Another Dour Season Draws to a Close for Newcastle United

Newcastle United

An upturn in form when it mattered most could not sway Newcastle United fans feelings towards Steve Bruce. The 60-year-old  is despised in the North East, and although he opts not to listen to the criticism of himself, the disdain against him grows the longer he remains at St James’ Park.

Some might argue that while Mike Ashley remains as owner of the club that fending off relegation can be seen as a success. However, in reality, the Magpies are a club that should be pushing towards the European places, not towards another season of Championship football.

Another Disappointing Season Ends for Newcastle United

Mid-Table Mediocrity

Being condemned to another season of mid-table mediocrity is by no means the worst result in the world. However, when faced with the facts, Newcastle have endured a poor season.

It can be summed up their mid-season run of just two wins in 18 matches. The fact they did not drop into the relegation zone once during that run hints at the poor quality in the Premier League this season, and how fortunate they are because of that.

Bruce and fans can argue as much as they like, but Newcastle have not been working with a limited pool of resources, either. He spent £65 million last season signings and another £35 million this summer. For a man who wants out of the club, Ashley is still willing to spend.

Only a handful of those signings have been a success, too. The excitement surrounding Callum Wilson has come to fruition, with the striker registering 12 goals in 28 games. However, on the contrary to the former Bournemouth man, there is Joelinton, who has only scored 10 in 85 appearances.

As a result, it has meant that there has been plenty of ill taste on Tyneside. A slight upturn in form was pleasing, but the message from the fans who occupy the Gallowgate End remains the same – Bruce is not a wanted man at St James’ Park.

Joe Willock: The Loan Saviour of the Season

Joe Willock arrived on loan from Arsenal in January and has set the world alight. The youngster has ended the season as their second top scorer with eight goals.

The 21-year-old has shone in an attacking midfield role, offering more creativity to the Magpies as a result. His end of season form saw him touted for a potential England call-up, although he was not selected in the end.

Newcastle fans are keen to see him remain at St James’ Park. Speaking recently about his future, Willock said: “We’ll see what the future holds. I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to play for this wonderful club and I’m happy it’s gone so well.”

According to Luke Edwards of The Telegraph, Newcastle will make an offer for the 21-year-old. Although his price is set a reasonable £20 million, they may have to offload players in order to secure his services.

Adding Willock Would Allow Newcastle to Be More Expansive

Adding Willock to their ranks on a permanent basis would allow Newcastle to be more expansive this season.

The Magpies have the players to be more attacking and create a threatening frontline, but they are often restricted by Bruce’s 5-4-1/5-3-2 formation.

The addition of Willock, alongside a couple of other summer signings, could allow them to be more expansive in the 2021/22 campaign. Willock could slot in behind Callum Wilson in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Allan Saint-Maximin and Ryan Fraser occupying either wing.

Alternatively, Bruce could use a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Willock playing alongside Miguel Almiron in a more advanced role.

There are options and potential for this Newcastle side. However, whether it can be utilised is the big question for supporters and on-lookers.

A Run in the Cup Alongside a Successful League Campaign is the Aim for Newcastle United

A small ounce of positivity is all Newcastle fans are hoping for next season. They have come close in cup competitions in recent years, but there has been no trophy to celebrate for a long time now.

As a result, a cup run and a promising league campaign will be the aim for the Magpies next season. They want to wipe the memories of their inconsistent form next season and focus on moving up the Premier League table.

However, many will only begin to start believing once Bruce is removed and Willock is signed.

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