Steve Bruce insists that we “have to find goals” following Saturday’s 1-0 loss against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge – also admitting Miguel Almiron is low in confidence.
The Toon struggled to create many chances against the Blues – failing to have a single shot on target. We did earn some well deserved praise for our defensive performance, but we never looked like scoring in the second half.
Bruce noted this. Here’s what he said after the game;
“I couldn’t ask for any more effort – the big thing, where we have to improve, is in the last third. We had some unbelievable opportunities in the first half and took the wrong option, the wrong pass.”
“We have had a tough start, we now have a run of games against teams that are going to be in and around us. The first half I thought we had enough quality, second we might have tired. The big thing is we have to find some goals.”
Newcastle have managed to score just 5 goals from our first 9 games – the joint lowest in the division. We have also failed to score more than one goal in any of our fixtures this season.
£40million striker Joelinton has struggled to find the net since arriving, but it would be harsh to single out him for criticism when it comes to goal-scoring. This Newcastle side NEVER looks as though they are going to score a goal, and the Brazilian forward has arguably been the most isolated striker in the Premier League this season due to the lack of service.
Bruce also claimed he thought it was a foul on Joelinton in the build-up to the Chelsea goal, when the striker was tussled to the ground before managing to get his shot away.
“It was a blatant foul on Joelinton in the build-up to the goal and we never regained the ball.
“You need those decisions to go your way here. But we also need to work on the top end of the pitch. We need to improve on that.”
Some referees will give that as a foul and some will not, but the fact is that Newcastle were simply not good enough going forward again today to get anything from the game.
Dubravka was excellent and saved our lines on numerous occasions before Alonso finally made the pressure count. Bruce spoke the other day of how no planning had been done as of yet for the January window. Well, Steve, now is the time to start planning. A proven Premier League goal-scorer is essential for us to stay in the top flight (somebody like Salomon Rondon would be ideal?) – and I don’t see Joelinton and Andy Caroll being able to get those much-needed goals.
Bruce went on to further discuss our goalscoring woes, this time discussing Almiron’s lack of confidence at the moment:
“We didn’t really have big chances but we had big opportunities to make the big chance and missed the pass. Allan’s only young, big Jo’s only young and they can adapt to playing in England and getting better.
“Almiron – for all his good work – his confidence is a bit low because he hasn’t scored since he’s been here in January. However, his work rate and his effort and endeavour and what he gives the team is there for everyone to see. We just need to give him a goal.
“When you’re a forward player you need to score and that’s what we’ve got to do.”
Our next game at home to Wolves has now become MASSIVE – and it’s beginning to look as though Joelinton and Almiron’s place in the side may be seriously under threat.
Would you make any changes next weekend?