Lots of Newcastle United supporters were left shocked when Steve Bruce chose to replace Miguel Almiron with DeAndre Yedlin late into the Toon’s defeat at Leicester City on Sunday.
Bruce made the call to bring Almiron off the field at the King Power Stadium in the 73rd-minute when the hosts were already 4-0 up, as Newcastle continued to be pinned back in their defensive third following the sending off of midfielder Isaac Hayden.
The Gunners product was issued his marching orders by referee Craig Pawson for a studs-up challenge on Dennis Praet which left the Belgian clutching his leg in pain shortly before the break, while the scoreline sat at 1-0 following Ricardo Pereira’s early opener.
Almiron had enjoyed a busy start to the Premier League affair against Brendon Rodgers’ side, with the Paraguayan going in search of his first Newcastle assist (TransferMarkt) in the fourth minute by sliding through a pass to Emil Krafth, only for Caglar Soyuncu to intercept.
The Toon’s £21million former club-record purchase (Guardian) kept his head up to cause Leicester plenty of problems as the first-half rolled on, but Allan Saint-Maximin’s absence became ever-clearer in the second-half as Almiron struggled with the physicality of the Foxes and saw his influence dwindle.
By the time of his departure, Almiron had completed just one of five attempted dribbles and played 15 accurate passes from 22 attempts for one key ball – the lowest pass accuracy rate of any Newcastle player at 68%, per WhoScored data.
Yedlin’s introduction failed to prevent Leicester from hitting their fifth in the closing stages through Wilfred Ndidi, following earlier strikes by Jamie Vardy and a Paul Dummett own goal.
Bruce not calling on Saint-Maximin to inject some excitement in the closing stages as he hauled Almiron off was one way Newcastle fans saw their head coach’s late switch, while many were left wondering if the former Hull, Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday boss was focusing on keeping his side’s goal difference down.
Here are a selection of the messages shared…
Yeah lets defend the 4:0 score.. just in case
— Cuniceq (@OndrejCCerny) September 29, 2019
— Si (@Syheatz) September 29, 2019
5 at the back I assume, that’s gunna help our goal difference
— Jack Appleby (@jack_appleby) September 29, 2019
— Kyle Gibson (@KGIBSON93) September 29, 2019
Anything to avoid 5-0 I guess?
— Cullen Ennis (@EnnisTheMenac3) September 29, 2019
Gotta defend that 4-0 deficit.
— Rich (@RPRamblings) September 29, 2019
Is it possible to substitute a manager
— Freddo May (@freddo_may) September 29, 2019
WHY NOT SAINT MAXIMIN MAN
— swann (@ASMToon) September 29, 2019
*Newcastle make their 4th change and its premier league for championship*
— Craig Allen (@CraigAllen66) September 29, 2019
If steve bruce has a job tomorrow I’d be stunned
— Sean Murray (@Sean75778147) September 29, 2019
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Definitely wouldn’t want to try and pull a goal back at 4-0 down or anything
— Enigma (@nacholeebre) September 29, 2019