Although Eddie Howe’s side were able to salvage a point after trailing by two goals, it was another poor defensive display from the Magpies.
Last season was one of the club’s best in recent times, with the Magpies securing their place in the Champions League for the first time in 20 years. Howe’s side only conceded 33 Premier League goals last campaign – the joint best in the division alongside champions Manchester City.
However, Newcastle’s defensive record this season has been far from impressive, having already conceded 37 goals – four more than last campaign with 15 games remaining.
Defensive players such as Kieran Trippier and Sven Botman have failed to reach the performance levels they achieved last season – with Howe’s side conceding 11 goals in their last three games on their home turf.
Dan Burn’s game vs Luton Town in numbers
Dan Burn had an afternoon to forget against Luton last weekend. The 31-year-old gave away the penalty for the Hatters’ third goal and was ineffective throughout the game at both ends.
His performance was so poor, that the Newcastle Chronicle’s chief football writer Lee Ryder gave Burn a 4/10 rating and admitted that Burn’s man, Chiedozie Ogbene, ‘ran the show for long spells’.
When reflecting upon the stats from last weekend’s encounter, it’s hard to argue with Ryder’s rating. As per Sofascore, Newcastle’s left-back gave possession away 16 times within his 64 minutes on the pitch, whilst being dribbled past four times – mainly by the rapid Ogbene.
Burn also lost eight duels during the encounter, giving away two fouls – one of which led to the visitor’s spot-kick. His afternoon was over after being replaced by Tino Livramento with just under half an hour to play as Howe tried to combat the danger Luton posed on the counter-attack.
Although Burn was an important player in the Magpies’ brilliant Premier League finish last season, the game against Luton was yet more proof that the 6 foot 6 defender might not have the pace required to play on the left-hand side of Howe’s defence.
The man to replace Dan Burn vs Forest
After replacing Burn off the bench last weekend, Magpies boss Howe should consider starting 21-year-old Tino Livramento in his place for the trip to face Nottingham Forest on Saturday evening.
Nuno Espírito Santo’s side defeated Newcastle on Boxing Day at St James’ Park, with the Reds’ counter-attacking style giving them success and allowing former Magpie Chris Wood to bag a hat-trick.
Anthony Elanga and Callum Hudson-Odoi started on either flank for Forest that day, with the pair causing Trippier and Burn no end of problems. Burn may only have been dribbled past once by Elanga, but the Swede’s pace forced Newcastle boss Howe to replace the 31-year-old 55 minutes in for Livramento to try and combat the pace of the Forest winger.
Although they still fell to a defeat against Nuno’s side, Livramento’s performance throughout the final 30 minutes of the encounter restricted Elanga to limited opportunities after his two assists earlier in the game.
Hopefully, Howe can recognise Burn’s lack of pace against wingers such as Elanga and Hudson-Odoi. The Newcastle boss must start the former Southampton full-back at the City Ground on Saturday to avoid a repeat of the result that occurred just six weeks ago.