Tag Archives: Allan Saint-Maximin

Newcastle United’s Poor Form Was Summed Up In Just One Half Against Chelsea

Few people involved in the footballing world, specifically the Premier League, would call Steve Bruce a “master tactician”.

The man himself has even gone so far in the past as to admit that he “doesn’t do tactics”. For those watching modern day football, where ‘Pep-style’ technical play has emerged, this admission is nothing short of alarming.

A striking graphic emerged over the weekend displaying Newcastle United’s average formation this season. As shown, it displays an absolute lack of forward-thinking football, and at any one time nearly every player is in their own half.

Coupled with the frightening statistics displayed during the Newcastle v Chelsea game at the weekend- Newcastle sit 20th in the league for total shots, touches in the opposition box and passes into the final third. This highlights a damning need for a change in the way Newcastle United play.

At the weekend Chelsea came to St James’ Park, by their own admission a “bogey” ground where results are unpredictable, and outplayed Newcastle United in every sense of the word.

With their main (and only reliable, respectively) striker out, Newcastle United barely got out of the starting blocks having only one shot on target and 29% possession. Without Callum Wilson, Newcastle have barely any threat going forward at all, unless you include Miguel Almiron who was benched, brought on at 65 minutes and created the only attacking threat.

This Bruce-style defensive football, which quite frankly barely includes any counter attacking nature, is simply not working- Newcastle have faced the most shots in the league up to this point and Karl Darlow has made the most saves.

The media like to portray Bruce as a great man who is “doing a good job” at Newcastle United. They sit 15th in the league, and have two 2-0 losses back to back, but prior to this beat a very strong Everton side 2-1 and drew with another strong Wolves team.

These types of unexpected results are what is giving the media, and other football fans at that, a false view on Bruce’s capability as a Premier League manager.

Southampton v Newcastle United - Premier League : News Photo

His managerial win rate at Newcastle United so far is 30% and for a team who wants to progress this is simply not acceptable. Especially when you take transfers under Bruce’s tenure on board; around £95m spent in his 18 months as manager and no progression being made as a team.

The football is extremely frustrating to watch and creative players like Saint-Maximin, who is regarded as one of the most exciting prospects in recent Newcastle United history, are being pulled back almost to wing backs as the lines are too deep.

Formations are being kept the same game to game despite different challenges faced from completely different teams which means our opposition have already found us out before the game kicks off.

With the emergence of attacking football this season which has allowed teams like Aston Villa, Everton and Leicester to surprise us all, this sitting back style of play will leave Newcastle United in very hot water unless something is done quickly.

Newcastle fans aren’t deluded enough to solely blame Bruce for this adversity but he IS in charge of the team selection and tactics and as a symptom of the Mike Ashley disease, this needs to be treated before it’s too late for Newcastle United.

Allan Saint-Maximin: Tyneside Saviour Ready To Explode

Over the last year and a bit, Newcastle United fans haven’t had the most to cheer about.

They managed to survive in the Premier League despite struggling for goals, with manager Steve Bruce opting for defence-first tactics. They had a big win over Manchester United during the campaign too and have started this season relatively well, securing 7 points from their first four games.

The good news continued this season too as it was revealed star-man Allan Saint-Maximin has put pen-to-paper on a brand new six-year deal, tying him to the club until 2026. Essentially the deal is just a one-year extension to his previous deal but on much improved terms to match his status in the squad.

His explosiveness, dribbling ability and unpredictability has seen him become a fan favourite at St James’ Park and he’s quite comfortably their best player. Not only have his performances matched it for the most part, but the player seems genuinely happy to be at the club too.

The new contract will obviously give Newcastle all sorts of leverage if any team decides they want to come in for the 23 year old winger, but the truth of the matter is there’s no rush right now.

Saint-Maximin is playing regular football, performing to a high standard and is a contributing factor in almost anything good coming out of the club right now.

Steve Bruce has made a considerable effort to ensure that Saint-Maximin doesn’t get burdened with being the only creative hub at the club this summer too. They signed Callum Wilson to play up front from Bournemouth while also signing Ryan Fraser, Jeff Hendrick and Jamal Lewis to strengthen the starting line-up.

The side have been a bit more daring this season too. Bruce has abandoned the five-at-the-back formation and opted for a more traditional 4-4-2, with Saint-Maximin given the freedom of the left-wing. Jamal Lewis operates behind him and is an upgrade on former midfielder Matt Ritchie in that position, helping in the attacks when necessary but more often than not just ensuring that defensively it isn’t a gaping weakness in the side.

The addition of Jeff Hendrick adds cover to the central midfield position while Callum Wilson’s addition to the attack means that Saint-Maximin’s hard work isn’t going without reward now since Joelinton’s role as the main goalscorer has been reduced.

Now that the club have got a star to build their club around once again, it’s time for results on the pitch to match so that Tyneside can have a giant of a football club for the first time in over a decade.