First start and goal for Yoshinori Muto as Newcastle crumble

Muto puts in a brilliant display on full league debut 

Newcastle United’s Japanese striker Yoshinori Muto finally got his first start for the club in their away fixture against Manchester United at Old Trafford and the Japanese international put in a thrilling all-action performance. 

Getting his chance as the main focal point to Newcastle’s attack Muto was hard working throughout and an ever-present menace to Manchester United’s defence until he was removed from the game with roughly 20 minutes left to play. 

He took his goal well, when the ball fell to him from a corner and he turned then drilled it hard and low past De Gea, He was unlucky to get a second in the game also when De Gea made a magnificent save. The ball somehow finding its way to Muto in the Manchester United box after a Newcastle attack went somewhat wayward, Muto then quickly nodded it towards the goal, and it looked to be going in until De Gea flew at it and made a world class save. 

The refreshing energy brought to the attack

Muto brought the kind of energy to Newcastle’s attack that it has been lacking all season, Joselu and Rondon have tried but they lack the pace and urgency seen in Muto’s game yesterday. After a performance like that, I expect a lot of Newcastle fans might be hoping he gets to start again next game.

It’s definitely not a bad way to introduce yourself to the Newcastle fans and the Premier League, and I personally hope he can show this kind of performance on a consistent basis. The attack was a lot more fluid with two blokes up top who could move well, and make runs in behind the defence where they can get onto the good balls played forward by Ritchie and Shelvey. 

Perez and Muto should start together more now

I have mentioned in a couple of blogs already, but I believe that Ayoze Perez and Yoshinori Muto should start more games together as our front pairing, and yesterday proved it can work having two little lads up top. Rafa seems to like having a big target man, but that only works if you can get the runners close enough to be playing off him and so far we have failed to do this in all of our previous games prior to the visit to Old Trafford. 

As both Perez and Muto are small, creative and mobile strikers the game plan needs to be adapted to suit their style but at the same time, the pair of them look to be our best chance of getting goals. Perez blows hot and cold I get it, and Muto has only played one full game so far, but Joselu has had the large majority of playing minutes that were on offer from the opening matches and hasn’t looked great.

Joselu works hard, and always puts in 100 per cent graft, and I can’t fault the lad for that but there is no way he is ever going to provide the team with enough games to keep us up, if he even scored 5 goals this season I’d be surprised. My belief is how Benitez has set us up for our opening games of the season the team would be better suited to using mobile strikers than the target men. 

I’d expect Muto to keep his place in the side now, but it’s always difficult to predict what Benitez will do in any game. If we keep the same set up as we have now, then we need the mobile forwards but we do lack an outlet or someone who can hold it up similar to what would happen with Gayle last season. If we go back to the option of playing the target men we desperately need to give them more support because there is no way they can play the same way as Perez and Muto and that kind of striker needs to have their teammates higher up the field in support.

Either way, regardless which formation or tactics Benitez decides upon Newcastle’s season is likely to be long, difficult and depressing as we struggle to fight off relegation for another season as that muppet Ashley minimal to zero support hindering our ability to function as an average football club, never mind as a successful one and it will be a very sad day at the end of the season when Benitez tells Ashely to take a run and jump off the Tyne Bridge rather than signing a new contract…but it’s too depressing to look that far into a bleak future and misery. After yesterday though, Muto offers hope that we might actually have someone who can provide enough goals to see off relegation for another year.

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