The words ‘pace’ and ‘Joselu’ are rarely used in the same sentence, unless the sentence is ‘Joselu has no pace’.
While the Spaniard is useful in the air, there’s no threat in behind when Joselu leads the line for Newcastle.
Against Leicester, we were one dimensional going forward. Balls were constantly being pumped up to the big man, and rarely would it lead to a chance being created.
At no point were we able to get in behind and get the Leicester defenders turned, which made it an easy afternoon for Harry Maguire and Wes Morgan.
Creating chances has been a big issue for Newcastle, so maybe it’s time for a change of plan up top.
More pace needed upfront
All season, Newcastle have played with a target man. We’ve seen both Joselu and Salomon Rondon try their hand, but neither have really succeeded.
While Rondon is a bit more capable of spinning in behind, he’s out injured. As for Joselu, he’s never been quick, and he’s never filled Newcastle fans with confidence.
One option they’re yet to exploit is Yoshinori Muto. The Japanese forward has only featured off the bench so far, and has been lively despite struggling with the physicality of the Premier League.
While a pairing of Muto and Ayoze Perez would probably be troubled by wind let alone a big centre half, it might be a pairing that could cause some more problems for opposition back-lines.
When Dwight Gayle was in the team, Jonjo Shelvey was able to get his head up and send the ball into space for the striker to exploit. With Joselu, the ball has to go into his head, chest or feet.
With Muto and Perez up top, it will allow Shelvey to stretch defences more. Runs in behind and into the channels can get Newcastle up the pitch, and allow them to create more chances.
It’s unlikely that Rafa Benitez will go with the diminutive duo at Old Trafford, but it might be something he needs to consider with Newcastle’s position looking more perilous as the weeks go by.