Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

10 Ten Could Be Magic Number at United; THE AGENDA: Andrew Fowler on How No 10 Could Be Perfect for Newcastle United

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

10 Ten Could Be Magic Number at United; THE AGENDA: Andrew Fowler on How No 10 Could Be Perfect for Newcastle United

Article excerpt

NEWCASTLE United are calling out for a hero. The question is, where should he come from? The answer should be: the No 10 role.

Are there other areas that need overhauling at Newcastle? Absolutely.

Does the No 10 role hold all the answers to the club's attacking woes? Definitely not.

But the outlets the position creates, if played well, can alleviate some of those other issues.

It is worth noting at this point, that United identified this as an area that needed strengthening in the summer, and the addition of Siem de Jong was designed to fill that gap.

But with the 25-year-old sidelined for a number of months through injury, the void is there for all to see - and someone needs to fill it.

In terms of the position that WILL change games for Newcastle, the "role in the hole" is one that they need to sort out in De Jong's absence - and it's not like they haven't tried players in there.

Moussa Sissoko, Remy Cabella, Yoan Gouffran and Adam Armstrong have all been tested, but to no avail.

Sissoko is the man who should be the natural fit - he's a strong, commanding player who can float in between the lines and has had time in the English top flight.

However, at present, being stuck out wide does him no favours and leaves him isolated in one-on-ones. Cabella was tipped as the missing piece to Newcastle's jigsaw prior to his arrival, and since Yohan Cabaye's departure to PSG.

He was the successor but so far his reign as been anything but fruitful - a dreary Monday-night performance against Stoke saw him substituted and then subsequently dropped for the following Swansea game.

His performance against Stoke was one that conjured little in the way of inspiration or imagination - indeed his withdrawal for Sammy Ameobi late on was an indicator of that.

Time will be key for the Frenchman.

Yes, Newcastle need cohesion and they need it now. Yes, he has so far underwhelmed on the left this season. …

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