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Attacking Duo Could Force Howe Into Selection Rethink

Newcastle got the job done at St Mary’s in the first leg of the league cup semi-final. It was a difficult match but the Magpies hold a slim 1-0 advantage heading back to St. James’ park for next Tuesday’s second leg.

It was another frustrating night in front of the net as the lads failed to take their chances until late in the match. It took a moment of sheer determination and class from Alexander Isak to provide a ball for Joelinton that the Brazilian couldn’t fail to put into the net.

The double substitution of Isak and Allan Saint-Maximin sparked Newcastle as the move came after a nervy ten minutes with the Saints on top. It took some timely saves from Nick Pope to keep yet another clean sheet, the 10th in a row with the 30-year-old manning the net.

Eddie Howe will have to give some thought to altering his starting eleven for the second leg. Isak and Saint-Maximin were lively and threatening. The pair added a new element with their pace and trickery.

Interestingly, Saint-Maximin said the following to BBC Newcastle about playing with Isak:

“I like to play with all the players, but I spend a lot of time with Isak. He’s an incredible player. I want to be able to play with him and show what we are capable of doing on the pitch.”

With Maxi and Alex fit, Howe now has options up front. While his preferred eleven have been sensational, things can tend to grow stale. Therefore, Howe may make at least one change next Tuesday night and possibly two depending on how training goes.

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47 comments so far

  • cleveleysbob

    Jan 25, 2023 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #41

    Onmeedson, if we get to the final, like you I just want the team to turn up and play the way they can.

    Last number of finals I can remember, after much hype, we forgot to send the team out, or at least that’s what it felt like. No passion, no purpose, no idea, no competition, we basically rolled over and asked for our tummy to be tickled.

    As much as I want us to win something, I’ll be reasonably content if we play to our best ability and give whoever our opponents are a bloody good game. 🙂

  • cyprus

    Jan 25, 2023 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #42

    98, 99, 00, 05 and 23…

    There’s a pattern there which says we’re winning this one.

    Tough to illustrate here as it’s a complex algorithm.

  • cleveleysbob

    Jan 25, 2023 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #43

    Cyprus, you’ll have to go back and include 69 and 55 as proof of theorem. 😉

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Jan 25, 2023 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #44

    One thing about Gordon which would worry me which hasn’t been mentioned

    Is him leaving Everton in the lurch in the fans eyes anyway

    He is from Liverpool so is his family that set of fans (and Liverpool) have been known to cause damage to players houses etc

    Don’t want that kind of trouble on our doorstep

  • sparky55

    Jan 25, 2023 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #45

    JohnJ. Hard luck on Murphy as well…as soon as he comes on the pitch next week he’s gonna get thumped by him…and so he should…poor form from Murphy I think.

    Revenge will be served cold

  • Pottsclock

    Jan 25, 2023 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #46

    Our conversion statistics (shots to goals) is 10.5%. It’s the fifth highest in the premier league. I agree it should be better but it’s not as bad as some think. Liverpool, Man U and West Ham are creating much more chances than us but their conversion rate is much lower. We’re definitely creating more chances than we used to, but then what we had in recent years was very negative football.


  • cleveleysbob

    Jan 25, 2023 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #47

    In the PL virtually every team has an average crowd attendance very close to the recorded capacity. Fulham’s average is actually above the capacity, so I don’t know how that works.

    Given that virtually every game is almost a sell out, why are they so scared about televising 3:00pm kick offs? It makes no sense. The income from match day is almost irrelevant anyway, we get told, so if attendances drop slightly (I doubt they will) it won’t make a big difference.

    Is it that the PL is being held to ransom by the EFL as they’re worried people would rather stay home and watch a PL game on the telly, than watch Oldham live?

    If they think like this they clearly don’t understand the mentality of Football Supporters, who in colossal numbers turn out week after week to support “their team” in all weathers and irrespective of league positions etc.

    The whole idea seems archaic and un called for in this day and age.


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