Date: 24th October 2018 at 1:00pm
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With Newcastle United clearly struggling for goals at the top of the pitch this year in the 2018/19 Premier League campaign, nine matches so far for manager Rafa Benitez have only seen the ball hit the back of the net six times and making matters worse, we’ve conceded 14 as we’ve suffered seven defeats and slipped into 20th place.

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp posed one of the most obvious questions in football recently – why did we let Dwight Gayle go?

Writing in his Daily Mail the former Liverpool midfielder asked.

“Why on earth did Newcastle let Dwight Gayle go on loan to West Brom? While his replacement Salomon Rondon has not scored in the league, Gayle has eight goals in his last 10 league games. Newcastle struggled in front of goal once again in their home defeat by Brighton and the players must be running out of patience with Rafa Benitez. Newcastle’s players are not as bad as results and performances suggest but they are being hamstrung by their manager’s negative tactics.”

Criticising Rafa Benitez is clearly the in thing, there is some merit in it with some decisions though, but that’s another debate.

There are those Newcastle fans who believe Gayle had his chance to impress in the Premier League for us but simply failed with is goal return last season, but plenty of others feel had Benitez been able to pair Gayle with Salomon Rondon our fortunes may have turned based on a big man, little man combination.

That didn’t work with Aleksandar Mitrovic but despite his goalscoring form for Fulham, Mitrovic didn’t really impress here either and despite being a bigger man, he didn’t have the team ethic in my eyes (and still doesn’t) to play the typical two up top role.

I can why Redknapp has questioned it given relative form since the deal went through, but as the above comments show perfectly, it’s not a black or white question or answer – the loan swap or whatever it was is juggling the grey areas.

 

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