Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It Is High Time for United to Make Their Own Luck

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It Is High Time for United to Make Their Own Luck

Article excerpt

Byline: JOHNGIBSON

GEORDIES all have talked about Newcastle United's good fortune in having six doughty central defenders and a top-class goalkeeper. Yet the harsh truth is the back door is far from locked and bolted.

Twenty eight goals have flown into United's net in 13 away games, the worst defensive record in top-flight football and a severe warning as the Mags head for Crystal Palace.

Only the Premier League's bottom club has a more disastrous goal difference than United's minus 16 which is matched by a mere three others including Southampton, who leaked an astonishing nine in one match at home.

Gamble, amble. treat the area shark-Now tell me how lucky we are.

John While we all know only too well United's strikers don't score enough goals it is also an undeniable fact their defenders let in way too many.

Like it or not, United have to go with what they have for the rest of the season and must look to get back on to a winning run though their last, which covered eight matches, was somewhat misleading bolstered as it was by four cup ties against League One opposition in Rochdale and Oxford.

Gibson Joelinton, of course, has become the talk of the Tyne.

One Premier League goal all season, he is enduring a run of 22 consecutive top-flight games and 1,856 minutes without finding the back of the goal.

Steve Bruce has to bang on in Joelinton's defence of course but his latest quotes after a 4-0 thrashing at Arsenal sound particularly hollow.

"He has played a lot of his career to one side and not played as an outand-out No 9," explained United's head coach. "He is 22 and there is a lot he has to learn."

If you accept all that at face value, as well you can, then it still begs many questions.

If Joelinton has a lot to learn why splash out a club record PS40m which is almost twice as much as Newcastle's previous biggest outlay and if he is not 'an out and out No 9' why saddle him with that iconic shirt and play him exclusively in that position, inviting concentration on his goals record? …

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