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This Potential Substitution Could Have Made A Difference Yesterday

Steve Bruce made two substitutions in yesterday’s game against Arsenal. The first of which was forced, as a hobbled Jonjo Shelvey was replaced by Jetro Willems at 53 minutes. After some initial confusion, Jetro moved to left wing-back and Matt Ritchie tucked inside as a central attacking midfielder.

He made a tactical switch by bringing on Allan Saint-Maximin for Sean Longstaff in the 66th minute. This pushed Miguel Almiron deeper into the central midfield as Saint-Maximin was seemingly brought on to play the second striker role.

Saint-Maximin immediately made a difference as his direct running caused some issues for Arsenal. However, he seemed to drift out wide to the left a bit too much but it was all in an attempt to make something happen.

Yoshinori Muto– unused substitute in loss to Arsenal

In yesterdays’ press conference after the match, Steve Bruce was asked about why he had not used his third substitution to bring on Yoshinori Muto late in the game.

This is Steve Bruce’s response to that question:

“We had three strikers on the pitch, it was all about trying to find a balance.

“Muto has done very well since I’ve come into the club.

“I haven’t used him today but he’s very much part of my thoughts.

“Since I’ve been here in the last three and a half weeks, everybody I’ve bumped into has been nothing other than positive.”

His three strikers would have been Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maximin, and Miguel Almiron. The slight issue is that only one of them can play as an out and out striker. That would be Joelinton.

Allan Saint-Maximin spent a lot of time on the left-wing trying to create some chances. Miguel Almiron by the time a third substitution could have been made was pretty much spent. He worked very hard but

A possible substitution that may have worked was to bring Muto on for Almiron and have Joeliton drop to the second striker position or out to the right where he sometimes played at Hoffenheim.

Muto has looked threatening in preseason leading the line and his movement has been impressive. He has also shown an excellent ability to find space in his limited preseason appearances though his finishing has, like all of the strikers, been suspect.

He is also very energetic and could have caused some issues for the Arsenal defense. Muto should get some more chances this season and we think that yesterday provided a decent opportunity for him to come on for the closing 10 minutes. It clearly was not working late in the game as Newcastle’s attempt to level the score was at times chaotic and ultimately feeble.

18 comments so far

  • IrishRob

    Aug 12, 2019 at 5:48 PM

    Comment #1

    Instead of first, today I’m gonna just say hello to everyone!

  • Asi Fish

    Aug 12, 2019 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #2


  • hibbit

    Aug 12, 2019 at 5:52 PM

    Comment #3

    bills son is back

    you still think it was a good bench ??

  • RobLeenio

    Aug 12, 2019 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #4

    Bruce’s problem is that he has a poor reputation as a coach. In order to convince everyone that he’s a better coach than he thinks, he has to be flawless.

    The fact that there was a huge communication error in his very first competitive match will do nothing to allay anyone’s fears. In fact, those who wanted to support him, like me, are suddenly thinking that he may well be the next Steve McClaren, a horrible thought.

    He needs a result of some kind at Norwich. A decent display with a couple of goals may do it too, but the pressure is on already

  • Asi Fish

    Aug 12, 2019 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #5

    Hey Rob, hope you are enjoying your hols 🙂

    We are heading back to the NE and actually looking forward to it. My wife and kids mentioned about going to SJP again yesterday whilst watching the match which is good.
    I have to do my last 6 months in the UK and since my wife had an appendix op out here I think the scare has made her think about family more – small island, they barely caught it, operating doctor dressed in a tracksuit….

    Not Cullercoats unfortunately but you can’t have it all.

  • hibbit

    Aug 12, 2019 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #6

    not the best of starts for Neil Redfearn and the under 23s

    FULL-TIME: @ReadingFC Under-23s 6-0 Newcastle United Under-23s

    A difficult afternoon for the young Magpies as Andrija Novakovich’s hat-trick, Thierry Nevers’ brace and a goal from Tyler Frost seal the win for the Royals, with United’s Owen Bailey receiving a red card. #NUFC

  • Asi Fish

    Aug 12, 2019 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #7

    I like the British mentality of backing the underdog – hoping for a miracle but realising they will probably fail because they are not good enough and when they fail, well it was expected but how unfortunate.

    That is the same with Bruce. He shouldn’t be here but he is so we hope for the best – after watching yesterday he will need a massive dose of luck to unease the pressure.

    Brace yourself for a long, hard season.

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Aug 12, 2019 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #8


    Final Position: 11
    Final Number of Points: 51
    League Cup Round: Qtr
    FA Cup Round: 6
    Player of the Season (Blog): ASM
    Top Goal Scorer: Joelinton
    No of Goals for Top Goal Scorer: 16

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Aug 12, 2019 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #9



  • hibbit

    Aug 12, 2019 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #10

    could you mention to the cullercoats club you go to that web cam has been compromised

  • hibbit

    Aug 12, 2019 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #11

    Bills Son Is Back
    just new you wouldn’t admit you got it wrong,

  • c-dog

    Aug 12, 2019 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #12

    Bruce Out!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 12, 2019 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #13

    Bill’s son is back,
    Joelinton 16 goals?
    You don’t seem the type to take drugs, do you sniff glue?

  • ChicagoToon1

    Aug 12, 2019 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #14

    My thoughts on the game:

    We started off really well and looked the bigger threat. We may not have had many chances, but you could say the same thing for Arsenal. Their goal was down to many individual mistakes, not something that I would blame Bruce for. Our passing all game was pretty crap, again, thats not on Bruce. Even simple passes were going behind our players or were lazy and right to Arsenal. I wonder if part of that was due to the rain. Not sure if the pitch was wasn’t draining the water properly or what but for everyone to be passes poorly I think it there must be something to it. That said, idk wtf Bruce was doing with his subs. Fair enough if Shelvey was hurt and needed to come off, but Willems was a poor choice there. Longstaff had his worst game ever for us so I wasn’t opposed to him coming off but again, terrible choice for the sub. I blame Bruce not for so much for the result but with poor planning on the bench. Would have been much better to have Ki come on for Shelvey, then if you wanted Longstaff off for another winger, you could shift formation a bit to have it work. As it is, we eventually tried moving Ritchie to the middle to join Hayden which clearly did not work. I don’t understand how there was such horrible miscommunication between Bruce and Willems and Maximim. Honestly, can’t fathom it at all since I think both speak English do they not?

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Aug 12, 2019 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #15

    For those saying we looked disjointed in the 2nd half.


    But, we are playing a different system, especially in midfield, and Jo, ASM and Almiron are also going to have to learn each others game.

    I can see Bruce switching from a starting 3-5-2 at home, to sometimes a 4-4-1-1 away and changing the system during a game. It will take up to 10 games for the players to fit into the system and Bruce to decide which players fit the different systems best, and that includes who to start with and who to have on the bench.

    Having said that we need at least 10pts during those first 10 games and I would hope for 15 or more.

    There is far more flexibility in this squad than last season but Bruce and his team needs to prove they are up to the task.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 12, 2019 at 6:22 PM

    Comment #16

    Question bloggers,
    If your Balding chimpanzee suggested to you it would be a good idea to fill the petrol car with diesel as it saves money and you did to disastrous results, once fixed after a lot of time and effort from a very good mechanic and your balding chimpanzee said to you shall we start filling the car full of diesel again now that interfering mechanic is gone? Would you A: repeatedly slap the balding chimps head and send it back to the zoo or grin and nod inanely and give it a banana?

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Aug 12, 2019 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #17

    Jail – Joelinton 16 goals? You don’t seem the type to take drugs, do you sniff glue?

    Another truly pathetic reply.

    You are an embarrassment to this blog.

  • swemag

    Aug 12, 2019 at 6:24 PM

    Comment #18

    For people who can’t get off Jamaals back.

    He was on his own against two Arsenal players, if he goes for Aubameyang Dummet is on his own with two Arsenal players. Using the same logic I guess you could blame Schar for being too high up the pitch and not being able to catch Aubameyang, Schar was completely lost on that play and can be seen chasing after Aubameyang. However, the criminal thing here is that with a back line playing like that you simply cannot lose the ball the way we lost it. Criminal.


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