Eddie Howe has got most tactical and selection decisions spot on during this season, but is his loyalty to Callum Wilson, and subsequent resistance to starting Alexander Isak, beginning to hold Newcastle back a little?
Against Manchester United in the League Cup final last week, Wilson struggled to hold up the ball and thus barred Newcastle from maintaining much momentum.
This weekend, he missed chances at 1-0 that you have to take against Manchester City.
That has been a theme recently. Wilson has scored one goal in all competitions since the end of October, against West Ham early last month. In that time he has taken 27 shots.
It is true that Newcastle are not creating chances of the same quality as in autumn (and aren’t scoring the low-percentage chances either).
But Newcastle have a £60m attacker sitting on the bench and Wilson isn’t justifying leading the line ahead of him right now.
Given the recent run, might Howe be tempted to start Isak and Wilson in combination? They have both been injured for periods of this season, but it is slightly surprising that they have still not started a match together in any competition.