What Loic Remy's Breakout Performance Means for Newcastle Striker
Newcastle needed to bolster their attack over the summer. Instead of making a large investment to sign a marquee name, they opted to bring in Loic Remy on loan from Queens Park Rangers. The striker showed why against Hull City.
Although a poor defensive effort left the Magpies on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline, Remy was a force in the attacking third. He scored twice and could have netted a couple more if things had fallen his way in the second half.
It's exactly the type of performance he needs on a consistent basis to live up to his sky-high potential. The 26-year-old French international has flashed greatness over the past handful of seasons, but has struggled to maintain top form.
He scored six goals in 14 appearances last season for QPR after coming over from Marseille. It was the type of sustained production he's capable of, and Newcastle will hope his effort against Hull will spark a similar run in the coming weeks.
His first goal was a result of doing exactly what every striker is taught. As Newcastle was moving the ball on the wing, he attacked the front of the goal and was in perfect position to head home a one-touch delivery from Papiss Cisse.
When Remy struck again late in the first half, he benefited from a fortuitous bounce, making no mistake with a perfect finish. After a Yohan Cabaye attempted was blocked the ball landed right in the path of the Frenchman, who hit a laser into the corner.
When Remy plays a half of football like that, it's easy to see why he still attracts a lot of attention. Talent certainly isn't an issue, and, perhaps, he's finally going to find a comfort zone with Newcastle that will let him shine on a weekly basis.
He's in a good position to do exactly that. Playing alongside Cisse and Hatem Ben Arfa should mean there's plenty of space for Remy to utilize his speed, which is a great asset when he gets the opportunity to show it off.
How many league goals will Remy tally this season?
The fact that the club's back line is shaky should also lead to a lot of wide-open matches like today's wild contest, which means more chances for Remy.
Ultimately, however, a lot of it comes down to confidence for strikers. The difference between netting 15 goals and failing to reach double digits is often self-belief, and that's why early-season performances like the one Remy had are important.
He should walk away feeling confident in his ability to lead the Newcastle attack this season. He certainly looked capable throughout a tremendous first half.
Only time will tell if he's ready to take that next step and do it for an entire campaign, though.
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