Newcastle 0 Brighton 0 – Saturday 30 December 2017 3pm
Darlow 7 – Didn’t have much to do at all but made a few good saves and was there when called upon. I suspect he will have a lot more to do against Stoke on New Year’s day.
Yedlin 5 – I think he has been our best player as of late but he didn’t do enough today going forward. Can definitely be forgiven considering how much he has contributed recently. Evident today that when this guy doesn’t contribute, Newcastle don’t have a lot going forward. How worrying is that? Also, not sure how a right back can be offside so many times?!
Lascelles 8 – Solid as ever and could have had a goal. We look a lot safer at the back with the skipper there. Can’t be happy with what is in front of him though. Both central defenders don’t seem to have a clue what to do when they have the ball at their feet.
Clark 7 – Hasn’t looked comfortable on the ball since he came back into the side but defensively he did ok alongside Lascelles. I think those two are our best defensive partnership.
Dummett 6 – Back in the side, and we all know what he brings defensively, but going forward it just isn’t enough for me. I was a big defender of him last season but he needs to offer more this season. Simply getting the ball on your left foot and kicking it isn’t good enough for me. Manquillo offers more.
Ritchie 5 – Huffed and puffed but failed to create enough. I don’t think he is adventurous enough. Whether he has his orders not to venture too far forward I don’t know, but when you’re at home, we need more from our wide men.
Merino 4 – Very quiet today and shied away from things at times. It is silly for us to be relying on this guy as our main man. Shelvey is a bit of a liability but if Rafa is going to come out after the game and say these young players need more experience, then it is silly not playing the most experienced PL player.
Hayden 6 – Does what is asked of him. I like Hayden but he struggles in the 4-4-2 system when more is required of him going forward. Not a box to box midfielder and looks far more comfortable as a three in the middle being able to break up play.
Atsu 6 – Nothing like the same player we saw against West Ham and City recently. One of those players who you never quite know what you are going to get. Still needs to play as you never know what he is going to come up with. Not his day today though.
Gayle 5 – Struggling a lot at the moment. Not taking his chances in front of the SJP crowd. No real chemistry between himself and Joselu either.
Joselu 4 – Rubbish today. I don’t know what else I can say about him as we all know his limitations. It is just so frustrating how poor we are.
Perez N/A (Not on long enough to judge)
Shelvey N/A (Not on long enough to judge)
Murphy N/A (Not on long enough to judge)
One win in 12, no goals in 5 of last 6 home games. awful football in general this season, but hey, at least we only conceded one against City…?
I don’t think for one minute anyone is turning against Rafa, or anything of the likes, but serious questions need to be asked going into January.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 0 Brighton 0
Possession was Brighton 55% Newcastle 45%
Total shots were Brighton 10 Newcastle 11
Shots on target were Brighton 3 Newcastle 2
Corners were Brighton 6 Newcastle 3
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie (Perez 72), Hayden, Merino (Shelvey 76), Atsu, Joselu (Murphy 84), Gayle
Woodman, Manquillo, Mbemba, Diame
Crowd: 52,209 (2,200 Brighton)
(Read the instant Newcastle fan/writer reaction to the draw with Brighton HERE)
You can follow the author on Twitter @JonathanComyn