Alan Shearer has broken his silence following yesterday’s 1-0 defeat to Arsenal at St James’ Park.
The former NUFC number 9 felt it was a ‘poor’ performance lacking in goal threat, feeling we looked organised in the first half but ‘never looked like scoring’.
He feels Almiron and Joelinton played too far apart and weren’t effective as a result, feeling the Brazilian showed some neat touches but was forced to ‘feed off scraps’ all afternoon.
As for the boycott, he didn’t feel there was much protesting inside St James’ Park, saying the 47,000 that attended were behind Bruce – although he insists our issue is with Ashley, not the new head coach.
Here’s what he’s had to say during his latest piece for the Sun:
“It’s a disappointing start for Newcastle. I thought it was a poor performance.
They lacked a goal threat and only had two efforts on target — one in the first half and one in the 83rd minute, which is a bit of a lame effort.
But other than that they never looked like scoring, so it was a disappointing start for Toon boss Steve Bruce.
They did look organised in the first half. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had one opportunity and Henrikh Mhkitaryan had another one but they looked reasonably solid.
From a Newcastle perspective; they need £40million centre- forward Joelinton to hit the ground running and score as quickly as possible.
But, especially in the first half, he and Miguel Almiron played too far apart from each other and weren’t effective.
They had one or two neat touches and Joelinton was unlucky with an effort in the first half.
He was feeding off scraps all afternoon. There was no real quality or crosses going into the box or even long balls up to him.
The Brazilian didn’t really have that partnership with Almiron you need — the Paraguayan was being forced to drop deeper than he wanted to because of Arsenal’s midfield five.
It’s just disappointing from Bruce’s point of view they couldn’t get an early point on the board.
I didn’t see too many protests in the stadium. There were about 47,000 people there at St James’ Park — so there were around 5,000 missing.
The fans were behind Steve and that’s good to see but their issue isn’t with him, it’s with the ownership. That’s been their issue and I totally get that.“
A fair assessment, which compliments our organisation in the first half but hits the nail on the head when it comes to our goal threat, with Joelinton and Almiron being too far apart to combine in dangerous areas.