Garth Crooks has selected his latest team of the week from this weekend’s matches.
Two Newcastle players made the BBC pundit’s eleven, although many of us will feel it should be three.
Garth Crooks has chosen former Nottingham Forest pair, Karl Darlow and Jamaal Lascelles.
He has picked out potential match winning moments from both of them to back up his argument.
For Lascelles, it is that brilliant tackle on Wickham very early in the game, saving an almost certain goal and if he had got it just slightly wrong it would have been a certain penalty and red card.
Speaking of penalties….Garth Crooks is scathing of Moussa Sissoko for giving away the needless spot-kick 10 minutes after Newcastle had taken the lead – but Karl Darlow gets top marks for keeping cool and making a save that almost certainly won two points for United.
Andros Townsend possibly deserved to be included as well, even in only for that absolute top class free-kick.
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The full Garth Crooks team of the week and then his write up on Lascelles and Darlow below:
Karl Darlow (Newcastle United)
Danny Simpson (Leicester)
Wes Morgan (Leicester)
Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle United)
Leighton Baines (Everton)
Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham)
Mark Noble (West Ham)
Andre Ayew (Swansea)
Troy Deeney (Watford)
Kelechi Iheanacho (Man City)
Sadio Mane (Southampton)
Garth Crooks on Darlow and Lascelles:
They call them understudy goalkeepers for some reason and I have never understood why. Granted Darlow has come in for the injured Tim Krul and Rob Elliot, but with performances like this he is a goalkeeper who should be playing regular first-team football.
The 25-year-old produced a number of cracking saves against Crystal Palace in a game Newcastle just had to win to keep their hopes of Premier League survival alive.
His first save from Yannick Bolasie at full stretch was superb, but it was his penalty save from former Magpie favourite-turned-villain Yohan Cabaye that changed the game.
Darlow held his nerve brilliantly which is more than I can say for Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko, who seemed to have had a rush of blood to the head when he appeared to try to parry the ball in the box. But that was before Darlow came to the rescue.
What a tackle! It couldn’t have been more than seconds into this vital game for Newcastle, with in-form Connor Wickham bearing down on the Magpies goal, when defender Jamaal Lascelles made the tackle of the game.
Not only did it set the tone for an impressive performance by the 22-year-old but it was the catalyst for Newcastle’s first clean sheet in four games.
Manager Rafa Benitez has only been playing the youngster because of injuries to the experienced Steven Taylor and club captain Fabricio Coloccini.
However, the youngster has been so impressive in the games he has played under Benitez, the Spanish manager should have no qualms whatsoever about Lascelles holding the Newcastle fort in their remaining fixtures.