Former England international Stuart Pearce has revealed that he is concerned by Newcastle United’s lack of firepower this season.
“Andy Carroll on the bench, can he score 15 goals a season – can he stay fit for the season? Too many question marks about goals.”
Pearce gets it absolutely spot on, here. Newcastle haven’t been a free-scoring side for a long, long time, even under Steve Bruce’s messianic predecessor Rafael Benitez. However, the club have spent big money to try and reverse that issue. Almiron was a club record buy in January, but has yet to score, while Joelinton then smashed that record fee this summer but has only bagged once for the Magpies. The there’s Carroll, who hasn’t been a regular scorer of goals for years, nor can he be relied upon to stay fit above all else. There’s still Dwight Gayle, though, who Pearce doesn’t mention. Yes, his Premier League scoring record isn’t exceptional, but he is a natural goalscorer and a phenomenal finisher. Perhaps a tactical rethink from Bruce needs to happen, because clearly it isn’t working at the moment. Perhaps pairing Gayle with one of Carroll or Joelinton could bring out the best in both of them.