He said: “I like Steve Bruce, but the last thing you want to say as a manager is ‘fingers crossed’ and all that.
“It can’t be any worse than his forwards have been for him.
“One goal, it’s ridiculous. Play [Andy] Carroll, play [Dwight] Gayle, play [Christian] Atsu, do something different and it might just work.”
Gough is speaking a lot of sense here. At the moment, it feels like the Toon Army are simply sitting around and waiting for things to click into place in the final third, but as the straight-talking pundit alludes to here, hope will not win you football matches. The simple fact of the matter is that Miguel Almiron and Joelinton are not performing at the level that they were expected to when they signed. The Paraguayan is still yet to register a goal or an assist in a black and white shirt, while the Brazilian’s paltry total of one goal leaves an awful lot to be desired. In Almiron’s case, there is a general lack of creativity too. Just 0.7 key passes and 0.8 successful dribbles per game, as per Whoscored, are not enough at this level, and while he is willing to work his backside off, there has to be some end product at some point. If not, Bruce will surely have to drop him in the near future.