Newcastle United Indicate Stance On Breakaway European Super League

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Newcastle face nervous wait on Allan Saint-Maximin injury

Allan Saint-Maximin has been a massive part of Newcastle United’s improved run of form, he had an important role in the equaliser against Spurs, single handedly dragged United to three points at Turf Moor and was a constant threat fro West Ham yesterday but there are fresh injury concerns for the Frenchman.

In what was his 50th game for the magpies, Saint-Maximin got up the assist for the opener but also picked up a knock to his ankle that will worry Steve Bruce.

The dynamic winger stayed on and played through the pain barrier until the 64th minute but Bruce confirmed post match that it was touch and go if he would return to play any part in the second half.

The problem is a swollen ankle and Bruce also confirmed that he would need to be assessed before his side make the trip to Anfield next weekend.

The importance of United’s talisman has well and truly been shown over the last few weeks and it would be a massive blow if he was to be out injured again.

The way he carries the ball is unlike anyone else in the division and he is genuinely incredible talent. He’s so good he even makes Newcastle fun to watch, he gets you on the edge of your seat regardless of where he picks the ball up.

West Ham just did not know how to deal with him, which was particularly apparent in the role he played in the first goal. He drove with ease past defenders before his weak shot was turned in by Issa Diop.

There is never a good time to lose your best player but the potential blow would be more feared without the points on the board from the last two weeks, with the club all but safe now in the Premier League.

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Fighting spirit will keep Magpies up

No other side in the division could make quite a big of a mess when winning 2-0 against 10 men and seemingly being very comfortable than Newcastle United.

Celebrations had barely stopped following Issa Diop’s 36th minute own goal before the camera panned to Craig Dawson being shown a second yellow card for a cynical foul on Joelinton in the build up.

An own goal and a red card in the space of seconds is the type of self implosion usually reserved for Newcastle and it got worse for the Hammers with the usually reliable Fabianski making an absolute howler to gift Joelinton his fifth goal of the season before the break.

Going into the break against 10 men with a two goal lead should have been enough to put fans’ minds at ease but this is Newcastle United and instead of being proactive in looking to put the game to bed, we instead decided to sit really deep and invite the 10 men of West Ham to ask questions of our defence.

Soon enough, they had an answer with Diop atoning for his previous mistake to put them back in the game. Newcastle then shot themselves in the foot again with Ciaran Clark handling in the area with a spot kick correctly awarded and the in form Jesse Lingard converting via the post.

For all the negativity of Newcastle’s collapse, what came next was a sign as to what will keep us in the division. We picked ourselves up and went again.

Similarly to the 2-2 draw with Spurs, it was Arsenal loanee that came through with the goal, heading Matt Ritchie’s cross into the back of the net in the 82nd minute.

We saw it in the comeback at Burnley as well. In the 3-0 loss to Brighton, the players looked like they couldn’t care less about the future of the football club and it has been so refreshing to see that this very much is not the case.

Our Premier League status is not yet confirmed but with United up to 15th and an eight point gap over Fulham in 18th, it is looking more and more likely that we will be a Premier League side next year.

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Joe Willock has to start

Joe Willock was Newcastle United’s match winning hero in their huge 3-2 win over West Ham United, despite only appearing from the bench.

The 21-year old’s powerful header had too much on it for Lukas Fabianski and could prove to be a vital goal for the magpies. Willock had only just been introduced from the bench and his instinct impact drags his side further away from the bottom three.

Willock did similar in the game against Tottenham Hotspur, scoring late on to ensure the points were shared at St. James’ Park and it was the midfielder’s third since arriving in January.

As a central midfielder, Willock offers us something completely different to anyone else in the squad and for those reasons that he must start in the midfield from now on and not be restricted to a substitute role.

Firstly, his willingness and eagerness to make positive runs forward with and without out the ball offer the side something new and having an extra man arriving in the box cans stretch opponent’s defence more and provide a greater threat whilst attacking.

All three of his goals have come from the Arsenal man arriving into the area which is something that we simply do not have in any of our other players. He also seems to have a great knack of being in the right place at the right time which is a great attribute to have for any player.

The attribute that is most key for the youngster is his engine. He is a lot more mobile than any of our other options and as a result can have a bigger impact on games. When United have lined up with the likes of Jonjo Shelvey and Jeff Hendrick in the middle of the mark, far too often have the pairing be completely outran in the middle of the park.

The system which we are currently operating in features a two man midfield and as such you can’t afford for one of the duo to be. a passenger which unfortunately has been the case with Shelvey on far too many a time.

A midfield duo of Willock and the recently much improved Sean Longstaff is the way to go from here till the end of the season but it seems unlikely that the Steve Bruce/ Jonjo Shelvey love affair is finishing anytime soon.

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Are West Brom a relegation threat to NUFC?

Out of nowhere, Sam Allardyce’s West Bromwich Albion have put together back to back Premier League wins which just about keeps them in the hunt to stay in the division.

The Baggies condemned Thomas Tuchel to his first loss as Chelsea boss in a shock 5-2 triumph before easily beating Southampton 3-0 at the Hawthorns.

This much needed  six points takes then t0 24, eight short of Newcastle and with their significantly kinder run in, they must feel they have half a chance of catching United.

To put it into perspective, we have all been worried about Fulham for a while and until their timely nose dive in form, they seemed the smart bet to survive ahead of ourselves, well West Brom are now just two points off the

Allardyce’s men will no doubt be stewing over the fact they failed to beat Newcastle and their poor finishing meant the game ended in a 0-0 stalemate.

Whilst Newcastle’s next five are all up against sides in the top nine, West Brom have some games that they will pencil in as potential wins, such as the Black Country derby against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

As it has been all season, survival is in Newcastle’s hands and if they can get a win in the early Saturday kick off, that will surely be it. A nine point lead over Fulham, an 11 point lead over West Brom and they would leapfrog both Brighton and Hove Albion and Burnley whilst cutting Southampton’s lead over them to just one point.

Such is the time of season, it could also end up very differently. If West Ham beat us like the are expected to do and West Brom can spring a surprise at the King Power then the gap would be just five points and Albion would be in significantly better form than the Magpies.

Sam Allardyce has condemned Newcastle to relegation before and he would certainly love to do it again but this is in our hands, just don’t blow it now!

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How Newcastle should set up for the Hammers

Newcastle United have an opportunity to go nine points clear of the relegation zone when they welcome West Ham United to St. James’ Park in the 12:30 kick off.

The hammers are amongst the form sides in the division and are hunting a place in the top four so picking up another win will be easier said than done.

The magpies do have the ability to get something as was shown in the season opener where they ran out fully deserved 2-0 winners against the irons.

The back five has become a bone of contention with many Toon fans, but I feel that it is the best way to go for this one. We saw how well it worked against Spurs and Newcastle created way more chances than the Londoners.

Steve Bruce kept the system for the Burnley game which was the wrong decision and had it not been for the brilliance of Allan Saint-Maximin, we would have lost that game comfortably.

However, against West Ham it may well work. The run that they are on will mean confidence is high and Newcastle will have some defending to do but this set up is tailor made for counter attacking.

If you can get Saint-Maximin, Wilson and Almiron high up the pitch to counter, that is a threat that has potential to strike fear into any side in the division regardless of current form and standing in the table.

Also, this formation will mean Jacob Murphy will keep his place and he has shown brilliantly that he can also be a threat going froward from the right wing position.

Building on that point, my main concern when it comes to the five at the back is it being a flat wall of defence but when you Matt Ritchie and Murphy on either side, you get two hard working players that aren’t afraid to put a shift in and you also get attacking knowhow. Both can cross a ball into the box which adds another bow to the side.

Despite their hot run, West Ham have conceded seven goals in their last three which shows they do still have a vulnerability, if we can hold firm at the other end and look to hit on the counter, there may just well be an opportunity to all but confirm our Premier League status for next season.

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Mixed injury news emerges for Newcastle United

As ever, there’s mixed injury news afoot for Newcastle 

WHAT’S GOING ON?

 Bruce did confirm that both  and  had come through the week’s training schedule ‘unscathed’ in a major boost for the club. Indeed, with plenty of tough games ahead, having the two players averaging the highest number of goal-creating actions per game (via FBREF) available again is the best news we could have asked for.

However, the 60-year-old did also reveal that  would miss the game as a result of a ‘groin problem’ in the latest frustrating turn of his  career.

HOW MANY GAMES HAS FRASER MISSED?

Since joining from  in October, the Scotland international hasn’t had much luck on the injury front.

Indeed, he has missed eight games through knocks to his groin and knee, failing to wholly convince. Despite averaging the highest number of key passes per game in the  this  (via WhoScored), he has been criticised.

WHAT’S BEEN SAID?

Back in February, Lee Ryder hinted that he believed Fraser didn’t look as if he even wanted to be at Newcastle, while Gabby Agbonlahor told Football Insider in March that the former Aberdeen ace owes Bruce for showing faith in him when signing the player.

WHO ELSE IS INJURED?

Bruce did also reveal that Jamaal Lascelles was in a protective boot after suffering a stress fracture and, while there isn’t long until the season up, the skipper is seemingly hopeful of featuring before the final curtain is drawn. Fabian Schar, meanwhile, is reportedly making very good progress on the knee injury he suffered during the win over Southampton in February.

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Saint-Maximin tipped by official PL pundit to repeat 2019 Newcastle heroics

Premier League pundit Adrian Clarke has tipped   star  Saint-Maximin to make tomorrow’s game with  a ‘cracker’ if he’s selected to start. 

WHAT DID CLARKE SAY?

Writing in his preview on the league’s official website, the former Arsenal midfielder backed the Frenchman.

“Saturday’s early kick-off could be an absolute cracker if Steve Bruce decides to use  from the start against in-form West Ham United,” he wrote.

“Fourth-placed West Ham have conceded seven goals in their last three matches and will not relish facing such a quick attack.

“Saint-Maximin’s speed and dribbling ability can make defences back off. We saw this at  when he created Jacob Murphy’s goal before the Frenchman scored from a brilliant 50-yard solo run down the middle.”

IS HE RIGHT TO BACK HIM?

Absolutely.

Though Newcastle  will be fully aware of the 24-year-old’s quality, his last outing against Burnley was something to marvel at. Indeed, despite only featuring in 33 minutes, Saint-Maximin provided an assist for Jacob Murphy before scoring an absolute wonder goal to earn his side a crucial three points. According to FBREF data, the former Nice star has averaged the highest number of goal-creating actions per 90 minutes for the club this  (0.71) despite missing large portions of the campaign.

HAS HE RIPPED WEST HAM APART BEFORE?

Indeed he has.

Back in November 2019, sections of the support praised him for his performance when giving former West Ham defender Pablo Zabaleta – a Premier League winner – all manner of problems in a dramatic 3-2 win at the BBC Sport described him as a ‘particular nuisance’ for the veteran Argentine that afternoon, highlighting his ‘speed and trickery’.

WHAT’S HIS FITNESS LIKE?

Speaking ahead of the game tomorrow, Bruce did reveal that Saint-Maximin, along with Callum Wilson, had come through the week’s training program ‘unscathed’ after long periods out, so it’ll be interesting to see whether or not he’s ready for a full 90 minutes.

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Is it time to see Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson back in the starting 11?

Newcastle United Head Coach has issued a fresh update over injuries and Toon fans will be delighted to hear that both Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin could both be in line for their first start since returning from injury.

Unfortunately the news is not so good when it comes to United’s Scottish winger Ryan Fraser who is still out injured following a knock he picked up during international duty.

In his weekly pre-match press conference, Bruce said:

“Ryan Fraser is not fit, unfortunately. He has a groin injury which he picked up with Scotland.

“It has been a frustrating time for him he has never quite got up to speed and we have never seen the best of him.”

Bruce then turned his attention to his returning duo and admitted that he is pondering bringing both men back into the fray for West Ham’s visit to St. James’ Park.

“The big thing is the two up top

In my opinion, this one should not be up for debate. They have to start. We saw just how lacking in inspiration we were before Saint-Maximin came on at Turf Moor and we also saw the difference he can bring to an otherwise drab team.

Wilson may not have had the same impact as the Frenchman but his stats speak for themselves and he has been deeply missed in the run of form that has seen us fall into a relegation battle.

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Mike Ashley pleased about takeover development

According to the Press Association, Mike Ashley is ‘privately delighted’ over reports that crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman urged Boris Johnson to help the process along.

Like all of us, Mike Ashley is clearly desperate for this deal to go ahead and he has taken positives that the Saudis are seemingly still willing to take the club over.

It is an incredibly rare occasion where Ashley and the fanbase are both so passionate in wanting the same thing, to end the horrendous 14 year stint with the Londoner being the custodian of our club.

Many fans were quick to point out the potential down side of the news that Mohammed Bin Salman had gone to Boris Johnson over the deal because of the ongoing legal matters that a re trying to prove that the football club would not be state owned but Ashley being happy about the news, could relax a few worries.

This comes after a report in the telegraph that states the bid will be re-submitted in the eventuality of a positive arbitration outcome which similarly is great news as it shows there to be willingness to get the deal from both sides.

However, it looks like we have some waiting to do yet if we are to get this takeover as respected journalist George Caulkin reports that arbitration is yet to begin and it is looking increasingly likely that Newcastle will enter the 2021/22 season under Mike Ashley’s ownership.

The Newcastle United takeover circus is still in town for a few months and hopefully we can get the outcome to make all this mess worthwhile.

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