Miguel Almiron was excellent in the first thirty minutes or so of Newcastle’s home match against Arsenal. He threatened the opposition on a few occasions and had them on their heels with his dribbling and pace.
While his partnership with Joelinton is still in its infancy, they showed glimpses of what is to come from the pair. Both faded as the game went on, but they have the potential to become a thrilling duo this year.
Last season, Almiron was exclusively deployed on the left side of a front three. His impact was immediate and we saw that in his debut against Wolves when he was brought on for the final 18 minutes. His arrival also seemed to work wonders for the form of Ayoze Perez on the opposite flank.
This pre-season and in the opener against Arsenal we have seen Miguel playing centrally in the second striker role. He spoke to the Newcastle United homepage about this change of position and how he feels he is faring there:
“I think this position the manager is asking me to play now is a position I feel very, very comfortable in – I like playing there.
“Gradually we are trying to build up an understanding between Joe and myself – he’s a great player. I think that understanding will come on the field.
“Off the field, personally I’m feeling good as well in terms of how I’ve settled since I first got here, so hopefully that will help on the field.
“I think it’s really important, a player’s family life. When you feel comfortable, happy and relaxed and things are going well off the field, I think you feel the benefits of that on it. It helps you to perform at 100 per cent.
“I’m very happy in the city, with the people and how I’m treated by the fans, and hopefully that reflects on the field. I want to pay back all those kind thoughts and good wishes I receive all the time from the fans by performing.”
Interestingly, Almiron mentions a player’s family life in the passage above as Joelinton spoke about the same issues earlier.
It will be key for Miguel and Joelinton to get an understanding of each other in order to enhance both of their performances. With Miguel getting more comfortable at Newcastle, he will be able to help Joelinton also adapt to life in a new city.
They both will play a crucial role in Newcastle’s chances this season as they will be relied upon to get goals.
Miguel Almiron– playing against Arsenal on Sunday
That is one thing that is missing for Miguel so far at Newcastle – his first goal. He was asked about that and whether it is weighing on his mind:
“I’m quite relaxed about it. The main thing is that I’m performing well and providing opportunities for other players, and I’m bringing things to the side other than just goals.
“I’ve never been a massive goalscorer, but I’m confident that the goal will come. You don’t have to worry about these things too much and the goal will come. I feel good in myself, and the main thing is to help the team in every aspect.
“The fact that quality players have come in, attacking players, is a positive for the club and the team. It’s all about working hard, and as that understanding develops it can only be a good thing.”
Miguel is more of a playmaker than a goalscorer but he will need to chip in with some goals for this team to reach its potential. With the formation that Steve Bruce has implemented with only two players upfront, it is vital they become goal threats. While he doesn’t have to be prolific, Miguel will need to put the ball in the back of the net on occasion.
Next week against Norwich would be the perfect time for both Almiron and Joelinton to open their accounts. It has become an important fixture even if it is coming so early in the season. After Norwich, we are away to Tottenham, home against Watford, and then after the first international break, the lads travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool.
That is a tough stretch in the league which will be made a lot more palatable with three points on the board from Norwich.
This is what Miguel has said about the match coming up this weekend:
“I think it will act as an extra bit of motivation for them, the fact they will feel they have to play well in front of their own fans with it being the first game.
“But we’ve had a great pre-season, we’ve been working really hard, and we need to win to get what we deserve. They maybe have a bit of pressure to do well, but we put that on ourselves because we want to do well.
“But we’ve been working really well this week – that’s what we’ve been doing up to now – and I think we’ll be in a great position to turn that situation around come the weekend.
“I think we’ve just got to concentrate on ourselves and do what we know we can do, like every game – we always go into every game wanting to win. We go in with a positive attitude when we go out on the field.
“I don’t think the previous results will have too much of an interest – we know that every game is tough in this league.”
We are a bit apprehensive about this weeks matchup with Norwich. However, Bruce will hopefully have the lads well prepared to take all three points. Norwich play in a bit of a cavalier style as they showed on Friday against Liverpool. There should be plenty of chances for Miguel and Joelinton to get their first goals for Newcastle. They will also be up against two former Magpies in goalkeeper Tim Krul and defender Grant Hanley. So we hope Tim and Grant have their hands full on Saturday.