I thought I’d heard the statistic wrong when it was first mentioned on Match of the Day – I listened again and checked – it’s right. The first reaction to the Newcastle game last weekend was that we were all over them – Tim Krul had an amazing game – game of his life – not to do him a disservice but regardless we should have done better… which leads to the next question – what exactly is going wrong?

Looking at the stats for the last game seems to identify some of the issues – Sigurdsson managed a total of 8 passes in the game of which only 3 were in Newcastle’s half. If you pair that with the fact that Soldado only received 9 passes from midfield the entire game and that’s not good when you’re playing one up top.

I’ve backed the team and I will continue to do so – I’m not bashing them I’m trying to find out what isn’t working. And I have to start by saying Sigurdsson and Townsend aren’t helping. I would like to see more of Lamela. I would like to see more of Townsend on the left. I’d like to see more crosses in the box which coupled with the threat of a midfield run would give opposition defenders a lot more to think about and deal with.

I’ve been clear from the start that the team will take time to gel – but I’m also conscious that we don’t have forever for this to happen. The Christmas run-in is notorious for setting a fast pace and the need to come out on the other side with some serious points is more important than I can stress – that is if we have any aspirations for the top 4 – which we still do right?

So what do you think the underlying issue is? Can it be fixed? How long will it take? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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