Paul Merson has hailed the introduction of Salomon Rondon at NUFC, stating that the striker has now given Rafa Benitez a ‘focal point’ and brute force up top – claiming that we were ‘too weak’ and struggled to hold up the ball when Joselu was starting.
For once, I think just about every Newcastle United fan will agree with what Merson’s had to say here. Joselu may be 6ft 3′ (taller than Rondon), but his hold up play and ability to use his height is lacking – something that can’t be said about Rondon.
Here’s what the Sky pundit has had to say when looking ahead to next Monday’s trip to Burnley.
“I think Newcastle will get something out of this game and if somebody said to me, ‘get off the fence,’ then I would go for Newcastle.
“They have the momentum and they have not been a million miles away, the penny has dropped and he has put Salomon Rondon in.
“They needed a focal point, they were too weak, the ball was bouncing back too quick off Joselu, whereas this lad….What a header against Bournemouth! You cannot tell me that was not like Malcolm Macdonald or Alan Shearer, brave, put himself across the defender, no one was saving that.
“Rafa Benitez has taken a bit of time – sometimes he looks like he is chopping his hands off to spite his face…”
Merson predicts a 1-1 draw, but he seems to have renewed faith in Newcastle at present – saying how he’d go for a Newcastle win if he had to ‘get off the fence’ and choose a potential winner.
Let’s hope Rondon can continue from where he left off and torment that Burnley defence on Monday. If he can provide the same goal threat and hold up the ball as well as he did two weeks ago, we’ve got every chance in this one.