Newcastle United waited until November to get three points for the first time in the league this season. That was on Match Day 11. Although the team won three consecutive games subsequently, it has struggled to replicate that form on a consistent basis. The biggest problem has been that of a lack of goals. It’s a need Salomon Rondon is filling at the moment.
The Colombian, who is on loan from relegated West Bromwich Albion found adjusting to life at his new club quite difficult at the beginning. But a recent upturn in form has coincided with the team’s rise out of the relegation zone. The Magpies have witnessed a resurgence starting from November and the 29-year-old has been instrumental to the team’s performance.
Rondon has scored four times and setup one more goal in his last seven appearances. He scored a brace in the 2-1 win against Bournemouth, scored his team’s only goal in the 1-1 draw away at Everton and the only goal to collect all three points in the win against Huddersfield. That’s helping the team secure seven much-needed points within the space of a month.
Unbeaten in the last two matches, the team is now looking to consolidate on recent results in order to move higher up the table. But a look at the next few upcoming fixtures suggests the club will need all the goals it can get.
First up is a trip to Anfield to face in-form Liverpool who have established a four-point lead at the top of the table. Getting any result from the game will be difficult hence Rondon and the team as a whole need to be at their best to avoid a defeat.
Then, after a meeting with Watford who have been impressive this season, the side will welcome resurgent Manchester United to St. James Park. As if that is not enough, the next game is away at wounded Chelsea who are hard-pressed to make a statement under Maurizio Sarri. A meeting with Manchester City will round up the first month of the new year.
The biggest problem in the team has been a lack of goals. So getting the best of the striker will be crucial moving forward. Other forwards Joselu and Ayoze Perez have scored just two goals each all season. So getting a striker in the January transfer window should be high on Benitéz’ wish list.
Getting a prolific strike partner for the Colombian could also help get the best out of him. The manager also needs to find a way to keep the player motivated to continue his recent goalscoring form. For a manager who has worked with some of the best players in the world over the years, that shouldn’t be a problem.
It’s likely that the team would be in a worse state than the current 15th-place position if not for the manager’s experience in getting the best from a largely average squad. However, with the current state of a lack of commitment to bolster the squad with new signings, it’s yet to be seen how the team will cope with the increasing competition. The manager can only do so much.