After picking up a bit of form in recent weeks, Newcastle reverted back to type with a hugely disappointing 2-0 defeat to Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.
The Magpies came into the game at St James’ Park off the back of two wins and two draws from their last four matches and were facing a Gunners side who had been beaten in Europe in midweek.
If Newcastle fans thought their side would put up a fight and take the game to the north Londoners, then they were sadly mistaken. They managed just five shots all game, and only one of them was on target, whilst they also registered just 38% of possession.
And one man who badly let his manager down was Miguel Almiron.
The Paraguay international was his usual energetic self, trying to chase down players and close them down, but there was a real lack of quality when he had the ball at his feet.
As per Sofascore, Almiron’s 31 touches and 19 passes were even lower than goalkeeper Martin Dubravka and painted a real picture of just how ineffective and anonymous he was.
Going forward, the 27-year-old showed absolutely nothing of note for the Magpies, having no attempts on goal whatsoever and not even managing a single dribble attempt either. He also provided no key passes and didn’t attempt a single cross either, and it was no surprise that Bruce eventually saw enough and hooked him for Joelinton mid-way through the second half.
The Chronicle’s Lee Ryder simply dubbed it “one of his poorest displays of the season”, and, speaking after the game, Bruce admitted Almiron had a difficult outing, saying: “I think he’s played very well of late playing in that midfield area. But like us all (against Arsenal), we’ve found it a bit of a struggle. With what we’ve got at the top end of the pitch, I believe he’s still a very, very decent midfield player and can add goals and a bit of flair from it (midfield) like he has done.”
A Gunners side surely lacking in confidence after a Premier League defeat to Everton last week, and then a Europa League humbling at the hands of Villareal on Thursday, were there for the taking.
Instead, Almiron in particular just didn’t show any attacking urgency to try and take advantage of that, and just let the Gunners completely off the hook.