The Sky Sports pundit has also addressed the criticism towards Steve Bruce, saying fans ‘can’t point the finger’ solely at him as this is a Newcastle team that endured a similarly slow start under Rafa Benitez this time last season.
Nicholas believes we must show more ‘ambition’ on the ball and get bodies forward, feeling both Joelinton and Almiron had ‘no service at all’ at Norwich
Here’s what he’s had to say during his latest round of predictions for Sky Sports:
“Newcastle lacked ambition and togetherness against Norwich but you can’t just point the finger at Steve Bruce and say it’s because Rafa Benitez has gone, because they started slow last season too. It takes this team a bit of time to get going. Joelinton had no service at all and Miguel Almiron was the same. He is about pace and counter-attacking but couldn’t get in the game.
“I was not impressed with Newcastle, but I think Bruce will be working with them all week to say ‘this isn’t good enough, if we sit in and wait to get beaten then we will get beaten’. They need to have more ambition when they have the ball. The problem is I don’t see them getting enough of the ball to trouble Spurs.
“Spurs will be quite happy with the way they have started. They were lucky to get a draw against Manchester City but I think this will be a comfortable win.“
I don’t think many are expecting us to get our first win of the season on Sunday, but an improved performance is absolutely essential given how this team have totally unravelled over the last game and a half.
A change of formation can’t come quick enough as far as I’m concerned, but we MUST get Almiron into better positions and get much more support up to Joelinton – a striker who’s been faced with a thankless task so far.
The issue is, will Bruce be bold enough to get more bodies forward away at Spurs? Or would it be naive to ‘attack’ such a formidable side?
Time will tell, but this one really could get messy if we’re not significantly better than we were at Norwich last weekend.