A change in system has brought a change in results for Newcastle United.
Since reverting to a back five, the Magpies have picked up four points to increase the gap between themselves and the bottom three.
Steve Bruce’s latest system worked wonders against Tottenham, allowing more players to get into the box in the absence of Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson.
It was less successful against Burnley, but it still delivered a victory thanks to the individual brilliance of Saint-Maximin.
All the talk has been about the Frenchman over the past week, as he proves to be Newcastle’s talisman once again.
However, while Saint-Maximin thrives, one of his teammates is being stifled – Miguel Almiron.
Almiron looks lost on the Newcastle right yet again
The Paraguayan has been forced to play on the right of a midfield three following the latest formation change.
And just like in the past when he has had to play on the right, he looks lost.
His work ethic and attitude is just as impressive, but his contributions on the ball have been far less impactful.
He has been overshadowed by Jacob Murphy down the right, who has been playing brilliantly as a wing-back.
We saw the best of Almiron earlier in the year, with the 27-year-old playing in a central role where he could influence proceedings.
But a dip in form has led to a change in shape, and forced Almiron into a position that doesn’t suit him. Sadly, this isn’t the first time this has happened.
Throughout Bruce’s tenure, he has opted to play the speedster on the right wing. That’s despite him being massively left-footed, and looking much more impressive through the middle or on the left flank.
Newcastle have some great attacking options, but Bruce seems to struggle getting the best out of all of them.
Almiron did move to the left in the second half versus Burnley, and that’s where he must start against West Ham.
We can’t afford to be wasting a player like Almiron. And the better Saint-Maximin plays, the more clubs will target him.
That’s why we need other players to step up, which Almiron struggles to do on the right.
When all our attacking players are fit, we shouldn’t be putting square pegs in round holes.