Goalless draws against Reading and Birmingham City and a hammering at the hands of Fulham, the business end of the season in the Sky Bet Championship has started to take a toll on Newcastle United. The Magpies might still be the favourites to clinch the silverware of the second tier of English football but that certainly doesn’t grant them the license to act in a complacent manner.
Under the tutelage of Rafael Benitez, Newcastle United earned a strong footing and cemented their stature as one of the promotion hopeful outfits. However, their latest stalemate at St. Andrew’s was a testamentary reminder of the perception that they have been withering away of late owing to the helpless form of some of their key players, including Mohamed Diame.
Speaking in an unabashed manner, the Geordies rely heavily on Diame to turn the strides of time in their favour and win matches. Having engineered him at the central midfield role against the Blues, the 29-year-old midfielder has been really abject in his outings whilst plying his trade as a central attacking midfielder.
It would be unfair to admit that Newcastle United does not possess quality up front to bang goals on a consistent basis because what they are really lacking is adequate support from the middle of the park. The helping hands have dried up and as a result, their attacking endeavours are dying a slow death and one of the cornerstones for their mediocrity is the discolouration of Diame who really needs to up his ante for the remaining fixtures to register a strong finish for Benitez’s troops.
With the physical soundness that he boasts of, Diame has been underutilising his attributes and giving up the ball way too often. Besides, the precision which existed in his passing sense has been succumbing and he has failed to vehemently impose himself as a solid customer when it came to catering to his defensive duties. Moreover, when manoeuvred as a no. 10, the Senegalese hasn’t really made life easy for the likes of Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic.
So far this campaign, he has scored 3 goals and registered 2 assists in 30 Championship outings and defensively, he has made merely 1.7 tackles and 0.5 interceptions per game on an average which pretty much sums up his mediocrity in the black and white shirt. Being a world-class player in the Toons’ setup, Diame really needs to reclaim his former figure of being a brutally ruthless midfielder who has the calibre to do wonders for his employers.
Statistics Credits: WhoScored.
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