Newcastle United

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Season Guide
2020/2021

Newcastle United

In


Callum Wilson (att) Bournemouth; Jeff Hendrick (mid) Burnley; Mark Gillespie (gk) Motherwell; Achraf Lazaar (def) Cosenza – end of loan; Jacob Murphy (mid) Sheffield Wednesday – end of loan;

Out


Jetro Willems (r) (def) Eintracht Frankfurt – end of loan; Valentino Lazaro (sp) (mid) Inter – end of loan; Nabil Bentaleb (sp) (mid) Schlake 04 – end of loan; Danny Rose (sp) (def) Tottenham – end of loan; Freddie Woodman (gk) Swansea – on loan; Rob Elliot (gk) released; Jamie Sterry (def) released;

Considering their modest squad and departure of adored manager Rafa Benitez last summer, Newcastle did pretty well in 2019/20. The Magpies didn’t play attractive football and once again struggled for goals, but under Bruce their pragmatism brought them just about enough narrow wins to keep them out of trouble. It was a campaign of relative calm on the pitch for Newcastle, while in the ownership saga the twists and turns were plenty. Newcastle had everything in place to become the richest English club with new Saudi owners, but delay to clearing the deal from the Federation forced the Arabs to withdraw their offer. Rumours right now are that desperate parties negotiate with them to try and buy the club again, which if it happens will immediately change the goals, the structure and the quality of players that will be attracted. Right now the outlook for the new season is not great as the only notable new signing made is prone to injuries striker Callum Wilson. If things stay as they are Bruce will be using conservative tactics once more with 5-4-1 formation his favourite against the top teams and slightly more adventurous 3-5-1-1 shape in place against the rest. Newcastle’s ability to soak up pressure and frustrate opponents is their main strength. Also coach Bruce is a vastly experienced veteran and he knows how to extract the maximum even from players with pretty modest general abilities. The main weakness is the front line with last summer’s big signing Joelinton having a dismal first year in England and yet to hint that he could be a prolific goalscorer. Newcomer Wilson also had poor 2019/20 campaign and also he's player that regularly gets injured. The other area of concern is the left-back position as the departure of Willems opens a hole. Have 3-4 options for role, but Williems was the only one doing well last term.

Target


Saga with the club’s ownership continues and, if no new rich owner is found soon, the only goal will be survival. If the interested Saudi Arabians really make Newcastle the richest club in England the goals will be much different.

Season Review
2019/2020

№13: Newcastle United

Newcastle showed great defensive organisation and a stubborn ability to withstand long periods of heavy pressure. In the end this not only brought safety early, but allowed the Magpies to achieve a very respectable finish. Probably crucial for the comfortable end to the season were the results achieved in November and early December (W4 D2 L1). Undoubtedly the defensive stability of the team was their main strength with their 10 clean sheets the best tally amongst the teams in the bottom half of the table. Goalkeeper Dubravka deserves huge praise for his many saves, with captain Lascelles and left-back Willems (at least up until his serious injury in late January) also very influential. The big issues were going forward with the record summer-signing Joelinton scoring only 2 league goals all campaign. Almiron and Saint-Maximan also struggled for goals and nearly 40% of their goals this season were scored by defenders, emphasising the attacking problem. Coach Bruce deserves praise for achieving survival early, especially considering the many injury issues once the season resumed in June. None of the strikers deserve much credit though, all of the forwards underperformed. Off-the-field issues remain a major concern with the ownership saga unfolding in Newcastle for over 18 months now. Only if this farce is finally over and a new owner is found can the Magpies hope to have a better season next term. If not, they will be struggling to survive once more.


Player of the Season: Martin Dubravka

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