Adam Armstrong has hardly set the world alight this season in the blue and white of Blackburn Rovers. But the fact he has scored more league goals already in 2019/20 than Joelinton, Miguel Almiron, Yoshinori Muto and Andy Carroll combined speaks volumes about the rising problems at his former club.
Newcastle United fans certainly feared the worst when Rafa Benitez, a Champions League, FA Cup and La Liga winner, walked away from St James’ Park at the end of the season to be replaced by a man who had been sacked by Aston Villa less than 12 months previously.
And the early weeks of the new Steve Bruce reign has done little to dispel the concerns. A humiliating 5-0 thrashing at Leicester City leaves Newcastle second bottom with just one win and four goals from nine games so far.
Joelinton, the £40 million centre-forward, is starting to look out of his depth, that well-taken winner against Tottenham in August merely papering over the cracks. Salomon Rondon he is not, at least not yet.
On Tuesday night, a player Newcastle sold to Blackburn Rovers for just £1.75 million (Sky) tapped home the opener in a 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest. That was Armstrong’s second Championship goal of 2019/20 – a far from outstanding tally but still more than Newcastle’s current forwards have managed between them.
Newcastle’s defence might have been torn apart like tissue paper at Leicester but their real problems lie at the other end.
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