As far as starts to a season go, Newcastle United’s has been pretty poor.
Aside from a wholly unexpected 1-0 win over Tottenham, things have been miserable for the Toon Army, and their torrid time was compounded on Sunday by a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Leicester City in the driving rain.
Most worrying of all, however, is just how low the level of performance has been in recent weeks.
Against Brighton last weekend, and then again against the Foxes, the Magpies offered nothing in terms of creativity or attacking impetus, and that problem has been illustrated by the fact that the Toon Army currently have the lowest amount of shots of any side in the Premier League, as per the league themselves.
Even more damning, however, has been the regularity with which they have been dictated to by their opposition.
The articles reads: “Newcastle’s possession stats make for horrendous reading.
“They’ve got an average possession of 33.9% across their seven matches – and three of their games feature in the lowest possession in English football this season.”
That is, quite simply, abysmal, and an issue that Steve Bruce must find a solution to quickly.
Thankfully, he may just have the perfect man to help ease his woes.
Low possession doesn’t have to be the end of the world, provided you have a pacy and direct talent who can utilise the ball effectively on the counter attack.
The Frenchman has suffered with injuries this season, but he has shown flashes of his brilliance already, and given that he completed 4.2 successful dribbles per game last season – more than Lionel Messi – as per Whoscored, then there’s no reason to believe that he can’t be just as dangerous for the Magpies.
At this rate, he might be their only hope.