The Newcastle United Dilemma: Style of play, manager, Almiron and more
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.
https://twitter.com/footballdaily/status/1449759019166543875?s=20 (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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Eddie Howe Wants to Keep Two Out of Contract Players this Summer.
Newcastle United boss wants to extend the contracts of two players before losing them.
Eddie Howe has expressed in a recent fan Q&A his intentions to keep two out of contract players this summer, Loris Karius and Paul Dummett, according to the Athletic’s Chris Waugh, with both players current contracts set to end this summer.
6 players are currently set to become out of contract come June 1st, Loris Karius, Paul Dummet, Mark Gillespie, Matt Ritchie, Matty Longstaff and Ciaran Clark. However, it is only Karius and Dummett that appear to be safe of getting the chop.
Loris Karius has spent this season as Newcastle United’s third choice keeper, with only one appearance coming in the 2-0 defeat to Manchester United in the Carabao Cup Final. Despite the loss, Karius did little wrong and contributed some wonderful saves late on in that game.
Paul Dummett has had the same treatment, with only one appearance coming his way, a Carabao Cup tie in the second round against Tranmere Rovers back in August. The 31-year-old Welshman is an experienced head and will no doubt have great respect within the dressing room having signed for the club back in 2012 making 205 appearances in that time.
Both players can expect new contracts from Eddie Howe as he has made it known that he wants them both to remain at the club next season.
Who would you want to remain at the club from the current out of contract list – let us know on our social media and follow us for latest North East Updates –https://linktr.ee/northeastupdates
Top 10 Free Transfers NUFC Could Sign This Summer
10 players Eddie Howe could look towards with contracts expiring at the end of this season.
The free agent’s market is the absolute cheat code for clubs across the board, being able to avoid the rising transfer fees and getting players through the door through verbal agreements makes life much easier for clubs during the transfer window.
We have compiled a list of 10 free transfers NUFC could sign this summer from Europe’s top five leagues giving them a rating of the potential of them signing and the impact they would have.
- Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund)
The 29-year-old full back has his contract expiring this summer and with NUFC already being hinted at as his potential new club, this one is worth keeping an eye on over the next few months. He would slot straight in at left-back to have healthy competition for fan favourite Dan Burn and add a burst of class and pace to that left hand side. The Portugal international already has an impressive CV and would be looking to show that off to the St. James faithful.
Potential – A
Impact – A
- Yerry Mina (Everton)
With Everton potentially facing the drop this season, a jump from Merseyside to Newcastle could suit the centre back to a T. The 28-year-old Columbian international would add to NUFC’s already in form back line and bring some South American heat as they look to progress further next season. Mina possesses dominance, aggression, and a great ariel threat and would be a top addition to the magpies this summer.
Potential – B
Impact – A
- Jonathan Bamba (Lille)
An explosive winger who made his name known as Lille snatched the league title in 2021 in France, the 26-year-old is still yet to receive a contract extension from the club and could be looking elsewhere in the summer. Adding pace, flair, and drive to an already exciting front three for NUFC could be what fans need going into next season.
Potential – C
Impact – A
- Youri Tielemans (Leicester City)
Reportedly being close to leaving in the summer window of 2022, Youri Tielemans would be a fine addition to NUFC’s midfield being able to operate in a slightly deeper role to allow Bruno to push further up the field and do what he does best. The 25-year-old has his contract expiring this summer and with him and James Maddison already being linked to the club, this transfer seems to make so much more sense and would add heaps of quality to the centre of the field.
Potential – B
Impact – A
- Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Drive, power, and flair are the 3 best words to describe Crystal Palace star man Wilfried Zaha. The 30-year-old could be looking to depart his beloved club in the hope for European football next season and NUFC could be just the place for him. Being able to operate either on the left or down the middle, Zaha would thrive under Eddie Howe and be a fantastic addition to the front line.
Potential – B
Impact – A
Sunderland suspend Jack Diamond after player is charged with rape and sexual assault
A Sunderland football player on loan to Lincoln FC has had his loan terminated after he was charged with rape.
Jack Diamond, 23, had been arrested after a sexual assault in Washington, Tyne and Wear, last year.
Northumbria Police launched an investigation, but have now charged him with one count of rape and one count of sexual assault.
Lincoln City FC said the player’s loan contract had been terminated “with immediate effect”.
His home club, Sunderland AFC, said he had been suspended pending the outcome of legal proceedings.
In a statement, it said: “Sunderland AFC has been notified that criminal charges have been brought against Jack Diamond by the Crown Prosecution Service.”
“As this matter is subject to a legal process, the club will not be making any further statement at this time”.
The incident is alleged to have happened in May last year.
Mr Diamond, of Fatfield, also Washington, is due to appear before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court in May.
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