After weeks of producing clear-cut chances, Newcastle were toothless in attack against Arsenal on Sunday. It mirrored some dreadful times this season when the lads struggled to offer any threat upfront.
Hopefully, Sunday’s disappointing defeat will serve as yet another wake-up call in a season of alarms. Newcastle can ill-afford go into another prolonged attacking funk over the final four matches of the campaign.
We’ve got some difficult matches over the next two weeks. Offering a threat at the top end of the pitch is going to be vital for any hopes of a result against Leicester City or Manchester City.
Steve Bruce had started our star duo of Callum Wilson and Saint-Maximin for the first time since February. After the consistent attacking displays over the previous four weeks, having the pair in the team for the full 90 minutes seemed a dangerous proposition for the Arsenal defense.
However, the two forwards were rendered largely ineffective as they were starved of service. Saint-Maximin was forced to drop deep to get the ball at his magical feet. He still managed 8 dribbles but was held in check for the most part. Wilson ended up with just 1 shot and only 19 touches.
That will have to be worked out this week for any chance against the Foxes on Friday. The positive news is everyone seemingly came through unscathed though we did lose Fabian Schar for the next three weeks with his unfortunate sending off.
There’s no doubt Newcastle are a much better team with Wilson and Saint-Maximin as the focus of the attack despite the anemic performance on Sunday. Bruce seems confident that it was just a minor blip that can be sorted out for the upcoming matches.
This is what the head coach said about his two forwards as published in The Chronicle:
“We didn’t create enough for them did we? We could visibly see we’re a bigger threat.
“They had a difficult day you know. Allan has produced magic in the last few weeks but it didn’t quite happen, but hey we are better with them in the team.
“We’ll get better in the next few weeks I am sure about that.”