Glenn Hoddle shared he was concerned about Newcastle United’s squad after Robbie Savage suggested Steve Bruce could have a difficult job.
Savage claimed it could be difficult for Bruce at the Magpies due to the club losing 2018/19 top-scorers Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon in the summer, and Hoddle responded by revealing his concern for the Magpies.
Hoddle stated that the Magpies were already under pressure and suggested that their squad may not have players capable of rolling up their sleeves who can grab them a confidence-boosting result.
“It’s going to be very difficult, but it’s only been two games and you can’t judge a team in two games,” said Hoddle on BT Sport’s Early Kick-Off (10:29am, Saturday, August 24th).
“If they can get a win under that belt, the confidence comes, but I look at the team and think where is it going to come from?
“Y’know I think as a team if you’re mid-table and above if floating, you’re under no pressure, but they’re under pressure straight away.
“And I’m not sure they’ve got the right personnel in there that will really roll their sleeves up and say hang on let’s get a result going, that’s my concern.
“Yes the results, but it’s early doors, so they can turn it away but have they got the formula to get the possession and bring the forwards into play, as you say they’ve lost goals but they have to get the ball first, and I don’t see it happening at first.”
Ignoring the fact Hoddle says you can’t judge a team after two games before doing just that, he may have a point. The former England manager seems concerned that the Magpies’ squad isn’t filled with players who grab games by the scruff of the neck and dominate possession for them. When you consider the Magpies only saw 37% of the ball during their 3-1 loss to Norwich last Saturday, as per BBC, he may be on to something. After all, if Newcastle don’t win the battle for possession, how can they be expected to win games? However, it is worth noting that while Hoddle seems to defend Joelinton and Miguel Almiron following them not scoring in the first two league games, as he highlights others need to bring the Magpies’ attackers into the game by having the ball, the Magpies did manage 12 shots at goal against the Canaries. So if Joelinton and Almiron were perhaps more clinical, then the Magpies not dominating possession may not have necessarily led to a disappointing result. It’ll be interesting to see if Bruce can get his side to hold onto the ball more in their next game on Sunday as they face a tough task with them travelling to face Champions League runners-up Tottenham.