Soccer / huddersfield
NUFC - Miggy Almiron Ready For Take-Off To Fly Magpies Out of Danger Zone
Newcastle United play two crucial Premier League games at St. James' Park against relegation rivals Huddersfield Town and Burnley, newly-equipped with record signing Miguel Almiron to inject pace, goals and unpredictability into Newcastle's attack. Predictably, critics of the American MLS League have dismissed the Paraguyan international's soccer pedigree but a player coveted by Manchester United among a string of Premier League clubs is ready to prove his critics wrong. They would do well to remember a certain Peter Beardsley arrived on Tyneside as an unknown from Canada's Vancouver Whitecaps having being rejected by the Red Devils at the outset of his football career and as well as a glittering Newcastle career in two spells would end up winning titles with rivals Liverpool & almost The World Cup with England. Almiron, 25, made his Premier League debut as a late substitute in Newcastle's away draw at Wolves when The Magpies had to settle for one point instead of a deserved three after referee Graham Scott played extra time and he and his linesman failed to spot a clear foul on Newcastle's Martin Dubravka by serial cheat Willy Boly. Almiron showed flashes of the electric pace he is famed for and a willingness to track back and do the defensive work as well as take players on going forward. A robust tackle by Wolves was called a 'Welcome to England' message by teammate Isaac Hayden and the late refereeing injustice was an early introduction to playing for Newcastle United. Hayden elaborated on early impressions of his new teammate & potential for Newcastle: “He’s been top-drawer in training, especially for him, coming from a foreign country – and especially the MLS – it’s a completely different level. For him to come on against Wolves, he was a bit of a livewire and he showed what he could do. “There was a strong tackle put in on him, and I turned to him and said ‘welcome to English football’. He got up and was just smiling away. “You can see in his eyes that he’s really enjoying it, all this experience. He will get better and better. I think he’ll be a great asset. “I’d seen a few clips of him on YouTube, so we had an inkling of what he was about, but credit to him. He was sticking himself about against Wolves, he digs deep, tracks back and tackles. If he keeps doing that, as well as bring stuff in attack, he’ll be great for this club.” Whether Almiron will start for Newcastle against Huddersfield on Saturday remains to be seen yet especially with the attacking dynamo on board, Rafa Benitez's men should easily put lowly Huddersfield - who are currently adrift with just 11 points though have just changed their manager to Jan Siewert in a last desperate roll of the dice - to the sword as they did away from home thanks to Salomon Rondon finishing this fine team move: Burnley may prove tougher opposition having just signed Peter Crouch, a player who has been a nemesis of Newcastle in the past, yet one of the secrets of Rafa Benitez's 10th place success last season was beating the teams in and around Newcastle in the table - home and away in the case of West Ham and relegated Stoke - and after an impressive win at Turf Moor on Monday Night Football in October should approach the tie with confidence looking to complete an important double over Sean Dyche's men. Newcastle, however, have struggled to break down eminently beatable teams at home this season failing to score in over 270 minutes and picking up just one point from a possible nine against Leicester, Brighton and Fulham in 2018 and it is this problem that Almiron's arrival will hopefully address - how to seize the attacking initiative and make home advantage count in potential six-pointers at St. James' Park. Bearing a passing resemblance to Santiago Munez, the Latin American who signs for Newcastle United in the movie, 'Goal!', Almiron possesses the attacking skill-set of pace, dribbling, flair and creativity to unlock opposition defences for others as well as score goals himself and his playing at St. James' Park for the first time should excite fans. Its a transfer that has certainly captured the imagination Stateside with American sports channel NBCSN replacing their showing of the Bournemouth-Wolves with the potential debut of Miguel Almiron for Newcastle against Huddersfield (via Roberto Rojas the Paraguyan journalist who broke the the story of Almiron's transfer to Newcastle) so lets hope its a Hollywood ending for Newcastle's record-breaking £21M man...