Former Newcastle United midfielder Jermaine Jenas has posed a question to NUFC fans, asking ‘who is going to be scoring the goals’ for Newcastle this season after raising his concerns about our attacking capabilities and suggesting we should enjoy being in the top half ‘white it lasts’.
The 34-year old now appears as a pundit for BT Sport and the BBC, and whilst he has admitted how great it is to see his former team in the top half of the league, he has told the Toon Army to enjoy this while it lasts, stating he expects ups and down and does not expect us to hold onto our 9th place position.
His main question revolved around our ability to attack teams and take all three points, suggesting it was a concern that centre-back Jamaal Lascelles was the man responsible for our last two wins in the league.
Here’s what the former United midfielder has had to say in full in his column for BBC Sport:
“My main concerns about the Magpies now are the same as before the season started: the lack of squad depth and where their goals will come from.
“It is great to see my old club Newcastle in the top half of the Premier League table, but my message to their fans would be to enjoy it while it lasts,”
“Nobody knows what is going to happen with this Magpies team this season, so their supporters just have to enjoy the ride – and there are going to be a few ups and downs.
They have won three and lost three so far, which is decent for a promoted side, and I am sure many Newcastle fans will be absolutely delighted by the way they have started the campaign.
“But I try to look at performances rather than results at this stage because it gives you a good picture of what is to come – which was why it was interesting to be at the Amex Stadium to see the way Rafael Benitez’s side were beaten by Brighton.
“Now, I did not necessarily expect Newcastle to go there and win because the Seagulls are not a bad side, but the worrying thing was that they never looked like taking the three points. And without putting too much of a dampener on their run of three straight wins before that defeat, their centre-half has scored their past two winners.
“My question would be this: if Jamaal Lascelles is not banging them in from a corner, who is going to score Newcastle’s goals? At the moment, I am not sure,”
In fairness to him, Jenas makes some valid points here, however I would question if he is also missing the point at the same time. Benitez is clearly setting us up to stay in games, remain resolute and look to take our chances on the break when we get our chance. We are not set up to score three or four goals a game.
Yes we may look like a side who may struggle to break teams down at times – as defeats to nil at Huddersfield and Brighton have shown – but we also look supremely organised and competitive, with the performance against Liverpool on Sunday showing just that.
Who exactly is going to get the goals is a slight concern however, with Joselu looking hit and miss, Gayle out of sorts, Mitrovic not trusted and Perez failing to contribute offensively. Ritchie, Atsu, Shelvey and Merino look capable of chipping in, but is that enough?
Let us know if you agree with Jermaine and tell us where you see the goals coming from this season.