Alan Shearer – Newcastle United can challenge Manchester United if these late signings happen
Alan Shearer was loving it on Sunday.
Along with the rest of the Newcastle United fanbase, the NUFC legend buoyed by the performance against the best team in the Premier League / in Europe / in the world.
It was no fluke, Newcastle fully deserving their point and potentially more, as countless chances were created by NUFC. It ended 3-3 but could easily have been any kind of crazy score to either side or even a 7-7 draw, as Nick Pope contributed some superb saves and had all but zero chance with the three he did concede.
In the aftermath of that superb display, Alan Shearer has been looking at what could potentially lie ahead this season for Newcastle United, based on the situation he currently sees.
The former NUFC and England number nine thinks ‘best of the rest’ could be on for the team he supports, a chance to move up to seventh in the table by the end of the season.
As for any higher, Alan Shearer thinks that Manchester United look vulnerable and Newcastle United could challenge for a place in the top six, BUT that would depend on a flurry of late transfer activity from (Newcastle) United.
If Alexander Isak and the right attacking player on loan could also be added, this would potentially raise Newcastle United to another level, with Eddie Howe having already completely rebuilt the defence, brought in Bruno G, plus got the likes of ASM and Joelinton especially, playing so well.
Watch this space!
Alan Shearer talking to BBC Sport about Newcastle United hopes for the season, following the remarkable 3-3 draw against Manchester City:
“Newcastle could have a chance of being the best of the rest this season. That might have included Manchester United in sixth place but unless they rapidly sign three or four players in the remainder of the transfer window, that finish will not happen.
“I feel a Europa Conference League spot is a realistic target, which you can achieve by claiming seventh spot.
“They took City apart at times in Sunday’s contest. That is no surprise – it is the level that they have set within the football club and how the manager wants them to play; he has said that. They have put up a really good performance and shown up. And the fans will have gone home really happy that they have taken a point out of the game.
“City came up against a good Newcastle side in a terrific atmosphere at St James’ Park, with the fans driving them forward.”
“Allan Saint-Maximin ran Kyle Walker ragged. The England full-back had his socks on inside out at full-time. I can’t remember a player running past him as many times as that in a game. There is no doubt Saint-Maximin has the ability. His final ball was superb against City.
“The Frenchman has provided four assists for Callum Wilson in the league now – the most he has given for any Newcastle player – which just shows the understanding that the pair have. If they can stay fit, then they will create chances, particularly if Saint-Maximin plays like that. When he is on song, he is very difficult to stop.
“Wilson mentioned in the matchday programme about breaking back into the England squad and that has to be his aim. Harry Kane is the striker that will play in Qatar but there are places up for grabs behind him. We know Wilson will score goals and that he is a really good player; the one issue you have is his fitness.
“The manager took him off with 15-20 minutes to go against City and that might become a regular tactic to save him from getting injuries in the last portion of the match when he is tired and the muscles are fatiguing.
“Meanwhile, Nick Pope has made a really positive start to his Newcastle career and has to be pushing Everton’s Jordan Pickford for England’s number one jersey heading into the World Cup. He was brilliant at Brighton last week where he kept a clean sheet, winning his team a point.”
“It is really exciting times for Newcastle, considering where they were a few years back and at the beginning of last season. When Howe took over in November, the side were 19th in the table and five points from safety. Look at where they are now – and look at the hope that the city and football club has.
“The new owners have come in and done their business in a very sensible and measured way. That is the right way to go and everyone is very happy with that. There have been numerous clubs trying to make success happen quickly by spending. Everton are a good example of that – look at the money they have wasted over the years in chasing the dream.
“The owners are looking to bring in not just the right players but the right characters too – people who want to immerse themselves in the city, such as Kieran Trippier, Sven Botman, Matt Targett, Dan Burn and Pope.”
Bruno gets it:
“But in particular, Bruno Guimaraes fits that description – because of where he is from in Brazil, he just gets the area.
“It shows the way the club want to do things. Against City, he picked up an early booking but continued to work hard for the side and covered more ground (11.98km) than any other player on the pitch.”
Strategy working so far:
“At the minute, the strategy is working for Newcastle. The owners have galvanised the club and supporters after the toxicity of the Mike Ashley reign. They brought Howe in and the manager has done a magnificent job so far.
“There are 10 days remaining in the transfer window and if Newcastle can get a couple more players in, certainly in a forward position and possibly in midfield, they would be in better shape. It would really enhance their chances of finishing in a better position than last season.
“I know they are actively looking and a forward is what they are trying to get in.
“It would be unfair to name players at other clubs but Newcastle do need to sign a player in the forward positions and without doubt a midfielder too. Jonjo Shelvey is out for a period of time and will need cover.”
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