Steve Bruce was finally able to find a way to unleash the Newcastle attack on Saturday. The boys matched their total of shots on target over the past five games with 9 at West Ham.
While we were only able to bury 3 of them, that was still thrice as many goals as we had managed in any game all season.
All three goals were from set pieces, the first two of which had originated from the training ground.
Steve Bruce, speaking after the match, gave credit to his staff for fashioning the free-kick and corner routines that led to the first two goals.
This is what the head coach said about the routines:
“Fair play to my coaches who worked on a set piece routine that, when it gets delivered like it did, you have to say well done to them. With all the criticism they’ve had, I was delighted the plan came off.”
It was certainly something different from Newcastle. After scoring just six goals in the first ten matches, it looks like Bruce pulled together all of his resources in an attempt to get some goals.
Since they were working on the set pieces during training, it makes sense why Jonjo Shelvey got back into the side. He was the architect of the first goal with his excellent delivery to a waiting Joelinton at the back post.
While he didn’t have too much to do on the second goal but give a simple pass to Allan Saint-Maximin on the short corner, the third goal was all Jonjo with his 30-yard free-kick.
Steve Bruce– how many goals next week, Steve?
Jonjo also spoke after the match about what Steve had the lads work on during training. While the goals came from set pieces, Newcastle were also very dangerous on the counter. That is another area the coaches stressed in the week leading up to the match.
This is what Jonjo said about Bruce’s plan during open play:
“We know that Pellegrini’s teams like to play a high line.
“The gaffer spoke about it before. They always struggle with runners from deep and we worked on it in training and it paid off.
It certainly worked on Saturday, and if Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron could have buried some of their chances, it would have been a lot more comfortable in the end.
Our opening goal scorer Ciaran Clark also spoke to NUFC TV after the match about how successful the lads were in implementing what they worked on in training during the game.
When asked if he was surprised about Newcastle’s new-found attacking prowess, this is what Ciaran had to say:
“I don’t think I’m surprised – it was something we worked on during the week in training. The coaches explained to us the way they wanted us to play and encouraged us that, if we played that way, we would get in and get some chances.
“As I say, on another day we could have been four or five up and the game would have been over.
Newcastle now need to build on the success of this past weekend. We would expect Bruce to keep the same lineup for Bournemouth on Saturday. Hopefully, with another week on the training ground, the lads can continue to create the chances and maybe put more of them away.