Final Piece of Jigsaw Still Missing at Newcastle
Two games into the new season, Newcastle's problem is blatantly obvious to the majority. Despite nine signings and some top talent coming in, a goalscorer has eluded Toon transfer chiefs. The next seven days are crucial.
August 26th, 2014
Two games into the new season, Newcastle’s problem is blatantly obvious to the majority. Despite nine signings and some top talent coming in, a goalscorer has eluded Toon transfer chiefs. The next seven days are crucial.
Newcastle have failed to find the net in 15 of their last 22 competitive games. This worrying stat includes matches against Manchester City and Aston Villa this month. There are several different explanations from fans as to why the goals have dried up. Some blame Alan Pardew’s defensive tactics and negative formations, whilst others feel the departure of Yohan Cabaye and Loic Remy’s injuries were a factor last season.
This summer Mike Ashley and co. have invested in some talented flair players. Remy Cabella, Siem de Jong, Ayoze Perez, Emmanuel Riviere and Facundo Farreyra will all contribute offensively at one point or another in the season – but will any of them score 18-20 goals?
At the end of last season amid talk of transfers, signing a top striker was high on the priority list for the club. Remy’s return to QPR meant we were light up- front, and a list of targets was put together. One by one, they either committed their future or moved elsewhere. Talks were held with agents of Bafetimbi Gomis and Pierre-Michel Lasogga. Papers reported interest in Andy Carroll, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and QPR’s Remy – all top strikers, good enough to lead the line on Tyneside.
In the meantime, we kept signing players and the squad as a whole was strengthened with quality – something many fans were worried about at the end of last season. On the striker front we still look light. Riviere, expected to lead the line, is strong and powerful but hasn’t really looked like scoring in the first few games. Perez has pace, but seemingly lacks that composure that comes with experience. Ferreyra and Papiss Cisse are lacking match fitness.
In his interviews, Pardew has watered down the expectation of bringing in a striker and feels that this team has goals in it. He told the official website before the Villa game: “I think this team’s got goals in it. I think it’s got more than one goal a game, last year we were winning games by one goal and I think we can do better than that this year.” He has even claimed that the likes of Shane Long, Ross McCormack and Jordan Rhodes are not good enough for us. We’re now being linked with Manchester United’s Danny Welbeck, who I don’t think is a big enough player to be our central striker.
As the clock ticks down to transfer deadline day, it is vital the Magpies act and address this lack of goals problem. It could well be the difference between finishing tenth and sixth. We have players who will chip in with goals here and there, but a consistent challenge for the top six requires an out-and-out goalscorer – the final piece of jigsaw at Newcastle.
Howay the lads!
Umar Farooq, Editor – NUFCfans.co.uk