Garth Crooks has chosen his Premier League team of the week (see below) and included Jamaal Lascelles in the eleven, after Newcastle’s 2-1 win over Stoke.

Last weekend also saw the BBC pundit select the Newcastle captain in his top 11 players, following Lascelles’ winning goal and display against Swansea.

When explaining his selection a week ago, Garth Crooks also looked at the overall picture at Newcastle United and said that with the crippling lack of investment in the squad this summer, there isn’t a ‘real chance of survival’ without Rafa getting proper financial backing.

Wrapping it up, Crooks said that if Mike Ashley is not prepared to back his manager ‘he should sell the club and let someone else do it’.

As well as the selection of Jamaal Lascelles, it is also a case of deja vu with Garth Crooks view on the problems at St James Park.

This time he has said ‘This is heroic stuff from these Newcastle lads but be sure they will soon run out of gas’.

Crooks adding ‘It is imperative that Rafa Benitez is allowed to continue developing this team in January because this bubble will burst’.

I have to say that once again I have to agree with everything Garth Crooks is saying, apart from the bit about it not being a penalty…

Garth Crooks talking to BBC Sport:

“It’s absolutely buzzing at St James Park at the moment and I’m not surprised with Jamaal Lascelles leading their charge.

“Their captain looks a real danger on set-pieces for Newcastle – scoring against Swansea last weekend – and so it proved again as he towered above the Stoke defence to nod home the winner.

“It was ironic that Lascelles found himself remonstrating with referee Stuart Attwell about his refusal to award the Magpies a penalty just before that.

“I must say I agreed with Attwell – Kurt Zouma did make contact with the ball.

“However, it was from the ensuing corner kick that Lascelles got his rewards. He should have scored earlier in a similar situation but put too much into the header.

“This is heroic stuff from these Newcastle lads but be sure they will soon run out of gas.

“It is imperative that Rafa Benitez is allowed to continue developing this team in January because this bubble will burst.”

Garth Crooks Premier league team of the week:

Goalkeeper – Nick Pope (Burnley)

Defender – Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle)

Defender – Joel Matip (Liverpool)

Defender – Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal)

Wing-back – Antonio Valencia (Manchester United)

Midfielder – Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

Midfielder – Mario Lemina (Southampton)

Wing-back – Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal)

Forward – Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Forward – Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

Forward – Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 Stoke 1

Goals:

Newcastle: Atsu 19, Lascelles 68

Stoke: Shaqiri 57

Possession was Stoke 58% Newcastle 42%

Total shots were  Stoke 10 Newcastle 16

Shots on target were Stoke  13 Newcastle 14

Corners were  Stoke 5 Newcastle 7

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Newcastle United:

Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Mbemba, Ritchie, Hayden (Shelvey 69), Merino, Atsu, Perez (Diame 86), Joselu (Gayle 78)

Unused Subs:

Woodman, Murphy, Manquillo, Lejeune

Crowd: 51,795 (approx 1,500 Stoke)

(Phil Thompson admits he could have been wrong about Newcastle players – Read Here)

(Read what Rafa Benitez had to say after beating Stoke Here)

(Alan Shearer a very happy man after Newcastle went top four – Read it Here)

(The instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to win over Stoke – Here)

(Your Newcastle v Stoke player ratings Here)

(Mark Hughes’ comments Here – he was watching a different game!)



  • Jimblag23

    Whilst I wouldn’t put it in those terms, he’s essentially right.
    Rafa says himself, we will lose games, we just need to stick with it and then subsequent good results will follow.
    These players seem to have good team spirit and a bit of fight.
    We won’t finish in the top four, but we could be looking at a relaxed last day of the season (for once).
    👍

  • Wor Lass

    We WILL hit rough patches, obviously, but we have a manager who knows that and will be hammering into the players day in, day out. His mantra is, “I think only about the next game”. Not the last one and not the next-but-one. The next one. It`s the only game that matters and if the lads can buy into his philosophy – and the early signs are that they have – then the odd setback won`t scare or distract them. As plenty of people have said, the table from 6/7 down is full of bang average squads and a team with spirit, one or two good players and, cricially, top class guidance can find itself riding high come June!

  • Thefootballerwhocouldfly

    Crooks is. astute and clearly insightful to our plight.
    Long may our good fortunes on the pitch continue. Thank God for Rafa.
    If only Ashley could realise our potential?!

  • Kneebotherm8

    Crooks is right in what he says,the manager has the team performing in spite of the owner,not because of him.

  • Rich Lawson

    He’s a bit long winded but generally ok,but no we don’t have to run out of gas,people try and kill us at the start of the season and when that doesn’t work hedge their bets for later,you can’t lose being a pundit (Hello to all our friends at Sky !!!)

  • David Savage

    How the hell does he know we’ll run out of gas ? Is he a psychic ? No he isn’t. I know it’s just his opinion but let’s hear what he has to say about Everton who have spent an Incredible amount of money and are absolutely terrible.

    • TheFatController

      Punditry is like a fare ground, you have plenty of psychics, fortune tellers and mind readers. All fakes of course, but plenty of real clowns among them…

  • Manbearpig

    Im happy for everyone to write us off and wait for us to collapse, lets us go under the radar for as long as possible. Even better reading on other teams forums before the matches how it is an easy game for them. Long may it continue.

  • Leazes Ender

    When are you going to do a piece on Ryders distracted universe?

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    We might run out of gas but should have been five two yesterday so plenty in the petrol tank. This site should wake up and smell the coffee that George at the Times and the London Press hate us.

  • joe mac

    looks like he”d run out of gas climbing the stairs!….does anyone really take notice of these fat ex pros…who obviously are not educated enough to get a job outside football and relay on contacts in the game to look after them!…..its embarrasing really!….

  • Desree

    Sorry but I couldn’t read this article because of all of the ads. Any chance of an ad free subscription service and proper articles instead of Garth Crooks and Paul Merson.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      Don’t go spending money on a subscription, you have some saving up to do.

  • Rob Brown

    I disagree with Crooks.

    The team will not run out of gas as such, but they will struggle against the top 6 or 7 teams because of our lack of quality, but as long as the players accept that we should be alright.

    You just need to take a look at the short passing capability of the teams yesterday to see that we’re not in the same class.

    I hope Rafa realises this and switches to a more basic (and effective) hoof and clatter against them.

  • Leicester Mag

    While firmly agree investment is needed to both maintain and push on. Fact is in Premier League typically play once a week not twice as was the case in Championship.

  • TheNutJob

    He may well be right, we haven`t the numbers to rotate the players at this level, you only have to look at the strikers or midfield. unless Gayle comes good we haven`t got a goalscorer & a couple of injuries in midfield & we`re doomed

    • Geordiegiants

      I don’t think we have to rotate as much in the prem, as we don’t play as many games as often, but we do still need to strengthen definitely.

  • mentalman

    we are in a position where we don’t belong so we can expect the media to try and cause problems within the club.

    We have enough quality in the squad that players don’t need to play with injuries or when excessively tired so we should be able to maintain this level for a while yet

  • Steve Pearce

    Seeing the BBC have always had a hidden agenda to knock Newcastle and the north east in general I don’t give a flying Donald Duck what Mr Garth “Face Like A Bulldog Chewing A Wasp” Crooks has to say. We won’t have the sheer volume of games this season and have a strong enough squad so we should be okay. I am still looking at our fixtures in disbelief and barring a horrendous slip up honestly think we may still be fourth come Christmas. But there is the glaring issue of lack of quality up front to contend with though and I leave you with this thought – should Adam Armstrong finally be recalled from loan in January to claim his place as our striker?

    • ghostrider

      I agree with 99% of your comments.
      As for Adam Armstrong. I believe Joselu will do a good enough job for us.
      I know he’s missed chances but many a striker has done that and decent one’s at that.
      5 minutes at the club and having the onus on him to do the business is a tough immediate call.
      He will know this and feel this and maybe be trying too hard.
      Once he’s a bit more composed, I think we’ll see a decent striker in him this season.
      As for Armstrong; I don’t think he’s anything like ready for us. I’d let him have the entire season out on loan and let’s see what he has to offer from there.

      • Steve Pearce

        Yes – he was definitely trying too hard against Stoke – but too be fair if it wasn’t for Butland’s world class save he would have got on the score sheet. He will learn from that experience and mature. As for Armstrong, either take him back and play him or sell him at the end of the season as yet another loan spell is just counterproductive for both team and player.

  • Will Venus

    Just keep playing with maximum effort, pride, passion, belief and ability, quietly accumulating the points required. That is all the manager and we as supporters expect. Nothing else, and nobody else matters

  • Hughie_Gallacher

    I regret to say that Garth is dead right. Newcastle are pulling out all the stops at the moment but the palpable lack of quality in the squad, after the disastrous transfer window, will soon show.

  • ghostrider

    Garth Crooks is talking garbage.
    He’s talking like someone playing FIFA 17 or something.
    The game is about buying the best quality you can for the price you can afford to comfortably go with.
    The game is also about walking again before you start running and especially well before you even dare to sprint.
    We’ve just came back up from the championship.
    We have a squad of players that are showing they are worth a lot more than was paid, so let’s evaluate it shall we.

    A squad of young players but not so young as to be on any kind of burn out and especially those that have just came up from the 46 game championship slog.

    We have players like:
    Lascelles. How much as the transfer system stands? 15 million plus?
    Clark. 10 million plus?
    Mbemba, 10 million plus?
    Lejeune 20 million plus?
    Need I go on?

    Let’s put it into real context.
    If Rafa had went out and bought all these players who are performing for us, right now, in this window and paid 120 million for them, I bet nobody would say he’s been done over.

    It just so happens we get told we are playing above our station. WHY?
    Are Everton playing below theirs and if so, why?…because of their fantastic transfer fees and wage offerings?
    They had a much better outfit last season by far.

    We might go on a winless run. We might suffer injuries and bad luck.
    We might run low of steam.
    Guess what?
    Most teams, if not all teams will suffer the same fate at some time.

    The money bags clubs will be better equipped at all times because they can afford to buy and throw away as and when a window of opportunity appears.

    Most can’t.
    Many have spent their lot and are having to hit and hope.
    We are as strong, if not stronger in terms of squad quality than a lot of the chancers who have paid handsomely for noted players that are simply not showing what they’re worth, when in fact those players are bought for that kind of money and wages because they’re expected to hit the ground running.

    At the start of the season, after Shelvey’s dismissal and Mitrovics shenanigans, we were wrote off by all and sundry.
    Now we’re punching above our weight, allegedly…because…..because. Yeah, why because?

    Because the southern press and the so called expert unbiased (COUGH) football pundits have decided that north east club, Newcastle United, Owned by Mike Ashley and managed by a manager they think is too good for it, believe we should know our place.

    Yeah…know our place.
    What an absolute crock of sh…..sh….sh….garbage.