Lack of midfield depth
Until his 5-match ban, Jonjo Shelvey had only missed one game through suspension and has played every other. Without him against Sheffield Wednesday on boxing day, Newcastle’s midfield capitulated.
Backup option Colback hasn’t been very impressive in his duties, while Hayden isn’t able to produce anything near a 5-star performance without Jonjo’s help.
Newcastle’s overdependence on the former Swansea star in the middle of the pack will only put them into further troubles as the campaign gets stiffer, and the only way out would be to find another midfield of excellent qualities like him in order to provide depth in that department.