Pundit Claims Bruce To Keep Faith With Struggling Magpie ‘Playing At 70%’

Former Middlesborough striker Noal Whelan had some choice words for Newcastle winger Miguel Almiron recently. Speaking to Football Insider, the pundit was reacting to Almiron’s dismissal in Paraguay’s friendly against Serbia.

Almiron received a second yellow card for simulation after falling in the box when nudged in the chest by a Serbian defender. This is some footage of the infraction.

This was what Whelan had to say about the incident and Miguel’s struggles of late:

“He’s got a lot of work to do, he’s obviously not gone away with international duty and got his confidence back that way, if anything it’s another kick in the teeth for him,”

“So he’s gotta find it somewhere, you know when you’re down and lower than a snake’s belly, it tests the character in a player.

“Steve Bruce is probably going to keep faith with him but he’s gotta start repaying that as he has been brought in to do a job and he’s probably playing at 70% of what he is capable of, and that can only go on so long before there’s a change.”

We agree that Almiron’s problem is with confidence. However, it seems to be more in front of goal than his overall play.

The 70% quip is a little unfair. Miguel may not be playing as well as he is capable of, but the effort is certainly there. He is getting into the right positions and also puts in a shift defensively.

He just seems to panic when confronted with a chance on goal. The fear going into the season after missing some chances in pre-season was that it would prey on his mind and become a chronic issue. It appears as if those fears

As far as the diving goes, Miguel has to cut it out. He’s now had three yellow cards for simulation since August for both club and country. The concern is that he will get a reputation as a diver and that could plague him throughout his career.

We think that Bruce will stick with the Paraguayan as he offers so much to the side. While it’s morphing into more of an “if” than a “when” in terms of Miguel scoring regularly, he is still less than twenty games into his Newcastle career.

This article was originally posted here