Newcastle United earned themselves a hard-fought point in a 2-2 clash with Manchester City this afternoon, and Toon fans have reserved special praise for the contribution of Miguel Almiron.
Almiron has come under fire from fans and pundits in recent weeks, mostly due to his complete lack of goals or assists in 23 appearances for the club.
Despite impressing under Rafa Benitez last season, the Paraguayan has been under considerable pressure to increase his decision making this campaign, but has continued to struggle in that area under Steve Bruce.
But in his 24th showing for the club today (the same number as his shirt), the midfielder finally managed to break one of his ducks.
After going 1-0 down in the first half to a Raheem Sterling goal, Newcastle responded emphatically to equalise within just four minutes.
And it was largely thanks to Almiron.
The midfielder worked the ball up the left wing, before fashioning a one-two with Saint Maximin and then laying it off for an onrushing Jetro Willems.
Willems did the hard work with a fantastic finish into the bottom corner, but it was still incredible for Almiron to contribute definitively to a goal.
There was hopes he would push on and get his first goal too, but the Paraguayan unfortunately either rushed or delayed any chances that did fall to him.
However it was positive to see the midfielder finally silence some of his detractors and hopefully his confidence will increase tenfold.
Newcastle fans have reacted with utter joy to his assist, and some have even suggested it could provide managerial insight for Bruce.
Newcastle fans react to Almiron assist
Almiron assist I’m genuinely on the floor here
— Adam. (@AdamNUFC_) November 30, 2019
Almiron finally gets an assist for Newcastle after moving over to the left side 🤔 Bruce, have a look! 👀 #NUFC
— CallumGeere (@CallumGeere) November 30, 2019
Almiron assist eh? The lad can breath a bit, he can now actually show that he's a useful player, hopefully scores the goal that wins us the game 😉
Adding to that, another defender scores a goal. I don't what kind of reverse play Bruce is doing, but sometimes it actually works.
— NUFC 360 (@NUFC360) November 30, 2019
Surely not? Almiron has an assist!!!!!!!!!! #NUFC
— Exo_Badger (@BrucesBallers) November 30, 2019
Buzzing for Almiron today man. Only an assist but will get his confidence going 🙌 #NUFC
— Chad Presley (@chad_presley) November 30, 2019
Almiron should of been playing on the left from the start. Bruce needs to keep him there. Now that he’s got his first assist.
— callum lewis (@callum592) November 30, 2019
Great point lads, well played and I’m chuffed for Almiron getting an assist #nufc
— Jambo (@JamieHolmes2011) November 30, 2019
Almiron assist, the end must be near. #nufc
— Harry (@harryr0y) November 30, 2019
Almiron supporters have long criticised both Benitez and Bruce for consistently playing the creator outside of a number 10 role.
However while Almiron still managed to impress under Benitez on the left, his stock has plummeted under Bruce.
This is because in most matches Bruce has preferred to play Almiron on the right, and new signing Allan Saint-Maximin on the left.
However Toon fans were quick to point out Almiron’s assist versus City came from the midfielder cleverly switching wings.
The Newcastle faithful will now certainly want to see him reverted to the left in the hope he can pick up his form again.
For now Bruce is likely to keep things the same, especially after such a good performance against the title defenders.
But defenders continue to be the source of goals for Newcastle, and eventually something will have to change up top.