Newcastle United suffered a narrow 1-0 loss at the hands of Arsenal in their Premier League season opener at Saint James’ Park on Sunday, and manager Steve Bruce would have been left to rue his side’s inability to get a result against the Gunners.
The visitors weren’t particularly on top of their game, but the Magpies failed to create clear-cut goalscoring chances either.
Summer signing Allan Saint-Maximin was the standout player for Newcastle, with the Arsenal defence often finding it hard to contain his pace.
Joelinton hardly got the balls in the dangerous areas and he often had to drop deep to link up with others.
Willems should have done better in the build-up to the visitors’ goal as he failed to react quickly to a pass, but Bruce would have some positives to look at as his side showed some potential.
Newcastle legend Alan Shearer reckons it was a disappointing start for the Toons, as their lack of a goal threat and registering only two efforts on target summed up a poor performance.
He also believes the Brazilian striker and Miguel Almiron should have done better.
“From a Newcastle perspective; they need £40million center-forward Joelinton to hit the ground running and score as quickly as possible. But, especially in the first half, he and Miguel Almiron played too far apart from each other and weren’t effective,” Shearer told The Sun.
“They had one or two neat touches and Joelinton was unlucky with an effort in the first half. He was feeding off scraps all afternoon. There was no real quality or crosses going into the box or even long balls up to him.
“The Brazilian didn’t really have that partnership with Almiron you need — the Paraguayan was being forced to drop deeper than he wanted to because of Arsenal’s midfield five.”
It wasn’t the start Bruce would have wanted from the team, and while they clearly have a lot to do going forward, Newcastle have what it takes to stay up this season, and leaving Norwich City with a result next weekend will do them a lot of good.