Newcastle Top 4 Crisis Or Reality Check?

After a great start to the season, it seems as if Newcastle United’s top-four hope is starting to slip out of their hands. With three draws and one win in the last four games, questions are now starting to be asked of Eddie Howe’s Magpies of whether or not they have the mentality of fighting for a top-four finish.

Sunday’s League Cup Final really emphasized the current form of both sides, with the Red Devil’s form being the more superior.

Since the Saudi Arabian takeover in ownership, the Magpies had really started to thrive under How, who replaces Steve Bruce in November 2021.

15 wins from 31 geames in all competitions, represnts a decent first full season so far, inspite of their recent dip in form, and with an away trip to champions, Manchester City around the corner, can they rediscover the form they showed prior to and after the World Cup break?

“The next leap forward is harder,” “Time is a very small commodity in my shoes. The speed with which the team has improved has been so quick people assume it’s simply going to continue but it’s not that easy. To keep moving on an upward trajectory gets harder and harder. Getting better gets harder the higher you go. We have big challenges ahead and we’re going to have to be smart. My work will be judged on our evolution. “I probably felt a bit of closure after Sunday’s final. The end of phase one is perhaps a nice way of putting it. Now we’re going to have to expand and improve the squad – you need investment to really compete at elite level – but I need to improve the players I have here too.”

Eddie Howe: The Guardian

So, what are the issues in their recent dip in form?

Lack of Goals

12 goals in the last 14 games is becoming an issue, with only three goals being scored from Matchweek 18 to 24. And in order to maintain their outstanding reccord of 12 clean sheets in 23 games, there will be more preassure on the Magpies on Saturduray to keep out a relentless Mnachester City, who have scored seven goals in their last two games, albeit against Championship side Bristol City and season strugglers, Bournmouth.

Lack of Creativty

Another issue for Newcastle, is that they are so reliant on Kieran Trippier’s exceptional deliveries form set pieces, and their is just not enough spark in midfield to create more oportunities to score from open play.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Miguel Almiron, Joel Willock, Bruno Guimarães, and Joelington look like quality midfielders for the future, but their quality in rthe final thrid, needs to improve consistantly, in order for the likes of Callum Wilson to score more goals.

This is why you would have thought that signing Anthony Gordon for £45million, sounds a bit of a strange one in the seense that although he is a highly-energetic player, does he have the nouse to crack open a tight defence by playing cute and clever passes? Why not see if you could join Liverpool in the race to sign Jude Bellingham?

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Let’s also not forget that Trppier is 32, and is the only creative outlet in Newxcastle, which is not enough. If you look at sides like City and Arsenal, they always have back ups for injured players, albeit Jorginho for Thomas Partey, or Illkay Gündoğan for Kevin De Bruyne. This is where Newcaastle must improve, in order to be labled as Title contenders for future seasons.

World Cup Jinx?

Prior to the World Cup in November, Eddie Howe’s side seven points behind Arsenal in third place, but since the restart, the Magpies blistering form has ran out of steam, and for a team that has not finshed inside the top six since 2011-12, you kind of sense that the preassure is kind of getton on Eddie Howe and is players to cement their position in the Champions League, which is the next best thing for any team in the Premier League besides winning it.

Beside facing City on Saturday, Eddie Howe’s side have some tricky looking fixtures at home to Wolves and away to Nottingham Forrest. If the Magpies can pick up maximum points from these three games, their quest of dreams of Champions League football may just be fulfilled.

Despite the heartbreak of Wembley, will this be a sucessfull season for the Magpies?

Find out, by staying in tune with World in Sport.

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