Was Yesterday A Bump In The Road Or A Sign Of Things To Come?

Newcastle had two great chances to score early yesterday, but both shots ended up not on target. The first was when Matt Ritchie found Emil Krafth in the box, and the Swede chested it down nicely, but his shot sailed well over the bar.

It would have been some moment for the debut boy, but Krafth is no finisher. The right-back has only scored 1 goal since leaving the Swedish Allsvenskan league four years ago.

The second opportunity was even more disappointing because it came from Joelinton. He did well to get into the box, and Isaac Hayden’s cross was perfect. However, Joeliton’s header flew by the post just inches away from scoring his first Newcastle goal.

He really should have scored, and that was another missed opportunity for Newcastle yesterday. However, Joelinton is not getting enough chances, and that is a worry. He didn’t have a high strike rate in Germany or Austria, at only about one goal in four games.

Newcastle are going to find it very hard to score, and that was one of the main worries going into this season. Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez were Newcastle’s two top scorers last season, and both are gone. This leaves Fabian Schar with 4 goals as the returning top scorer.

Miguel Almiron– didn’t link well with Joelinton at Norwich

Miguel Almiron was not relied upon to score goals last season. He had just joined from Atlanta United where he averaged about 1 goal in 3 games. Last season, in his ten appearances he failed to score but his presence increased opportunities for Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez.

This season with just two forwards it’s becoming more alarming that Joelinton and Almiron are just not clicking at the moment. They were better against Arsenal as Almiron’s running created some space for Joelinton.

Yesterday, Joelinton was left far too isolated, and Almiron just did not do enough to help the Brazilian in the final third.

Someone who knows all about being a Newcastle number 9 is Alan Shearer. Here are some of his comments from Match of the Day as published in the Chronicle.

“Where do you start with Newcastle? Terrible defensively, no creativity at all,”

“Scoring goals will be a big problem for Newcastle unless they change things – and they have to change one thing. There is too much distance between Joelinton and Almiron.

“Joelinton had no support, he’s got to hold the ball up for too long, and there’s no-one within 40 to 50 yards of him.

“Almiron hasn’t scored for Newcastle and one of the reasons why is his lack of movement. I spoke earlier about players getting into the box and gambling, and he’s got to do that.

“He’s a forward, Newcastle need him to score and assist.

“There was no-one supporting or assisting Joelinton, but Almiron has got to get further forward if Newcastle are going to score goals.

“Time and time again, Joelinton was on his own. They could have played for another three or four hours, and I wouldn’t have fancied those two to combine.

“They’ve got to work as a partnership better.”

It’s just not working with the 3-5-2 formation. There are not enough players getting forward for this system to work.

The wing-backs sat too deep while out of possession and there is no one in the midfield three who can bomb into the box to provide support for the front two.

The wing-backs also have to be able to beat their man for this system to be effective and our wing-backs just don’t consistently do this.

The entire team was poor yesterday as Norwich was afforded too much time and space. The Newcastle midfield had no ball-winners and the back three failed to handle Norwich’s attacking threats.

It was definitely a step backward for Newcastle but how far remains to be seen. If Newcastle can work it out this week and perform better at Tottenham then this could just be a bump in the road.

This article was originally posted here