Newcastle United Season Preview 2018/19 – Manager’s System and Predicted Finish
Newcastle United are quite a peculiar club when it comes to their transfer spending. Owner Mike Ashley seems to not have any love for the Magpies, as he never offers enough revenue to the manager to buy players. Rafa Benitez has done a miracle in lifting this team to a top-half finish last season in the Premier League, despite a very limited quality squad.
This summer hasn’t been any different for the north-east club as the manager had to sell some of his players to buy quality assets of his own choice. It remains to be seen whether Benitez can continue to work his magic with the players he has at his disposal.
If only their owner was a tad accommodating while providing funds, the Spaniard’s experience and knowledge could have helped his team challenge for European spots.
Benitez’s Rigid System
Benitez’s rigid 4-2-3-1 comprises of two central midfielders, who are at first concentrated on defending and then look for forward movements. The No. 10 often provides support for the attacks on the ball and helps out in the midfield without possession. The striker is usually more of a target-man, who can knock the ball down for the midfield runners.
This system relies on wingers moving forward and putting in deadly crosses for the centre-forward to attack. The full-backs should be defensively reliant before making forays up the pitch. Newcastle players have done well to adapt to this role-specific formation which has brought huge success in the recent past.
Significant Signing – Yoshinori Muto
The departure of Aleksandr Mitrovic, who was out on loan for the latter half of the previous season, meant Newcastle needed a striker who can score goals when needed. Getting Yoshinori Muto from Mainz is the best bit of business they have done this summer. The Japanese striker is a viable threat to have in and around the opposition box.
He is certain to score goals and become a valuable outlet from counter-attacks for this Newcastle team. The 26-year-old can partner up with Ayoze Perez and the wingers to make for a fruitful front-line.
Predicted Finish – 10th
Newcastle finished 10th last season too and Benitez could perform a miracle by punching above the weight with his team once again. Getting another top-half finish will be enough to either pursue the owners to spend some money or sell the club in the wake of progressing as a football team.