April 13, 2024

 

Newcastle United did not perform well on Tuesday night.

While Eddie Howe’s side did advance to the FA Cup quarter-finals, Newcastle’s performance was far from ideal.

Indeed, fielding a full-strength side (although with injuries) and only edging out a team considerably below mid-table in the Championship is not a good look.

Howe did tinker, at least. While much has been made of his use of full-backs this season, given Dan Burn’s lack of form and Lewis Hall’s complete lack of gametime, the Magpies manager did make some changes at Ewood Park.

Kieran Trippier, as highlighted by Chris Waugh of The Athletic, played as an inverted full-back for parts of the game.

One pundit was particularly astonished, given that he has mainly excelled as a traditional right-back despite a rough spell after his £12 million move from Atletico Madrid.

Kieran Trippier: Tom Cairney surprised at Newcastle star vs Blackburn

 

Tom Cairney admits he is 'intrigued' about the possibility of playing in  MLS later in career| All Football

 

Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney spoke to Sky Sports on his surprise at Trippier’s position.

“Trippier is sometimes going into midfield in possession,” that’s what he said.

“I haven’t seen it this season so far.

“I don’t know why they’re doing it, maybe to be more secure but it might be a new tactic Eddie’s applying.”

Kieran Trippier: How did Newcastle star play vs Blackburn?

Despite being booed mercilessly by the home crowd due to his prior history with rivals Burnley, Trippier was one of Newcastle’s most productive players on the pitch.

According to WhoScored data, he tied Anthony Gordon for four vital passes while also playing in a team-high 11 crosses and scoring on six of his ten attempted long balls. Nonetheless, his set-piece delivery left much to be desired.

It will be interesting to watch if Howe continues this experiment. There will be tougher challenges to come than Blackburn, and it is impossible to claim a resounding victory over them.

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