Newcastle’s draw with Wolves was another disappointing result, and another game where we have not scored more than one goal in a game, but there is an overwhelming reason why.
Yet again, Newcastle failed to dominate possession, in a game where the opponents had played a gruelling Europa League game on Thursday night.
In fact, Sunday’s game was just the second time in 11 games this season where we managed to have the ball for over 40 per cent of the time (43%), with the only other time being the home draw with bottom of the table Watford (49%).
Although a side that contains pacy players like Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin will cause problems on the counter-attack, we will always struggle to score goals playing this way.
Newcastle need to be clinical
Playing counter-attacking tactics means chances are always going to be few and far between, which means when they arrive, they must be taken, or risk the consequences.
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Newcastle have shown that with both Joelinton and Almiron struggling for goal-scoring form, and Saint-Maximin still finding his feet after his spell on the sidelines, they simply do not have the fire-power to take the chances when they have them.
With away games at West Ham and Aston Villa coming up in their next three, you can bet Steve Bruce will be reluctant to alter his tactics, but in the home game with Bournemouth, sandwiched between them, he simply must change it.
He should go with two up top for home games against teams we are expected to beat, so we can – for once – take a game by the scruff of the neck and dominate throughout.
There are not many teams in the Premier League who can win consistently while surrendering possession and only managing one goal in a game.
It has to change, or the Championship beckons. And that change must start with Bruce abandoning his current method, and adopting a more expansive, adventurous style, particularly at St James’ Park.