Newcastle United aren’t a pretty side right now.
Under Steve Bruce’s management, Newcastle’s ability with a football has been pretty worrying for a team competing in the top flight of English football.
And not just competing, they’ve actually managed to pick up 31 points and distance themselves from the relegation zone.
But sooner rather than later, things need to change. While we have done well at times, we’ve fluked a fair few points. It would be hard to argue we deserved the four points from the recent Chelsea and Everton games.
So when will things change? Based on the January transfer window, it should be soon.
Newcastle brought in three players last month, and it’s immediately clear that the new recruits will improve our ball retention.
Nabil Bentaleb is still getting up to speed, but he’s always willing to get on the ball. More importantly, he moves it quickly.
Every time he picks up the ball, he knows what he’s going to do with it before it’s reached his feet.
In contrast, a lot of our other midfielders need multiple touches before moving the ball. By then, the best option has gone and our attack has lost all momentum. Slow passing football is easy to defend against, which is why we can never break teams down.
Valentino Lazaro and Danny Rose made their debuts against Norwich, and they both impressed off the bench.
While they didn’t play for long, it was clear they both want to move the ball forwards and with purpose.
Lazaro looked so much more composed than DeAndre Yedlin, linking up nicely with Miguel Almiron down the right.
As for Rose, his quality was immediately evident. He was making passes against Norwich that most of his teammates wouldn’t even see.
It’s early days, but if the three new lads settle down and cement a place in the starting XI, we should be able to improve our style of play.
Surely it can’t get any worse, can it?