As the title states, I don’t normally like to single players out for criticism – especially when we’re performing poorly as a whole this season – however something needs to be said about how woeful Christian Atsu has been this season.
After fully recovering from a knee injury that kept him out at the end of last season, he stated over pre-season that fans would see a ‘big difference‘ in him – promising to deliver more goals and assists.
He’s not wrong, we’ve seen a difference in him, but he’s gone backwards if anything.
Looking at his appearances so far this season (most from the bench), I’m struggling to think of a single positive contribution that he’s made.
He’s come off from the bench against Spurs, Man City, Palace and Man Utd and started the cup defeat to Nottingham Forest and the league defeat to Leicester, but to say he’s failed to make any impact is an understatement.
He looks like a confidence player, but his attitude on the pitch seems far too casual and cumbersome. Not only has his final ball often frustrated, he’s often failed to react quick enough or thought not to chase down balls that were there for him to contest.
His last contribution was failing to get his head up and play a simple 10 yard pass to Jonjo Shelvey when we were leading at Old Trafford on Saturday. The negative impact he had on that game was glaring.
Perhaps the fact he failed at Everton, Bournemouth and Chelsea and struggled to make a consistent impact in the Championship was a sign that he wasn’t up to playing in the Premier League – even as a back up option.
Atsu has been an absolute abomination since coming on, yet again.
— NUFC 360 (@NUFC360) October 6, 2018
I don’t expect much from a £6m player in this day and age, but he needs to start doing MUCH more – both on and off the ball.