During the International Break Newcastle fans were delighted to see photos emerge of Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin in training. The duo had been sidelined for the entirety of March which saw Newcastle pick up only 3 points from a possible 12 points during that stretch.
It appears from the photos released that the two did some light training, and have not returned to full training yet. This means that we honestly have no idea whether they both will be available for Newcastle United’s match against Tottenham Hotspur. The hope is that both are available for the match, but on that same note it is worth mentioning that if either one of them returns early and re-aggravates an injury Newcastle’s season would effectively be over.
The duo returning is a massive boost to a squad that has looked unimaginative to say the least, with a lot of criticism being placed on the attacking players that had to fill in for ASM, Miggy and Wilson. The lack of a true striker, or at least the lack of Bruce’s ability to get the best out of his available strikers, was on full display and it never looked as if Newcastle was going to score from open play with the options they had available. Replacing a player that is as Dynamic as Allan Saint-Maximin was always going to be tough, but it was once again shocking to see how things played out without him. There was nobody who possessed the ability to create space for themselves and others, which meant Newcastle spent a lot of the time hoofing the ball up to the likes of Joelinton and Gayle.
Last season there was a ton written about Newcastle’s form without Allan-Saint Maximin as the club won once without him last season. This season the forward has only been able to make 17 appearances and in those 17 appearances Newcastle have 6 wins, 2 draws, and 9 losses. One of those wins was in the EFL Cup, which means Newcastle have improved in their form without ASM... They now have won TWO games without him this season as opposed to the one they won last year. It’s all abysmal.
Callum Wilson’s 10 goals and 5 assists account for 54% of Newcastle’s goals this season. He has been Newcastle’s player of the season so far, and when he does not play Newcastle of course look awful. All 7 of Newcastle’s wins this season came in matches he played in.
Getting these two back alongside Miguel Almiron give Newcastle a glimmer of hope that they can close out the season with a few more wins to hopefully secure safety. Like Villa with Grealish last season, these 3 are going to have to elevate their level of play to carry Newcastle to another season of safety. This team literally cannot win matches without this trio, so the future of this club rests firmly on their shoulders.
No pressure tho.