When Miguel Almiron lines up against Aston Villa on Monday 25 November 2019, it will be fully 379 days since he last scored a goal in club football.
The Newcastle United forward last scored for his club back when playing for Atlanta United.
On 11 November 2018, 70,526 spectators inside the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, watched the Parguayan international score the second goal in a 3-1 victory over New York City.
Not a single club goal since then, quite amazing.
It is now 10 months since Miguel Amiron arrived on Tyneside and very ironic that on his very first start, only minutes into the game Almiron sped away from the Huddersfield defence and full of confidence took the more difficult and totally unexpected option of chipping the goalkeeper so early. The keeper didn’t have a club, the ball floating over his head and…onto the post, Miguel Almiron not able to finish it off either in the scramble that followed.
United went on to win that game 2-0 regardless, Miguel Almiron the spark that galvanised late season form that ended up meaning early safety from relegation and the fifth best form in the Premier League over the course of the final 16 games last season, NUFC picking up 27 points in the 16 games and scoring 26 goals.
On a personal note, if Miguel Almiron had scored that chip only minutes into that first PL start, difficult to imagine he wouldn’t have scored a single goal in these next nine months that have followed that Huddersfield game.
When it comes to assists in club football, it is maybe even more bizarre.
On 23 September 2018, Almiron got an assist for the first goal as Atlanta United beat Real Salt Lake 2-0. Which means that when Newcastle play at Aston Villa, it will be 404 days since the player’s last assist in club football.
Miguel Almiron celebrates a full year with not a single goal or assist – Remarkable and yet…maybe the most remarkable thing is that I think he has been excellent for Newcastle United.
When I say ‘excellent’, I obviously use it in the context of within Newcastle’s relegation fight both last and this season. He hasn’t played well every game but his attitude has been first rate and he never tires of running back in his defensive duties, nor trying to drive the team forward.
This season that (driving the team forward) has been a pretty thankless task, at least that is until Allan Saint-Maximin has got fully fit and into his stride.
Playing in such a negative Steve Bruce formation, Miguel Almiron had found himself having to fill a huge area of pitch between an isolated Joelinton and a staying back largely immobile midfield.
Now with two runners in ASM and Almiron, we are increasingly seeing the benefits. With not just Almiron to worry about, these wins over West Ham and Bournemouth have seen Newcastle look a very much different proposition at times.
It is still a work in progress, the odd goal and assist wouldn’t go amiss…
However, whisper it quietly, Newcastle are starting to look an attacking threat and one day soon we are going to see ASM, Joelinton AND Almiron go goal crazy.
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