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The Newcastle United Dilemma: Style of play, manager, Almiron and more



NUFC Manger Search Takeover
Newcastle united Manager Options after the Toon Takeover

In what has been a whirlwind two weeks for Newcastle United, the reality that the club could be in serious trouble this term is settling in amongst supporters.


Two weeks ago, it was announced that the long awaited take over from the Saudi led consortium led by Amanda Staveley had been completed which sent shockwaves through the city. Supporters gathered outside of St James Park as soon as the news broke.


Newcastle supporters outside St. James Park celebrating the takeover (picture: Jonny Maddison)


The celebrations only increased as supporters were chanting about their beloved club and the exciting times ahead, as well as making their voices known about the previous regime who were in control.


As the takeover took place during an international break, the new owners have had a bit longer to settle in.


The first talking point would be the change in management. After Newcastle’s 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, the magpies have only won 7 out of 38 games. Form that should have any manager at any level worried about the position they find their club in.


The focus point leading up to the Spurs game was whether or not Steve Bruce would be in charge for the new owners first game, a game which would also be Bruce’s 1000th as a manager.


It wasn’t until the friday when Amanda Stavley openly communicated with the fans by releasing a statement regarding the clubs intentions heading into the fixture, she said: “We have had an extremely busy week reviewing the business and getting to know people and it is imperative that we continue to be patient and considered in our approach. Change does not always happen overnight, it demands time and that we follow a carefully considered plan and strategy.


“Steve has been very professional in our dealings with him and he and his coaching team will take the team on Sunday. If we make any changes going forward, Steve will be the first to know but, in the meantime, we wish him the best of luck in his 1,000th match as a manager and will be joining you in getting right behind the team.”


Not the most popular decision with supporters however the trust is there with the new owners, only a few weeks prior 94% of the Newcastle supporters trust called for Bruce to be relieved of his duties.


On game day, emotions were running high with excitement, passion and hope amongst Newcastle fans as they welcomed the new regime into their stadium to support the team. (Newcastle fans echo the words of Jimmy Nial courtesy of WorFlags).


With Amanda Staveley and new club chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan present, the noise was deafening even for those at home.


Ex-Newcastle player, Kieron Dyer who was doing punditry duties for Sky Sports said:”I’ve been to a lot of games, I was at Wembley for the Euro final, this atmosphere beats that”.

Everything started well for Bruce’s 1000th game, Newcastle played on the front foot, winning every ball and in the first 2 minutes Callum Wilson scored the first goal of ‘the new era’.


From there, the reality of what Newcastle fans have become accustomed to settled back in.


Not long after the opening goal, Tanguy N’dombele fired a shot into the top right corner past Karl Darlow. Not long after, Harry Kane popped up to break his goal scoring drought after he chipped Darlow.


The atmosphere started to sour as Newcastle looked lost with an uneven back four and a midfield which didn’t know whether to attack or hold the line.


An off the pitch incident occurred in the 40th minute as a fan took ill in the east stand. Immediately recognising the fan was not in a good way, Spurs left back Sergio Regulion intervened and called for the match to stop as the supporter had taken ill.


Two fans in attendance, A&E Doctor Tom Pritchard and Ruth McDonald helped stabilize the fan as a defibrillator was brought into the stands to assist with the CPR.


Facebook (Doctor Tom Pritchard applauded as he returns to his seat)


The fan is reported to be in a stable condition.


The game was suspended for 24 minutes before both teams came out to play the final 7 minutes of the half, in which time Son Heung-min scored Tottenham’s 3rd goal on the brink of half time.


Newcastle for the rest of the game were lacklustre, lacked structure and their consultation goal came as a result of an Eric Dier own goal.


Towards the end of the game, the supporters made their feelings clear regarding the managerial status of the club and that Steve Bruce is not the man the supporters want.


Newcastle United this season have now conceded 19 goals this season, with no clean sheets.


Fans are wanting a more enjoyable style of football but at what risk? The club finds itself in an unfavourable position where they are able to score goals but cannot defend.


The defence is the same defence that came up from the Championship minus the addition of Federico Fernanandez in 2018. Typically, that team under Rafa Benitez played a back 5, and under Bruce’s most successful runs of form, also played that formation.


There needs to be more of a conservative approach until the club can invest in January as the balance is missing, the openness in the midfield is what gave Spurs the game on Sunday,


Going forward, it was once again given Allan Saint-Maximin the ball and hoped he could create chances. Something he can do but as the game goes on the chances become rarer.


Resorting to the 5 back with two holding midfielders would leave open a chance for Miguel Almiron to return to his favoured position in attacking midfield just behind Wilson and St. Maximum.


Miguel Almrion, is amongst a fan favourite at the club however under Bruce he has been in and out of the team. When in the team it is almost certain he plays a different position every game, these have ranged from right-wing, left-wing, central midfield and attacking midfield.


Carrying the ball forward as an attacking midfielder is his best game and Newcastle are now in a position where they have to play smart.


The return of Almiron may take the pressure off the midfield getting forward and will allow the team to sit with a defensive structure so they are harder to beat.


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Saudi Arabia wants its investors to own Manchester United



North East Updates - Breaking News

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.


Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.


It follows the Manchester United board announcing that they are open to a sale of the club.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisalstated he would be keen on Ronaldo signing for a Saudi Pro League after the World Cup, with the 37-year-old a free agent following a controversial interview and exit to Manchester United earlier this week..


“Who wouldn’t want him to play in their league?” “He’s a role model to a lot of young players – him and Messi.”


Sky news are reporting – It is the availability of United – after the Glazers announced plans for a potential sale – and Ronaldo that is interesting Prince Abdulaziz.


What are your thoughts on this – join the conversation on our Facebook page.


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Which Newcastle Players Are Going To The World Cup?




The FIFA World Cup in Qatar gets underway next week and here are all the Newcastle players involved in the tournament

Callum Wilson (England)

Newcastle striker Callum Wilson is a player that has consistently shown the quality to earn a spot in an England squad at a major tournament but has sadly had his chances diminished by injuries in the past.

However, Wilson is currently injury free and is on the plane to Qatar! The Coventry City academy graduate averages a goal every 130 minutes in the Premier League this season, which is the second-best return of all English players behind Harry Kane.

The 30-year-old may have to bide his time for an opportunity due to England captain Harry Kane being the first-choice striker. That said, Wilson gives Gareth Southgate a great alternative should England find themselves chasing a game.

Kieran Trippier (England)

Gareth Southgate has always been very fond of Kieran Trippier’s abilities and what he brings to a team. For example, in Euro 2020 Southgate opted to play Trippier at left-back ahead of a more natural option in Ben Chilwell due to the 32-year-old’s experience and leadership qualities.

Trippier brings bags of experience at major tournaments after reaching the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup and the final of Euro 2020.

With injuries at right-back to the likes of Reece James and uncertainty around the fitness of Kyle Walker, Trippier could start at right wing-back in England’s World Cup opener against Iran.

Nick Pope (England)

The last player to complete The Magpies’ England trio is Nick Pope. Toon’s No.1 has been outstanding since arriving from Burnley in the Summer and has earnt his place in England’s World Cup squad.

Pope has the joint most clean sheets in the Premier League this season (6) alongside Manchester City goalkeeper, Ederson and fellow England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

It remains to be seen if Gareth Southgate picks Pope to be his first-choice goalkeeper in Qatar ahead of Jordan Pickford and Aaron Ramsdale. Pope started both of England’s last games in the Nations League back in September.

Bruno Guimarães (Brazil)

Moving to South America and the favourites to win the competition, Brazil. Bruno Guimarães has been one of Newcastle’s stand-out players this season and has deservedly earned himself a spot in Brazil’s very competitive World Cup Squad.

Guimarães has statistically been the best midfielder in the Premier League so far this season and will be hoping his performances have done enough to earn him a start against Serbia in Brazil’s opening fixture.

That said, Brazil manager Adenor Leonardo Bacchi has predominantly played with a midfield two of Manchester United duo, Casemiro and Fred at the base of the Brazilian midfield.

Fabian Schär (Switzerland)

The Magpies’ centre-back has been in great form alongside Sven Botman at the heart of Newcastle’s defence this season and will be hoping to continue his form in Qatar.

Schär has some tough competition in his position in the form of Manchester City centre-back Manuel Akanji and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Nico Elvedi.

Switzerland find themselves in the same group as tournament favourites Brazil, which will see Schär reunited with Toon teammate Bruno Guimarães in Gameweek 2.

Who didn’t make the squad?

The most surprising player to not make their country’s squad is Sven Botman. The former Lille centre-back has been a major part of why Newcastle has the Premier League’s best defence so far this campaign.

Louis van Gaal has a great pool of centre-backs available to him and opted for the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, Stefan de Vrij and Nathan Ake over Botman.

Another Toon player with World Cup disappointment is Joelinton, who has failed to follow Bruno Guimarães on the plane to Qatar.

Joelinton has been a revelation under Eddie Howe following his remarkable transformation from a striker to a box-to-box midfielder. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for Joelinton this year.

Have Your Say

Who do you think will win the World Cup?

Which Newcastle player will be the best performer?

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What We Learnt (Spurs 1-2 Newcastle)



deadline day

Newcastle United were victorious at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium yesterday, winning 2-1 and now sit fourth in the Premier League. This is the first time they’ve been there at this stage of the season in 10 years.


Goals from Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron were enough to scare away any chances of a second-half Spurs comeback. That’s six goals for Miggy in what is now his best-ever season for goals in black and white.


With 21 points, just five behind Manchester City and seven behind current league leaders Arsenal, the Toon are looking better than ever, but what did the victory yesterday tell us?


Toon are charging for Europe


If you didn’t believe it at the start of the season you should now. Eddie Howe has transformed Newcastle into a team with a winning mentality with a real sense of togetherness in a squad who are willing to battle for one another, week in and week out.


Very few teams will travel to London this season and manage to come away with a point, never mind three when playing Spurs. Not only this game, however, but Man City (3-3), Liverpool (2-1) and Brentford (5-1) have also shown that Howe and his side mean business this season and are willing to go toe to toe with some of the very best teams, coaches and players in the world. 


In his first signing interview, Sven Botman said, “Newcastle wants to reach the top and the top is in the league and, at the end, maybe in Europe.” Maybe he didn’t specifically mean this season but now he and the rest of his teammates should believe that they have a real chance of playing European football next season.


Almiron transformation shouldn’t go unnoticed


Almiron made 30 appearances last season in the league and finished with just one goal and no assists. Now, after just 12 games and six goals, the Paraguayan is already on course to smash his previous goal-scoring records which have seen him accumulate nine Premier League goals over the course of four seasons. 


Loved by the fans and with the full support of his teammates, it can only get better for the Paraguayan at this point. His goal against Tottenham showed the dribbling, flair and finishing quality he withholds, something that Steve Bruce and Rafael Benitez could never get out of him.


Eddie Howe must be awarded credit for this development, as with the current budget the club has, he could’ve easily found a replacement in the summer. But, just like Joelinton, Miggy has cemented his spot in Newcastle’s starting eleven and is proving every week why he deserves to be there.


Wilson & Burn should be considered by Southgate 


On TalkSport recently, Neil Warnock warned Gareth Southgate saying his loyalty to players might be his downfall and said Dan Burn is “Mr Steady Eddie” referring to his versatility, being able to play left-back or centre-back.


Burn started 28 Premier League games last season and this season has 11 out of 12. His consistent dominating performances in Newcastle’s back line have put him into the conversation for a first-ever England call-up and I don’t think many would disagree. With John Stoned injured, Harry Maguire and Tyrone Mings not in good form and not getting regular game time, Gareth Southgate’s defensive decisions should now be a lot more challenging.


Callum Wilson has proved yet again his abilities as a top Premier League striker. His goal against Spurs not only put him in the headlines over England captain Harry Kane but also made it four in eight for the English man this season who has averaged 2.8 shots per game with an average scoring frequency of 162 minutes. 


With no clear-cut backup striker to Kane, is Wilson ahead of Ivan Toney and Tammy Abraham in the race to be England’s number two striker?


So, what do you think? Do Newcastle have a serious chance at European football next season, can Almiron stay at his best and should Wilson and Burn be considered for a World Cup call-up?


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