It was a disappointing Monday night for Newcastle under the floodlights at Turf Moor. Burnley edging a tight game after a frantic five minutes. The result certainly has left Benitez with something to ponder.
1) Attacking frustrations
Perhaps the Achilles heel of this Newcastle side is their attack. Joselu and Ayoze Perez are becoming frustrating to watch for the Magpies as they fail to give United the attacking emphasis. Joselu has one main problem which we will discuss later. Perez, whilst good off the ball, appears a shadow of his former self.
2) Joselu needs to concentrate on attacking
Perhaps the best and the worst part of the Spaniard game is his work rate. Joselu tries harder than anyone to be a team player something United have lacked in past Premier League campaigns. However, this has heavily hindered his work as a striker. Due to how deep he was, Christian Atsu regularly found himself in the box for balls whipped in. Something the 1.92-metre tall striker was brought in for. Furthermore, Jonjo Shelvey ended the game with more shots than the Spaniard. A clear problem.
3) Newcastle need to step it up
Newcastle and Burnley fought out a very close game on Monday evening. However, the difference came when Sean Dyche’s men threw men forward looking for a winner. Newcastle have regularly not done this throughout the season. Whilst the defence is well drilled and put in another good display. United need to show some attacking emphasis or they will lose more games like this.
4) Newcastle need Mikel Merino
Newcastle struggled to create chances on Monday despite playing with two central attacking midfielders. Merino has 0.1% a better key pass succession rate than Jonjo Shelvey meaning that he is the most creative in the centre of the park. Both Shelvey and Merino are United’s best midfielders and they are needed for United.
5) Mo Diame is good enough
Diame really put in a decent performance tonight. Whilst not flawless he appeared to do the Ayoze Perez role far better than the Spaniard. Picking the ball up and winning it in midfield and trying to get the ball forward. Whilst he wasn’t perfect it is certainly a step in the right direction for Diame.