Joelinton shocker, Krafth out-werked & one dimensional Bruce – Liam Kennedy's SEVEN Newcastle United takeaways

Another Newcastle United performance – and yet more questions than there are answers.

Sunday, 18th October 2020, 8:00 am
Manchester United's English striker Marcus Rashford (L) and Manchester United's English defender Luke Shaw (R) close in on Newcastle United's Brazilian striker Joelinton during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on October 17, 2020.

A 4-1 hammering at the hands of fragile Manchester United is bad enough, but the dominance of the visitors – not for the first time this season – is starting to become another concerning trend for Newcastle and in particular Steve Bruce.

Here's what our writer Liam Kennedy thought of the clash – and it’s fair to say few come out of this analysis with any credit.

Joelinton shocker

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Just when we thought we were getting somewhere, Saturday night happens.

Joelinton was just starting to look like a player on the up, then he is pinned back into a right wing position he was so ill suited to.

He’s not a striker and now we know he’s not a defensive right sided player either. No10? Still a work in progress.

Substitution debacle

Bruce is not always known for making changes that change the course of games. And he didn’t do anything to change that perception on Saturday.

In fact, with Karl Darlow clearly struggling, he held off, held off again and again. No change in the goalkeeper department came, but three further goals went past the Newcastle understudy.

Bad luck or bad game management?

On first glance there’s little Darlow could have done about any of them, but still Miguel Almiron and Ryan Fraser’s introductions were far too late anyway.

Far from Krafthy against pace

Against the big boys, yes. Against pace and movement, no, no, no.

Emil Krafth had an absolute shocker on the right if defence. His worst moment was probably his last, skinned for Marcus Rashford’s icing on the cake.

He did well against the physicality of Burnley but was woefully out of his depth against Luke Shaw, Daniel James, Rashford & Co.

Shelvey treading water

We should no longer be surprised by Jonjo Shelvey’s lack of pace, poor positioning and general ability to coast through games with little to no impact. But still Bruce persists with him.

You do have to think one day he will realise his unwavering trust was misplaced. Even with three midfielders in the centre, Shelvey still looked a million miles off the pace.

Hayden concerns

The only player Newcastle United have who can put his foot in, in the midfield at least, is Isaac Hayden.

He is such a crucial part of United’s midfield – and his injury has to be of huge concern for Bruce.

One dimensional Newcastle

When Plan A – get the ball to Allan Saint-Maximin – doesn’t work, Newcastle United look at a loss to make an impact on games.

ASM got plenty of ball, particularly in the opening 45, but was far too far away from the opposition danger area to really make a difference.

He beat too many Man United players in his own half to really cause any significant danger.

Helpless Wilson

The striker came within a whisker of making it five from five in the Premier League, but it’s fair to say United did little to help Wilson, who was left to plough a lone furrow up top.

At one point Wilson was flicking headers on and chasing them down himself.

Bruce’s tactics have to be questioned when you pay £20million for a striker and leave him this ridiculously isolated.