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I can’t believe what I’m reading about Allan Saint-Maximin…yet again – Suspend belief

2 months ago

It was back in December (2021) when I first saw it really building up a head of steam with (some fans) in regard to Allan Saint-Maximin.

At the time I wrote something on The Mag about it, ahead of the Man City home match (19 December 2021), back then Newcastle United struggling in the middle of a tough run of fixtures.

Then I saw similar in February and wrote another article about Allan Saint-Maximin and these ‘fans’ that was published by The Mag.

Now I find myself feeling obliged to do the same, as very very bizarrely, for me at least, a sizeable minority of Newcastle United fans want to make Allan Saint-Maximin into some kind of scapegoat.

The theory seems to be that the team under Eddie Howe has / had put a decent run together based largely on hard work / teamwork and ASM somehow doesn’t fit into this ‘success’ in terms of performances and results.

Eddie Howe asked what the situation is / was with Allan Saint-Maximin named on the bench once again at Everton:

“Maxi wasn’t close to starting [against Everton].

“He has had only two training sessions in four weeks and when you have had an intense spell of games like we’ve had, it’s very difficult to get that load into him.

“The trouble is, if you start him without that base [of training behind him], there’s a high chance he gets injured.

“No, we decided to use him from the bench again. I thought that he did well when he came on.

“He gave us an outlet and did what he always does, he is a threat one on one and dribbled with the ball very well.”

Even though Eddie Howe has explained the situation as to why Allan Saint-Maximin hasn’t been named in his starting elevens and indeed, the clear reasons why ASM isn’t able to play to the best of his ability, that still hasn’t stopped the stupidity from some Newcastle fans, as seen by these comments below, many of them since Everton.

Newcastle United fans commenting on Allan Saint-Maximin various places online, including Twitter:

‘We’ve been a better team without Allan Saint-Maximin, everyone rolling their sleeves up and fighting for results. No space in team for lazy players.’

‘You have to wonder if Saint-Maximin’s heart is still in it?’

‘ Allan Saint-Maximin, stupid’

‘I would rather have Jacob Murphy than ASM, works hard and you know what you get.”

‘He’s a maverick. One good game in 10. A luxury we can’t afford.’

‘Cash in on him in the summer.’

‘If he passed the ball when 3 other players overlap him maybe we would score more goals.’

‘A show pony. How about he kicks the ball in the net a few times and wins some games.’

‘Ask him why he’s such a lazy b.stard.’

‘Allan Saint-Maximin plays for himself, not Newcastle United.’

‘Leave him on bench. Been awful this season.’

‘Absolutely no end product as far as I can tell.’

Honestly, where do you start? If you think that the biggest problem for Newcastle United is Allan Saint-Maximin this season, then the only problem is you.

This idea that he is lazy, disinterested, doesn’t care, can’t be bothered etc etc, is absolutely crazy. The vast majority of matches this season, it is Allan Saint-Maximin who has put the most graft in. I can only assume that most Newcastle fans slagging him off, have never played much football themselves. It is by far the most tiring role to play in a team, when you are the player that carries the ball more than any other, gets the team team up the pitch more than any other, gets NUFC into the opposition box more than any other, more carries into the opposition box than any other…and so on.

You almost get the feeling that many of this sizeable minority of NUFC fans, will only be happy once they have driven the Frenchman away to another club. Sadly, the news clearly reaching him from this minority, particularly as he is very active online, Allan Saint-Maximin posting this on his social media in reaction to these clown comments he is seeing:

Allan Saint-Maximin 19 March 2022

How embarrassing is it, that one of the very few positive and uplifting people of the last few years of Ashley and Bruce, has felt the need to answer these self-appointed judges of his performances and commitment.

Allan Saint-Maximin stayed at Newcastle United under Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce and never tried to jump ship despite the shambles the club was. So…now (some!) fans want to drive him out, would be better without him and would rather have Jacob Murphy in the team???

Look at the Newcastle United players and their direct goal involvement in this 2021/22 Premier League season:

8 Allan Saint-Maximin (5 goals, 3 assists)

6 Callum Wilson (6 goals, 0 assists)

5 Ryan Fraser (2 goal, 3 assists)

3 Javier Manquillo (1 goal, 2 assists), Joelinton (2 goals, 1 assist), Fabian Schar (1 goal, 2 assists), Jonjo Shelvey (2 goals, 1 assist)

2 Joe Willock (2 goals, 0 assists), Kieran Trippier (2 goals), Jacob Murphy (1 goal, 1 assist), Sean Longstaff (1 goal, 1 assist), Matt Ritchie (2 assists)

1 Lascelles (1 goal), Wood (1 goal), Bruno (1 goal), Krafth (1 assist), Hayden (1 goal), Hendrick (1 goal), Clark (1 assist), Burn (1 assist)

The idea that Allan Saint-Maximin is just some kind of show pony with no end product is laughable, certainly compared to the other options Newcastle United currently have.

The team has looked far more solid BUT that has been massively down to bringing in Trippier, Burn and Targett at the back, which has then given Schar the opportunity to show how good he can be alongside better defenders / players, with Dubravka also improving to an extent because of that. You then have Joelinton as a big factor in that improvement in his new position, whilst the likes of Fraser, Willock and Shelvey have all bucked their ideas up under Eddie Howe.

However, reality is that in many recent games we still haven’t created many chances in the absence of ASM and the positive results have overwhelmingly been down to better and more disciplined defending.

Nobody can tell me that adding a fully fit and tuned up Allan Saint-Maximin to that now defensive solid base, wouldn’t be a bonus, rather than some kind of supposed negative.

I’m using some updated tables from the excellent ‘Other14‘ (they specialise in stats for the 14 clubs not part of the ‘big six’) to prove the Allan Saint-Maximin case,

This one as well….

…and this

Premier League Opponents Dribbled past 16 March 2022

As you can see, Allan Saint-Maximin the only Newcastle player in the top two lists when it comes to how many chances on average created for teammates in matches AND when it comes to average number of shots on target in matches.

As for his dribbling ability, we all know it is good BUT this above just shows how he does it against every club / team / opponent, having dribbled successfully past an amazing 112 different opponents so far this season, an astonishing 47 more than any other player in the other 14 Premier League clubs.

Allan Saint-Maximin clearly at a low point at the moment, clearly struggling with injury and fitness, as he tries to get back to 100%.

He needs the support of Newcastle United fans at this time, not way over the top criticism!

Eddie Howe has explained, Allan Saint-Maximin hasn’t even been able to train properly this month, apart from a couple of sessions. Forget all the daft conspiracy theories and this idea that we are better without him, remember instead just how good Allan Saint-Maximin can be and what we have seen so often before in a Newcastle shirt, despite being surrounded by a pretty poor group of players in the main.

Just imagine how good he can be with a solid defence behind him who can also play a bit of football, Joelinton and a fully PL up to speed Bruno G, plus some other quality players signed to play in the attacking half and really give the opposition something to think about, playing alongside Allan Saint-Maximin.


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