What is so frustrating about Newcastle United’s recent run of form is the fine margins going against them.
Against Liverpool, Manchester United and most recently Manchester City, Eddie Howe’s side impressed between both boxes but could not find the finishing touch.
Indeed, Alan Shearer vented his frustration during Saturday’s loss at the Etihad Stadium, such has been Newcastle’s profligacy.
It seems all of Howe’s forward options are suffering a slump at the same time. Alexander Isak, at least, has an excuse given his injury problems, while Anthony Gordon has only had a few games with which to impress.
Still, Miguel Almiron’s goals have dried up while Allan Saint-Maximin is yet to fully convince under Howe.
Callum Wilson, meanwhile, looks a player desperately short of confidence.
Wilson questioned by Jamie Carragher
The England international is increasingly looking like a huge problem for Howe.
Newcastle’s most reliable source of goals since his £20m move from Bournemouth in 2020, the 31-year-old squandered a brilliant chance against City.
After scoring only once since the World Cup break, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher issued a damning verdict of the forward.
“They’re just not scoring goals right now,” Carragher told Sky Sports’ Gary Neville podcast.
“Callum Wilson, since the World Cup, has just not been the same.”
Wilson no longer deserves to start
It’s certainly understandable that Wilson put so much in to make England’s World Cup squad.
A player to have come up through the divisions and to have suffered two major injuries during his career, exhausting himself to achieve that honour is only natural.
Still, Howe does not have time for sentiment. Woefully out of form, Wilson simply must make way for Isak against Wolves and Nottingham Forest, with the team in dire need of fresh ideas up front.
Wilson’s earned the right to be given a second chance this season but, now, it’s time for Isak.