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Football News: Team Review - Newcastle United

Team Review - Newcastle United
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Team Review - Newcastle United

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League Position: 12th

 

Goalkeepers:

Freddie Woodman
Martin Dubravka
Karl Darlow
Mark Gillespie

I know a lot of people like Dubravka, but he makes far too many needless mistakes for my liking to be a number 1 goalkeeper and Darlow is not good enough. For me they need to invest in a top class goalkeeper to help steady their defence.

 


Defenders:

Jamaal Lascelles
Fabian Schar
Ciaran Clark
Federico Fernandez
Jamal Lewis
Paul Dummett
Matt Ritchie
Emil Krafth
Javier Manquillo

I am not convinced that any of these players are really good enough to move them forward as a team, other than Lewis. Lascelles is too prone to poor positioning and silly mistakes, and is a poor choice of captain due to that. Schar is excellent on the ball but poor defensively and ridiculously rash. The rest just are not really good enough. What they really lack is a solid leader, someone who is not the one at fault most of the time, so can actually lead by example and allow them to play with more freedom.

 

Midfielders:

Isaac Hayden
Sean Longstaff
Jonjo Shelvey
Jeff Hendrick
Matthew Longstaff
Miguel Almiron
Henri Saivet (released)

Lots of sweat and hard work, but there is a lack of real quality in midfield. If the answer is Shelvey to their complete absence of creativity, then they are in real trouble. His lack of mobility, moments of sheer idiocy and tendency to look for a Hollywood ball way beyond his actual ability are major problems. They need to get some creativity in the midfield so that their only method of attack is not just give the ball to Saint-Maximin and cross your fingers he does something good this time.

 


Forwards:

Allan Saint-Maximin
Ryan Fraser
Christian Atsu (released)
Jacob Murphy
Callum Wilson
Joelinton
Dwight Gayle
Andy Carroll (released)

They have just two attacking threats worthy of mention in the squad and both pick up far too many injuries to be relied upon to carry such a defensive team with a lack of real quality to replace them. Joe Linton plays like the Carlisle United forward he was obviously named after and the likes of Murphy and Fraser lack the ability to do much other than run around very fast a lot and hit the ball aimlessly in the general direction of a forward in the box. It is the same story as throughout the rest of the squad, lots of hard work but little real ability and they desperately need to invest.

 


Manager: Steve Bruce

Bruce is such a nice guy, but he is clearly out of his depth in the Premier League and has always recruited Championship-level players for his team until gradually he turns them into one. The same looks to be happening to Newcastle. He has reverted to tactics that failed in the past with Hull, though so far with more success, it must be said that last season's peculiarity means it is difficult to know just how well Bruce really did. On the face of it 12th with such a weak squad is an excellent result, but it did seem like a false position from watching them play. Can Bruce do it again next season, in a more normal year with opposing teams likely to be fitter, fresher and able to field stronger teams against them each week?

 


Conclusion:

Newcastle's future hinges on just one factor - the ownership of the club. While Ashley continues to own them, even though he has opened the purse strings a little more for Bruce than previous managers, they are always going to be fighting for, at best, mid-table mediocrity. While I am not convinced Bruce is really up to the Premier League level in terms of his recruitment and tactics, he is probably the perfect man to work with Ashley. Not only does he passionately want to win with the team he supported as a boy, but Bruce as a person is one who will accept the decision of those higher in the command structure without too much of a fight. He will just get on with it with what he has.

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Written by Tris Burke June 26 2021 06:51:01