Newcastle lost their first match under their new ownership as Tottenham won 3-2 away from home, and the defeat highlighted at least four areas that must be improved, as the Saudi bosses eagerly anticipate their first transfer window.
Newcastle had their special day spoiled by Tottenham, as the visitors ran out 3-2 winners in front of the new Saudi owners, who watched their side play for the very first time.
It was initially the dream start for Newcastle, who led after just two minutes through Callum Wilson’s header, but Tottenham quickly turned things around before half time as Tanguy Ndombele’s strike was followed by a lob from Harry Kane, who then turned provider for Heung Min Son to send Spurs into the break with a 3-1 advantage.
The game was well and truly wrapped up in the first half, Although a late Eric Dier own goal made things interesting and caused a late flurry, but Newcastle failed to sustain a comeback and Steve Bruce’s 1,000th game in charge ended in defeat.
Jonjo Shelvey was sent off late on for two needless challanges to add to the disappontment, but although it was a spirited effort for a newly owned Newcastle side, a change in mood, feel and focus can’t miraculously change ability, and the defeat highlighted that the Magpies need at least four signings.
Express Sport has taken a look at who Newcastle could bring in.
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Newcastle are short of quality in both full-back areas, as they are suffering in what is now such a crucial position in modern day football.
Matt Ritchie has taken on the left-back role after initially playing as a left midfielder for Bournemouth, and Javier Manquillo continues to be a weak area in Newcastle’s defence.
It was Manquillo’s poor positioning that played Kane onside for Tottenham’s second goal, and Ritchie was nowhere to be seen as Kane was played through down the right before playing the ball across the face of the goal towards Son.
Full-backs are pivotal in a successful side during the modern day, and Jamal Lewis is one for the future, but it’s an area that Newcastle are still outdated in.
Newcastle fans were happy to see club captain Jamaal Lascelles back for the clash against Tottenham, but the 27-year-old requires a solid partner in central defence.
Ciaran Clark started the game alongside Lascelles, with Fabian Schar and Federico Fernandez on the bench for Bruce’s side.
Newcastle need more quality to partner Lascelles, as they consistently struggle defensively in what is one of their biggest problems, but it’s rumoured that James Tarkowski could join the Magpies in the near future.
Tarkowski is into the last year of his Burnley contract, and could leave for a cut-price fee in January, or even on a free next summer.
Another area where Newcastle lack control is in central midfield, and although new signing Joe Willock continues to look bright in the middle, the likes of Sean Longstaff and Jonjo Shelvey alongside him simply aren’t good enough.
Jeff Hendrick is another option that’s used to life on the bench, but a star midfielder could really lift Newcastle, and provide excellent service to an exciting attack led by Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin.
For a team that needs many signings, it’s rare that the attack isn’t too much of a concern, but with a classy midfielder to pull the strings it could bring even more out of Wilson and Saint-Maximin.
With the acquisition of a holding midfielder also, it would give players in front even more confidence, as it is clear at the moment that Newcastle’s midfield is apprehensive to push forward.