There hasn’t been any danger of a Newcastle player making anybody’s team of the week in recent games but Garth Crooks has selected one United star this weekend.
Crooks says that if you have a team willing to work AND a ‘top-class goalscorer’ then ‘anything is possible’.
That of course gives you just the slightest of clues that the Newcastle player chosen is Gini Wijnaldum.
‘Top-class’ is certainly a fitting description for the second goal that finished Liverpool off, Wijnaldum superbly lifting the ball over Mignolet after Sissoko’s brilliant run and through ball.
The first goal was also top-class in its own way, if you give marks for perseverance. There looked little chance of any potential goal with a number of defenders in his way but Wijnaldum worked his way around them and when he squared the ball, his perseverance was rewarded when Skrtel put the ball into his own net.
Garth Crooks describes Newcastle as ‘worthy winners’ and he points out that you could quite clearly see the confidence grow amongst the players as the game went on.
The challenge of course is now on for the team to repeat that level of performance week in week out, which is something Mark Lawrenson pointed out after the game on MOTD 2.
This is the Garth Crooks team of the weekend and his analysis of the match below that.
Petr Cech (Arsenal)
Ryan Shawcross (Stoke)
Winston Reid (West Ham)
Steve Cook (Bournemouth)
Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal)
N’Golo Kante (Leicester)
Gini Wijnaldum (Newcastle)
Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke)
Riyad Mahrez (Leicester)
Marko Arnautovic (Stoke)
Odion Ighalo (Watford)
“That’s more like it, Newcastle! It took a while for the Magpies to get their confidence back against an in-form Liverpool side but once they did they were worthy winners.
“If you have a top-class goalscorer and a team willing to work then anything is possible.
“Vurnon Anita and Jack Colback did much of the work whilst Georginio Wijnaldum’s second goal of the game was simply first class.
“Last week I urged captain Fabricio Coloccini and manager Steve McClaren to reconcile their differences after media reports claimed that there had been a bust-up.
“Well, if bust-ups cause this sort of reaction in McClaren’s dressing room then they should consider ‘clearing the air’ more often.”