The Warm Down: Magpies threaten but money must be spent
Photo Credit:(Gettyimages/Stu Forster)

The Warm Down: Magpies threaten but money must be spent

Newcastle United had good opportunities to score against a vulnerable Manchester United defence, but the difference in quality really showed in the final third.

Aaron Hindhaugh

Newcastle United suffered their eighth home defeat of the season to start off 2019 in the worst possible way.

Newcastle threatened in the first half with Christian Atsu being played in behind three times in the first half but none of his shots ever troubled David De Gea.

The difference in quality showed as Romelu Lukaku scored with his first touch of the game and Marcus Rashford finished very cooly to seal all three points for the Red Devils. 

Not ruthless enough

At half-time Newcastle could have been two or three up with Atsu not producing a good enough end product when played through.

Salomon Rondon was also clear through on goal but did not react quickly enough and thought he was offside which allowed Phil Jones to get back and hook the ball away from the number nine.

If the Magpies had some more quality in the final third they could have got something from the game, but the lack of spending is now alarming.

Newcastle's main striker that they own is Joselu and he cost the same amount as Les Ferdinand which shows how little progress has been made.

However, Manchester United were ruthless in front of goal with Lukaku capitalising on an error from Martin Dubravka and then Rashford finished just like his manager used to which sealed the win.

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Midfielders must start producing

Rondon has five goals in his last nine games for the Magpies which means he has won seven points because of his crucial goals.

This shows how much Newcastle rely on the Venezuelan, nobody from Atsu, Mo Diame, Jonjo Shelvey or Matt Ritchie have scored this season for the Magpies.

Newcastle's second top goalscorer is Ciaran Clark, who is a centre back which shows why midfielders must start chipping in with goals to take the pressure off Rondon.

There has been a severe lack of quality and goals from midfield which needs to improve in the second half of the season.

Last night it never looked like a midfielder was going to score as nobody was arriving late into the box or making a bursting run into the box.

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Time to replace Shelvey

When Shelvey joined from Swansea it was an exciting signing, Newcastle had a forward-thinking midfielder who could pick out anyone with a perfect pass.

However, he has turned into more of a luxury player now who only seems to turn up when he feels like it in certain games.

He does not like to do the dirty work and is not disciplined enough to track back from midfield which showed against Watford.

Last night Shelvey's first major involvement was to foul Paul Pogba which should have seen him sent off but did not even receive a yellow card.

It may be an avenue that Rafa Benitez explores in the transfer window if he can find someone with good passing ability but is also more mature and able to defend for 90 minutes.