Time for Bruce to start the man he talks up but never plays – The NUFC XI I want to see v Wolves

Steve Bruce should let bygones be bygones and reintroduce Dwight Gayle back into the fold against Wolves on Saturday.

Newcastle, for the most part, have looked decent in their last 145 minutes of football, creating chances and looking threatening going forward.

The second half against Leeds and the whole game against Watford saw us play with purpose, with Allan Saint-Maximin the focal point and looking to make things happen in the final third.

Creating chances hasn’t actually been our problem this season; in Callum Wilson’s absence due to injury – taking them has.

Dwight Gayle is the only other striker available right now and spent most of the campaign so far sat on the substitutes bench. Against Leeds in particular, it was infuriating to watch a Toon side look so toothless in front of goal when we had a recognised goal scorer on the bench.

Reports of a rift between Graeme Jones and Dwight circulated in the Daily Mail a few weeks ago but we are all grown men here and really need to think about the bigger picture – our first Premier League victory.

Newcastle need goals and, although his top flight record is nowhere near as deadly as his goal return in the second tier, he is the best we have right now.

After all, Bruce often talks him up, constantly reminding us that he’s tried to sign him on several occasions in the past, yet very rarely starts him – even when Wilson is out.

Saint-Maximin, while he has been sublime once again this season, is receiving the ball and finding himself having to run 30/40 yards into space, with no black-and-white shirt ahead of him.

Putting him back on the left flank – his best position – will allow him to use that electric pace to hurt the opposition and return to the role of creator rather than goalscorer.

One player who has looked like a square peg in a round whole as of late is Miggy Almiron. The Paraguayan can look ineffective on that wide right berth; he struggles to get into the game and, because he is so left-footed dominant, can look predictable too.

His best football on Tyneside has been from a central position, with Graeme Jones’ input seeing him deployed in a number 10 role behind two wide strikers in a 4-3-1-2.

With Gayle upfront in my side, he can still operate in that role, allowing both Almiron and ASM to play in their preferred positions.

Bruce reverted to a back four against Watford and it worked well, with Hayden adding balance from a defensive midfield position and preventing us from being overrun in midfield.

The form of Sean Longstaff and the width that Jacob Murphy brings to the side means the fall guys will be Joelinton and Joe Willock, with neither getting off to the best of starts this season.

Many Toon fans feel Joelinton has played well in recent weeks but I’m not having it. I would go as far as to drop him from this weekend’s clash as he is simply just not productive enough in the final third.

The back four and goalkeeper picks itself; a solid display at the weekend was undone by a set-piece but I would keep things the same again at the weekend.

Charlie’s NUFC side: Darlow – Manquillo, Fernandez, Clark, Ritchie – Hayden, Longstaff – Murphy, Almiron, Saint-Maximin – Gayle

7 thoughts on “Time for Bruce to start the man he talks up but never plays – The NUFC XI I want to see v Wolves

  1. 5-0 down by HT with Ritchie playing left back against traore (if he starts). Lack of height in the team without joelinton and no long ball option to hold ball up. 4_3_3 with Fraser or Murphy on the right. Almiron was the only person who could stop traore the last few times we played them, when he was cutting through the team.

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  2. You are living on a different planet if you think that Bruce will not start Willock. He will play the same midfield as against Watford. In fact, I wouldnt be surprised if he plays the whole team.

    Gayle will not start but we may see half an hour if we go a goal down. Not ideal, and I would put him in for Donkey, but that is not the way Bruce operates.

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  3. Joelinton actually worked the wide position really well against Leeds and Watford, I wouldn’t change the team just get them doing finishing drills in training.

    Gayle used to get dogs abuse from you guys and now you are advocating him as a saviour striker, he has been proven not to score goals at this level it’s no surprise neither Benitez or Bruce have trusted him at this level.

    Also he offers no physical threat whatsoever and we would never hold the ball up.

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  4. If Bruce went with that line up he’d get absolutely hammered!!.

    Coady, Kilman and Saiss are all big physical CBs – Gayle wouldn’t get a sniff & any ball up to him would come back just as quick.

    ASM is brilliant going forward but doesn’t track back – our LB would be so exposed against Troare.

    If you want Gayle in the team you drop Almiron imo.

    But I agree with Eric – he won’t and shouldn’t drop Willock & is unlikely to make any changes at all.

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  5. It is funny Sharpy how some NUFC fans cannot see the woods for the trees. Willock almost single handedly kept Bruce in a job last year and some may even argue he kept NUFC in the PL. A fit Wollock plays, just like and fit Wilson and fit ASM play. They are the 1st 3 names on the team sheet.

    Donkey is probably the 4th name but we wont get into that as that is most likely a contract situation.

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  6. When you talk about the “recognised goal scorer on the bench” is that the recognised CHAMPIONSHIP goalscorer on the bench?
    That’s the same Premier League goalscorer who manages a goal every 8 games?

    A little more seriously I disagree with your assessment of ASM and Miggy. They are good where they are. On the left the opposition can plan for ASM. In the middle he can go middle, left or right using his trickery to best effect against what he considers their weakest defenders.
    Miggy has also been impressive. I think part of his positioning has been to allow him to come to the back as required, covering Manquillo who is prone to tearing up the wing.

    One thing you are definitely correct about though, is that we are creating opportunities.
    And they will start going in.

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  7. JD:
    5-0 down by HT with Ritchie playing left back against traore (if he starts). Lack of height in the team without joelinton and no long ball option to hold ball up. 4_3_3 with Fraser or Murphy on the right. Almiron was the only person who could stop traore the last few times we played them, when he was cutting through the team.

    You can leave miggy out put Joe wilock wear miggy is

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