The Magpies reporter revealed that the great Newcastle goalscorer was sat near him during the team’s 1-1 draw with Watford at St James’ Park on Saturday.
And he wrote in The Chronicle about what Macdonald felt about the Magpies attack against the Hornets: “Newcastle legend Malcolm Macdonald was sitting close by in the press area and his assessment was that the front three looked unsure as to where they needed to be once the midfield was getting the ball and it was forcing [Sean] Longstaff and [Isaac] Hayden to revert to playing the ball backwards or sideways.”
Look, creativity has never been Newcastle’s strong suit – not even under adored former head coach Rafael Benitez. The club were short on it last season and they look pretty shorn of it again this campaign. It’s no surprise that Longstaff and Hayden had to go back to the defence so often on Saturday, because there doesn’t seem to be a great understanding of when and where to make runs from the Magpies front three. Miguel Almiron, for a player with so much pace, doesn’t quite seem to know how best to utilise it. Christian Atsu, meanwhile, did play well on Saturday, but doesn’t always have the guile required to break down stubborn teams like Watford. Then there’s club record signing Joelinton, who doesn’t seem to want to get in the box often enough to score the goals required to make a success of his Newcastle tenure. That could all change in time, but for now Macdonald’s assessment of things seems to be pretty accurate.