Newcastle United made it six home wins on the bounce in the Premier League as the Magpies beat a Crystal Palace side fresh from Wembley heartbreak 1-0 at St.James’ Park.
Miguel Almiron’s first-half strike was enough to separate the two sides on Wednesday evening, despite the visitors having the majority of possession with 63.7%.
With the Paraguayan’s first goal of the season enough for victory, the Toon Army will be delighted with their team. However, the performance of striker Chris Wood was certainly quiet with the New Zealand international undoubtedly capable of better displays.
According to SofaScore, the 30-year-old made just 34 touches all evening with the forward playing the full 90 minutes. Moreover, Wood lost possession on 15 occasions, at an average of once every 2.3 touches.
Threat in the final third from the striker was non-existent with the Kiwi finishing the match with zero shots and one attempted dribble that didn’t come off, despite his side having 13 efforts all game, four of which on target.
Wood also struggled to link up with his teammates, completing just over half of his passes at 61% with just 14 ending up successful, a tally lower than goalkeeper Martin Dubravka’s 17.
In fairness to the January signing, the striker did hold the ball up well and was a presence up front, despite the lack of attempts on goal, winning half of his duels.
Although the fee seems highly inflated for what the striker can provide, the Magpies were desperate for a centre-forward at a time when they were facing the abys and took what they could get.
Moreover, the move for Wood weakened a fellow rival in the quest to avoid the drop in Burnley.
However, with PIF looking to take the North East club to the next level, it could certainly be argued that Wood’s status as a Newcastle regular could expire at the end of the season with stronger reinforcements added to Eddie Howe’s squad over the course of the summer.
The Toon Army have already been linked with Benfica hotshot Darwin Nunez, emphasising the ambition that the new owners plan to showcase in their first summer transfer window at the top of Newcastle United.
Therefore, the New Zealand international will need to have a strong final five games of the season to boost his chances of being a regular under Howe next term.