Steve Harmison delivered a passionate response to defend Newcastle United trio Joelinton, Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin after Alan Brazil inquired if they were the club’s worst strikers in history.
The current first-choice attacking trio for Magpies manager Steve Bruce have struggled to deliver the goods in games with Joelinton being the only member of the trio to have a goal or an assist to his name.
Brazil asked Harmison if Joelinton, Saint-Maximin and Almiron were the worst strikers he’d ever seen upfront for Newcastle, and this prompted an inspired response.
“I don’t want to criticise them badly the centre-forwards,” said Harmison on talkSPORT (6:54am, Thursday, November 28th).
“The stats tell you they’re not doing it, what I will say about these three, I’ve seen players come and play in the black and white stripes of Newcastle United and have indifferent times and just completely fob it off.
“These three put shifts in, they work hard for that black and white shirt so I’m not going to be ridiculously critical and kick them in the teeth and say they’re not good enough, at end of the day, they work their nuts off for their shirt.
“But at the moment their end product isn’t up to the standard it needs to be in the Premier League.”
Harmison was spot-on to shoot down Brazil’s query in such a passionate way as he’s right to claim that the three players putting a shift counts for something.
While it is frustrating that the trio aren’t drowning in goals, especially Almiron who hasn’t scored despite 41 efforts on goal since joining the club (Source: BBC Sport), to even suggest they’re the worst strikers in the club’s history is not only insulting as it’s way too early to write them off like that, but it does undersell the fact they’re trying so hard.
Almiron has constantly worked hard for the Magpies this season, and this is shown by the fact he has averaged 1.5 tackles per game, as per WhoScored, as that shows how often he’s running back to help his side win back possession.
Then there’s Saint-Maximin who has also done more than his fair share of running, with this being shown by the fact he has averaged a very impressive four dribbles per game, as per WhoScored, and the 22-year-old does tend to prefer long dazzling runs with the ball, rather than short stints on the ball.
As for Joelinton, while he also does his fair share of running, the Brazilian puts in a shift in a different way by getting stuck in.
The 23-year-old has averaged 5.3 aerial duels per game across his 13 league outings, as per WhoScored, and that shows how he is putting himself about for the sake of the team.
So with that in mind, Harmison was spot-on with everything he said and hopefully Brazil thinks again about asking such a silly question.