Newcastle United was not at their best for a number of weeks, despite winning several games across the festive period. This no doubt coincided with the five game suspension of Jonjo Shelvey, who recently returned.
With the transfer window now having been open awhile, some supporters may be surprised to see that Rafa Benitez has not recruited any new faces, considering the loss of prominent African internationals Chancel Mbemba, Mohamed Diame and Christian Atsu, all of whom are vital components of the squad.
Something to note in particular from recent games, without the aforementioned Shelvey, is the lack of a penetrative pass or killer assist that the former England international provides. Not just in terms of a direct assist, but Shelvey is extremely vital, usually, for the pass before the assist. His ability to dictate the game in an attacking sense from the middle of the pitch has been sorely missed.
With the madness of the transfer window comes an abundance of rumours, most of which will most likely never transpire.
Though the issue of creativity within the ranks may be solved with additions, a breakthrough could come from within. If the manager were to change his tactics with an emphasis on getting the ball forward at greater pace, and playing more direct, I am sure this would result in a greater number in the ‘goals for’ margin.
As a season ticket holder, I have seen first hand the reluctance that Benitez can show when he is faced with making changes, either in terms of personnel to add from the bench or in playing style.
Though these claims may prove to be ridiculous and unnecessary due to the fact United sit in an automatic promotion spot, a goal that was set and would be taken long before the season had started. However, I feel, as do a lot of supporters, that there is so much more potential within the ranks – whether that be switching to a more offensive formation or coaching the players to play with more freedom, without the rigidity of two holding midfield players and a withdrawn second striker.
What I would like to see if Ayoze Perez pushed further forward and impacting the game in the box more than he is required to drop deep and pick the ball up from defence, where he has shown during his time at the club that this is his most ineffectual role.
More from Newcastle Toons
- AC Milan predicted lineup vs Newcastle United – UEFA Champion League 2023/24
- “What a player” Arsenal and Real Madrid stars hype up this Newcastle ace
- Newcastle United 1-0 Brentford: 3 Catalyst Players Who Were Key To The Result
- Newcastle United 1-0 Brentford: 3 things Eddie Howe learned from the match
- Newcastle player ratings vs Brentford: Harvey Barnes impresses
With Daryl Murphy now the only fit striker, with Aleksandar Mitrović shortly due to return, there is certainly room for manoeuvre in terms of tactics, something that may not only provide a fresh impetus to players and fans, but something that can catch a lot of upcoming opposition teams off guard.
There is so much attacking potential that is currently untapped at Newcastle United, I feel its time to finally kick into top gear for the second half of the season – agree? Let us know in the comments!