Despite a change in formation and heavily altered lineup, Newcastle United couldn’t score at home in a draw vs. Burnley.
After Steve Bruce made five changes to the starting XI and switched up the formation, Newcastle United ended their two-match losing streak with a 0-0 draw vs. Burnley today.
Welcome Returns by Manquillo and Shelvey
We all knew that Newcastle United could really use a return of Javier Manquillo and Jonjo Shelvey, but I think I underestimated how much we needed them. Shelvey was immediately picking out long passes, slicing the ball all across the pitch, and firing shots from distance. Manquillo was consistent in defense and built into the attack, sending in quality crosses. They transformed a Newcastle side that looked lifeless against Palace just one week ago.
The New Formation Worked…Kind of
The new 4-4-2 formation that Newcastle United utilized today definitely opened things up a bit in the attack. But, that increase in action (21 shots) and aggression could have also been tied to the aforementioned two players returning from injury and they still couldn’t score a goal at home. Dwight Gayle’s inclusion definitely helped Newcastle find some half chances and allowed for Joelinton to roam freely without leaving the Magpies without a player up top.
All Action from Miggy and Ritchie
The duo of Miguel Almiron and Matt Ritchie helped boost the Magpies with their energy throughout the match. Both players chased down every loose ball and pushed the action for the attack. Almiron flew up and down the pitch, giving Burnley defenders all they could handle, and Ritchie was never afraid to shoot or play into the attack in the middle or on the wing.
- There’s no reason for Steve Bruce to abandon this formation. They were still sturdy at the back and things looked more lively going forward.
- Gareth Southgate was at St. James’ Park and he most likely left impressed with the performances of Danny Rose (outside of his poor back pass), Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey.
- There are few cheers these days louder at home than for Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin. Both players are electric on the ball and the Toon Army is always excited to see what they can create.
- Speaking of Saint-Maximin, I’d love to see Steve Bruce figure out the best way to mix him into that 4-4-2.
Newcastle United will travel to the Hawthorns to face West Bromwich Albion in the FA Cup. The Baggies lost to Wigan Athletic today in the Championship.