By Warren Haughton
29th July 2019
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has begged the Toon Army for time to get it right.
There have been some great times to take over at St James’ Park, but now may not be one of them as he has the unenviable task of taking over from Rafa Benitez.
And Benitez had the cheek to nick his main striker Salomon Rondon who beefed up his bank balance by moving to China.
Rafa ran a tight ship on Tyneside – solid at the back and scored just 42 league goals.
However, the alarm bells are ringing with Ayoze Perez joining Leicester City for £30million.
Rondon and Perez scored 23 league goals between them.
The rest chipped in with just 19, a massive headache for Bruce.
Newcastle relegation odds slashed from 6/1 to 2/1
Their relegation odds have shortened since Benitez quit. Newcastle are 2/1 to be relegated this season.
Defenders Fabian Schar with four and Ciaran Clark with three goals were best of the rest, so who will shoot the Toon away from the drop zone?
Step forward Joelinton.
It didn’t take much, but Mike Ashley has broken the club record to bag the forward, shelling out £40million to Hoffenheim.
But will the 22-year-old be the next Andy Cole or Stephane Guivarc’h?
In all competitions he scored 11 goals in 35 appearances.
And in his five years as a pro, Joelinton has scored 25 goals.
The Toon will hope he’s a workhorse and is a physical presence upfront provides a host of assists.
His numbers do not suggest he will be threatening Alan Shearer’s all-time club goal scoring record anytime soon.
Time for optimism on the Toon?
But there should cause for optimism with Miguel Almiron.
The winger proved the doubters wrong following his move from Atlanta United in January and quickly became a fans’ favourite.
And despite featuring for Paraguay in the Copa America, he will be rested up and raring to go in his first full campaign in England.
If Newcastle can hold on to Sean Longstaff this summer, then some of the doom and gloom around the place should subside.
The academy kid only made his first team bow last December and is Manchester United see him as a star of the future.
Lonsgstaff 1/4 to make the switch to Old Trafford this window.