Steve Bruce has been asked today if he’ll bring a striker to St James’ Park this summer – and his response hasn’t filled me with confidence.
It’s a big statement saying it’s his most worrying statement yet, but as time slips by and we get closer and closer to the season’s start I get more worried with each passing day.
Now, I could just be too impatient and there’s still two weeks to go, but when you consider how long it took to get Hendrick over the line I can’t fail to worry – and is it any wonder when you consider the quotes.
“I know it’s (centre-forward) a pivotal part of Newcastle’s folklore.
“If we can improve in any position, then I’ll try, but certainly the forward areas are always the most mouth-watering ones, and the ones which get reported on.
“I’ve got to look at all areas of the squad.”
He seemed bullish a few days ago, but the phrase “I’ll try” has no creeped in – and he best now Dwight Gayle limped off in our pre-season win over Crewe this afternoon!
On the subject of Gayle, Bruce then talked up the striker before today’s friendly, with comments that made many wonder if he’ll deemed “like a new signing” should we fail to get a goalscorer ‘over the line’:
“I was really impressed with Dwight at the end of the season, the way he finished.
“He had four in seven games when he was getting a bit fit.
“He’s come back and burst on to the scene. He’s looking in tip-top shape.
“He had two bad injuries last year.”
No-one’s denying that Gayle did look sharp when he returned and was one of the few players that did well, but will he get 15 goals a season or even into double figures? I’d love to be proved wrong, but I really doubt it, especially when he’s picked up YET another knock.
Given that Muto never got a look in, Carroll was barely fit and coaching staff have realised that the central striker spot is not Joelinton’s best position, it is indeed worrying to think of Gayle as our No. 1 choice.
Bruce is also quoted as saying that he’ll only bring in players if they are better than what we’ve got in the position. Or in other words we only have a limited budget and he doesn’t want to splurge it all on one player. It feels like he’s protecting himself all of a sudden if we can’t get one!
Some would say that Bruce is now making worrying statements far too often. Witness his one the other day asking the players to come back with the same intensity that carried them to 2 wins out of the last 10 games including five defeats in a row…
For me we desperately need a striker of some description. Morelos might be worth a punt or it may have to be a loanee with something to prove. Tammy Abraham perhaps, although it appears Chelsea will only let him go for a huge fee certainly rules us out.
It’s not rocket science to see what we need and that’s why this latest statement to me is the most worrying one yet.