April 19, 2024

Newcastle United’s defensive difficulties persist.

Newcastle’s backline has deteriorated despite having the joint-best in the Premier League previous season.

Only the bottom three, Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth, have conceded more than Eddie Howe’s side so far (45), and such flaws were revealed at Arsenal on Saturday night.

Indeed, Howe appeared “absolutely raging” on the touchline, and it’s easy to see why. His squad was dreadful defensively at the Emirates Stadium and had little offensively, despite Joe Willock’s goal.

Howe has now provided an update after previously admitting that the defensive issues were “far from ideal”.

Newcastle news: What Eddie Howe is really worried about right now

 

Eddie Howe admits 'disjointed' Newcastle are going through challenging spell | The Independent

 

After the game, Howe told The Northern Echo about the defence: “Of course, it’s a problem.

“It’s concerning that we’re conceding goals in every game. Of course, we’re working on a variety of things behind the scenes to improve that, but it wasn’t obvious in today’s performance.”

Newcastle news: Huge pressure on the FA Cup

Unless things improve dramatically, Newcastle is unlikely to qualify for Europe. Nick Pope’s expected return from injury may help, but it’s still a tall order.

As a result, the FA Cup develops in importance. Given a somewhat favorable game away to Championship side Blackburn Rovers in the fifth round, a deep run there would offer fans a reason to be invested in the remainder of this season.

Why the defense is so awful compared to previous season is debatable. Even Arsenal’s decision to bench Dan Burn backfired on Saturday, with Bukayo Saka tearing apart Tino Livramento for their third goal.

Improvements are urgently needed.

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