Across the season so far, Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United haven’t played up to the same standards that they showed last season.
The Magpies have gone from qualifying for the Champions League and cruising past almost any team which was thrown at them to now, where they find themselves firmly out of the top four race.
Granted, Howe’s side have been plagued with injuries this season, but they made many summer additions in order to bolster the depth of their squad, as depth was also one of the key problems that the club faced last season – hence, why players such as Lewis Miley have had to become regulars within the Magpies’ squad.
First-team absences have been that much of a recurring theme this season, that in each game, Newcastle have lost close to half of their team.
Due to the injuries that have occurred, Howe had to share a club statement with the media on 9 February and admitted that they have “made mistakes”, with the Englishman no doubt hoping that such errors can be put right away to Nottingham Forest in the Premier League this evening.
Anthony Gordon and Harvey Barnes’ season in numbers
As aforementioned, Newcastle made many summer signings in order to bolster their squad for the 2023/24 season.
One of those who joined was, Harvey Barnes. The former Leicester man made the move for a fee worth around £38m after the Foxes were relegated.
Since arriving in Tyneside, the winger hasn’t really had much of a chance to make his arrival known as he has only managed to play a total of nine games in all competitions whilst only contributing to three goals.
However, the 26-year-old marked his return from injury with a crucial goal in last week’s 4-4 draw with Luton Town and will now be hoping to use that as a platform to build on over the coming months.
Anthony Gordon, on the other hand, was signed in the January transfer window of the 2022/23 season for a fee worth around £45m.
Although the former Everton man’s first season with the club got off to a rocky due to the fee that the Magpies paid for the youngster, he has seemingly come into his own this season.
Gordon has played in 33 games this season and has managed to contribute to 15 goals, making him one of Newcastle’s most influential players.
However, much like his peers, the 22-year-old has been ruled out with an ankle injury and no return date has yet been set.
So, with a limited amount of choice, Howe will likely be looking towards Callum Wilson to fulfil an attacking role at the City Ground this evening, flanked by the returning Barnes.
How Callum Wilson can help Newcastle defeat Forest
Wilson has been managed under Howe for many years now, creating a sort of synergy between the pair.
More often than not, the 32-year-old has been the player on the sidelines due to injury, even missing 16 games this season.
However, the experienced attacker is now back and will be looking to showcase the ability he still has against Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.
Wilson has even been described as “razor sharp” by pundit Matthew Upson due to his clinical prowess in front of goal and, when available, the former Bournemouth man has played a total of 21 games and scored eight goals in all competitions his term.
Newcastle could now bench 4/10 star who was as bad as Dan Burn v Luton
Following Newcastle’s surprising 4-4 draw with Luton, Eddie Howe may be forced to bench an attacker for the foreseeable future.
A win could see the Magpies boosted up to as high as seventh in the Premier League table and with games to come against Arsenal and Bournemouth, a victory could help motivate them to win against two very in-form sides.
As such, unleashing both Barnes and Wilson into the frontline could well be crucial…