Newcastle: TalkSPORT man hails Magpies as best defensive team he’s seen this season
Martin Keown has hailed Newcastle United as the best defensive and organised team in the Premier League despite their recent run of results.
The Lowdown: Newcastle are in a slump
Newcastle do indeed still have by far and away the best defence in the Premier League having shipped just 17 goals across their 24 outings, although it’s been much more of a slog as of late.
The Magpies have won just once in the league this calendar year which was a last-minute winner against Fulham after Aleksandar Mitrovic’s bizarre double-kick penalty was disallowed.
Eddie Howe was certainly never regarded as a defensively sound manager during his time at Bournemouth, but he’s managed to change people’s perceptions of him as a coach since taking over at Newcastle.
The Latest: Howe has Newcastle defensively sound
After seeing Manchester United ship seven against Liverpool, Keown has heaped praise on Newcastle for the way they’ve been able to keep the majority of games tight this season while speaking on TalkSPORT.
He said: (4:10) “The best team I’ve seen this season for keeping it tight and being difficult to beat is Newcastle United, Jim they scrap for everything of every minute of every game.”
The Verdict: Newcastle must refind their form
It was a stunning first half of the season for Newcastle and Howe as they went into the midseason break sitting third and looking very good for a spot inside the top four come the end of the season, although they’ve just struggled post-World Cup.
The most alarming thing for Newcastle is how poor they have become in the final third with just three goals coming from their last 102 shots in the Premier League and these woes were on show for all to see against Manchester City.
Players such as Joelinton, Sean Longstaff and the misfiring Callum Wilson all missing golden opportunities to get the Magpies back into the game following Phil Foden’s opener, but Howe will need to get his team thriving once more in both boxes, otherwise, the top four could be slipping away from them very quickly.