Miguel Almiron has been very poor for Newcastle United this season.
His manager knows this, but Steve Bruce isn’t yet worried after the Paraguayan struggled mightily again and Newcastle drew Watford 1-1 at St. James’ Park on Saturday.
[ RECAP: Newcastle 1-1 Watford ]
“Well look, he’s a delight work with day in and day out,” Bruce said. “Hopefully when he gets one, he’ll get off and running because the two big chances fell to him today, but his work-rate and his appetite and his energy, and he’s a good footballer, the kid.”
Almiron flubbed a trap in a point-blank scoring position early in the draw, and made more buzz for his play-acting than his production.
He is working hard and chipping in defensively, but that’s not supposed to be the focus of Almiron’s game.Over four matches, the 25-year-old ex-Atlanta United star isn’t just failing the eye test, he has some of the worst stats on the team.
Bruce just wants a bit of luck for his embattled big money signing.
“As I said, he might need just one to come off his backside and get up and running, and we sincerely hope so,” Almiron said. “But we had two big opportunities and didn’t quite take them.”
The jump from MLS to Premier League was always going to be difficult, but this isn’t quite that; Remember: Almiron was very good last season even if he failed to find the score sheet.
And while Rafa Benitez is clearly going to bring more to a player’s tactical development than Steve Bruce, the new boss has been moving Almiron around and trying to find something to get him firing on more cylinders. It’s coming, but it sure hasn’t been easy to watch the journey.
We’re on minute 1,123 and counting with no goals and no assists.