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Eddie Howe says speaking to Newcastle squad to limit fallout from Allan Saint-Maximin comments

2 weeks ago
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Allan Saint-Maximin once again made the headlines this week.

Ahead of the game against Manchester City, the winger having given an interview back in France.

The quotes from an interview with ‘So Foot’ not coming across in the best possible way…

So Foot quoting Allan Saint-Maximin as saying:

“Those who have played with me know very well that in terms of pure quality, I have nothing to envy from Sadio Mane.”

“The day when I have a player capable of finishing the actions (assists), I will have seasons with 10-15 assists, and I will change opinions in the people’s heads.”

“Doing things that make an impression, changing the rules, that’s the goal. Like what Michael Jordan managed to do. Jordan, he changed some people’s lives, he gave people work, and that’s the beauty of it.”

On Friday morning, Eddie Howe has addressed the Allan Saint-Maximin comments and the reaction they have provoked.

The Newcastle United Head Coach telling journalists that he will be speaking to the first team squad to try and avoid / diminish any ‘fallout’ between other players and Allan Saint-Maximin.

Howe said that ASM had came and spoken to him, insisting it is a case of ‘taken out of context’ with these quotes.

Allan Saint-Maximin stating that the quotes in question haven’t ‘come across in the way that he’d meant them to come over’…

In the past, like pretty much every other Premier League club, Newcastle United began to control far tighter the player interaction with the media, all interviews having to be approved and trying to ensure as far as possible that as few own goals as possible damaged the club.

Under Mike Ashley, things appear to have gradually slipped and at least from the outside, there appears to have been a lot more freedom for players to speak to whoever they want and say whatever they want.

We saw in the past how especially interviews with foreign media could especially be ‘lost in translation’ unless properly controlled and I’m sure that along with countless other areas of the club, the media department this summer will be getting a major shake up as we move forward. Mike Ashley having only allowed a skeleton staff to run the club and so many areas of it lacking the levels of expertise needed to run a club of Newcastle United’s size.

As with all Allan Saint-Maximin debates, there isn’t very often a 100% correct final answer…

Here is a table from the Other 14, who specialise in stats on clubs and players who aren’t the ‘big six’ clubs and players in the Premier League.

Other 14 Premier League clubs most chances created in open play up to 28 April 2022

So, outside those playing for the self-appointed six elite clubs, Allan Saint-Maximin has created more chances for teammates than any other player, plus ASM has missed a few games, only starting 28 of the 35 so far.

This is the up to date list of Newcastle United direct goal involvements in the Premier League 2021/22:

9 Allan Saint-Maximin (5 goals and 4 assists)

6 Callum Wilson (6 goals and 0 assists)

5 Bruno Guimaraes (4 goals and 1 assist)

5 Ryan Fraser (2 goals and 3 assists)

5 Joelinton (4 goals and 1 assist)

4 Fabian Schar (2 goals and 2 assists)

3 Javier Manquillo (1 goal and 2 assists)

3 Jonjo Shelvey (2 goals and 1 assist)

3 Jacob Murphy (1 goal and 2 assists)

2 Kieran Trippier (2 goals and 0 assists)

2 Chris Wood (2 goals and 0 assists)

2 Joe Willock (2 goals and 0 assists)

2 Matt Ritchie (0 goals and 2 assists)

2 Sean Longstaff (1 goal and 1 assist)

1 Dan Burn (assist), Emil Krafth (assist), Miguel Almiron (goal) Jamaal Lascelles (goal), Isaac Hayden (goal), Jeff Hendrick (goal), Ciaran Clark (assist)

I think the bottom line is that two things need to happen.

Newcastle United desperately need to improve the attacking threat and quality of attacking players, with hopefully the transfer window this summer helping significantly.

Allan Saint-Maximin also needs to significantly increase his own contribution, certainly when it comes to consistency (and when it comes to choosing who he trusts and talks to in interviews…).

In his last two seasons in France, ASM got 10 direct goal involvements (3 goals, 7 assists) in Ligue 1 in 2017/18, then 9 (6 goals and 3 assists) in 2018/19.

Then at Newcastle United the last two seasons have been 7 both times, each season with 3 goals and 4 assists. Now this season it is his best in the Premier League so far but still only 9 (5 goals, 4 assists).

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