Date: 23rd August 2019 at 1:00pm
Written by:

OPINION

The opening two weeks of the have been nothing short of dreadful for Newcastle United.

Bruce has taken the reigns during pre-season, and his Magpies side already look short on confidence after two defeats in which they never really put up a fight.

His five-at-the-back formation has led to his two forwards being isolated for large periods of those games after Bruce has insisted on playing three in midfield on top of his defensive heavy set-up.

New signing has partnered against both and City and has been given little to nothing in terms of service.

Against Arsenal, the Magpies pushed for a goal but it never looked likely with no real chances being created in the second half. It got worse for Newcastle against as they were dismantled on a day when it could have been a lot more painful than the 3-1 scoreline.

Brazilian forward, Joelinton, did miss his first guilt-edge opportunity in the game, glancing a header wide when it looked easier to score.

Matt Ritchie has shared in an interview with the Shields Gazette, that he has given the 23-year-old some words of advice after the game.

“I spoke to him, and I think he knows if it does come to me, at the earliest opportunity I’ll put it in the box, and hopefully he’ll get on the end of them,” he said.

“It’s down to me to put balls in good areas, and I know he’ll be there.”

Should Ritchie continue his current form in his wing-back role, should not be expecting many goals this season – with the Scotsman having struggled to make an impact going forward.

Many Newcastle fans slammed Ritchie for his performance against Norwich, with the majority not happy with his delivery in open play and from set-pieces.

On numerous occasions, Ritchie failed to beat the first man with crosses and free-kicks – leaving with little to work within and around the box.

Ritchie has completed 37.5 passes on average per game so far according to WhoScored, with a poor success rate of 74.7% – with only 1.5 crosses attempted per game surely proving that needs better service if he is to start scoring.

Joelinton’s struggles could be set to continue with Ritchie’s advice short of the mark if he doesn’t improve his own performances.