Garth Crooks has described Ben Foster’s save from Dwight Gayle as breathtaking.

An instinctive header from close-in looked to have given Newcastle an equaliser, only for somehow the West Brom keeper to claw it out and preserve their one goal lead.

Many  Newcastle fans had turned up expecting this to be a stroll after four home wins in a row but the Baggies instead proved a few things.

West Brom showed that they are better than their points total, still only on 28 points, but having picked up eight points from the last four matches after gathered only 20 from 32 games under Pulis and Pardew.

Last season only six points separated 8th and 17th in the Premier League and the reality is that West Brom probably aren’t any worse than a lot of clubs outside the top seven or so.

Bad management and a bad attitude from the players when confronted with an idiot such as Alan Pardew, have been key ingredients in their still all but certain relegation. A bit of luck and the confidence of winning at Old Trafford and a two goal comeback against Liverpool, were very evident at St James Park on Saturday.

As for Newcastle, the performance wasn’t massively different to many home games this season, the team set up in the usual keep it tight formation, keep the ball and move it about, hope to eventually force a goal/get a break.

.Newcastle passed up the chances they did have, the most glaring when Kenedy just needed to square a simple six yard ball to Dwight Gayle (Just like the Brazilian did for the winner against Huddersfield) for an open goal, instead the Chelsea man this time shot himself and hit the outside of the post.

Whilst at the other end, for once the defence was switching off, especially Paul Dummett. He went to sleep for the goal and then it could have been two, only for Dubravka to save the left-back this time.

Garth Crooks preferred to talk about West Brom’s positives instead of Newcastle’s negatives and as well as the visiting keeper, he thought central defenders ‘Dawson and Ahmed Hegazi were immense.’

With West Brom’s defence playing well and the fact that Rondon and Rodriguez are better strikers than anything Newcastle have got, it makes the defeat for Rafa’s team not that much of a shock, especially with the visitors’ recent uplift in form.

Newcastle can do a lot better but it wasn’t the disaster/disgrace some NUFC fans seemed to think it was.

In picking his Premier League team of the week, Garth Crooks included both Dawson and Foster, but no Newcastle players this time…

Garth Crooks talking to BBC Sport and his PL team of the week below:

Ben Foster:

“The recent performances by West Bromwich Albion have been synonymous with some brilliant saves from Ben Foster.

“Against Newcastle, the former England keeper produced a reaction save from Dwight Gayle that was utterly breathtaking. How he clawed the ball out of the back of the net I will never know.

“Darren Moore has now taken maximum points off Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez and come back from two goals down against Jurgen Klopp. West Brom may have stumbled upon a manager here.

“Did you know? Foster made two saves in West Brom’s 1-0 win over Newcastle, just their second clean sheet in 13 Premier League games.”

Craig Dawson:

“I saw it, but I couldn’t believe it. What another outstanding performance by the Baggies.

“I thought Dawson and Ahmed Hegazi were immense at Newcastle.

“Quite apart from not responding when he was kicked by Islam Slimani, Dawson’s performance was flawless. When are players going to realise that there is nothing they can do on a football pitch that we cannot see?

“If Moore can somehow get West Brom out of this relegation nightmare (and I can’t see it) we may have to seriously consider him for prime minister!”

Garth Crooks Premier League Team of the week:

Ben Foster (West Brom)

Joel Ward (Crystal Palace)

Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

Craig Dawson (West Brom)

Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace)

Fernandinho (Manchester City)

Idrissa Gueye (Everton)

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Crystal Palace)

Dusan Tadic (Southampton)

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 West Brom 1

Goals:

West Brom: Phillips 29

Possession was West Brom 36% Newcastle 64%

Total shots were West Brom 9 Newcastle 17

Shots on target were West Brom 2 Newcastle 2

Corners were West Brom 1 Newcastle 5

Referee: David Coote

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett (Murphy 58) Ritchie, Shelvey, Kenedy, Perez (Joselu 78), Gayle (Slimani 65)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Hayden

Crowd: 52,283 (1,000 West Brom approx)

(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to today’s game – Go HERE)

(Darren Moore thought Newcastle got off lightly – Read it HERE)

(Brutal honesty from Rafa Benitez after the game – Read it HERE)

(Alan Shearer reaction to Newcastle defeat – Read it HERE)



  • Lofty

    “There’s nothing players can do on a football pitch that we can’t see” Apart from the angelic Mr Dawson’s stamp on Slimani’s foot prior to him kicking out? I’m not condoning what Slimani did at all and he’ll deserve any retrospective punishment, but if you make a statement like that Garth you should have seen what led to him kicking out…

  • mentalman

    he didn’t react to being kicked, he sat on the ground almost crying until he got the officials attention

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Yes on another day could have had three goals and everyone would have said great win. Small margins.

  • ghostrider

    Outstanding display by West Brom?
    We made them look reasonable because we were basically haphazard and lethargic, in the main, compared to recent games.

    It happens to all teams and even though I’ve given Rafa plenty of stick for his set ups and tactics on display, this one was simply down to the team not gelling on the day and of a West Brom team that weren’t much better, except they got the luck of the draw and you could see they wanted to play for their stand in manager.

    Man Utd have their off days and so do Man City, Liverpool and….(add in ALL teams)…
    Sometimes it makes me wonder if there’s some kind of mindset of feeling sorry for a team like West Brom who looked dead and buried under Pardew, with teams playing them under their caretaker manager, just treating the game like a friendly.

    You know, the old ” ahhhh it’s only West Brom.”

    The truth of the matter is, they deserve to be where they are because their owners decided to play Russian roulette with managers who walked into (what appears to be) a dressing room of some kind of hierarchy of a few players who appear to call the shots.

    Maybe, eh?
    Speculation, eh?