newcastle 3 (1)

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Crowd: 52,127 (3,000 Man City)

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Murphy, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Hayden (Longstaff 61), Willock (Saint-Maximin 45), Fraser, Almiron (Hendrick 80), Joelinton, Wilson

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Schar, Krafth, Anderson, Gayle, White

(10 Newcastle United players given new contracts when should have got rid – That is why we’re in such a mess – Read HERE)

(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 0 Manchester City 4 – Read HERE)

(Former top referee rules on controversial Newcastle United v Manchester City incident – Read HERE)

(Alan Shearer speaks for all Newcastle United fans after these key incidents v Manchester City – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 0 Manchester City 4 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Sunday’s defeat – Read HERE)


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