Newcastle 0 West Brom 1  – Saturday 28 April 2018 3pm

We asked Kevin Christie to give us his match ratings after today’s game.

A very disappointing result after a hugely frustrating performance – totally lacking penetration and bereft of ideas.

This team is at their best when they’re up against it, need to dig in and can play on the break. We just don’t have the personnel to unlock the opposition when they sit back and let us have the ball.

Lumping it long for the last half hour was playing right into West Brom’s hands but our allegedly more subtle, creative and incisive pairing of Gayle and Perez also failed miserably.

Time to dust the cobwebs off that chequebook, Mike!

Dubravka: 6

Had very little to do. Couldn’t do anything for their goal.

Yedlin: 7 

Solid defensively.

Whipped in a few good crosses and always offered himself as an outlet.

Lascelles: 6

His usual reliable self. Didn’t put a foot wrong.

Lejeune: 6

Another decent performance. Some of his long passing was a bit off though.

Dummett: 5

His worst performance of the season.

Arguably at fault for the goal.

Offered nothing going forward.

A bad day at the office after so many great recent performances.

Ritchie: 8

Our stand-out performer.

Willing runner as always. Sent in a few dangerous deliveries too.

Our most composed attacking outlet on a day when others floundered.

Diame: 5

Back to his worst today, unfortunately.

Broke up a few West Brom attacks early on but lost his way badly as the game progressed.

Misplaced lots of passes, occupied the same space as team-mates and, generally, ran about like a headless chicken.

Shelvey: 5

Poor performance, far too hurried with his deliveries. Lots of misplaced ‘Hollywood’ passes. Some seriously wayward balls over the top and into the channels.

Grew increasingly frustrated as the game progressed, the only saving grace being that he didn’t lose his head.

Kenedy: 7

‘More haste, less speed’ springs to mind!

To his credit, he constantly showed for the ball and tried to make things happen. However, like Shelvey, a bit hurried in his actions.

Ran into trouble a lot and struggled to find team-mates. Neat combination play in first half nearly resulted in a goal.

Poor end product today but at least was alert and willing all afternoon.

Perez: 5

Out-fought and out-muscled all day.

Struggled to make an impact or link with team-mates.

Another frustrating day that only served to highlight his attacking limitations.

Gayle: 5

Put himself about and tried to press the West Brom defence but again offered nothing in an attacking sense.

Has a tough gig in this side but seriously lacks the cutting edge required to wear the famous #9 shirt.

Subs:

Murphy: 6

Took a little while to settle after his introduction – misplaced some simple passes and was poor positionally but eventually grew into the game.

Was a useful outlet on the right and the side looked more balanced with him in it.

However, seems to have a severe lack of self-confidence which is a worry – especially for an attacking player.

A big summer ahead for him if Rafa takes him under his wing – could possibly play as a #10…? Or could be shipped out…?

Slimani: 6

Offered exactly what you’d expect – he was physical, he held the ball up well and he gave us a focal point but to no avail. Constantly out-numbered.

Peppering West Brom’s box with long balls for the last 20 minutes was bread and butter to them.

Worrying show of petulance in his clash with Dawson as well.

Still a little ring rusty but sharper than he was against Everton on Monday night. Hard to see what he offers that Mitrovic didn’t…

Joselu: 5

Wasn’t on for very long and offered little but had one gilt-edged headed chance which he failed to even hit the target with.

Was also ahead of the ball and too slow to react on one of the few occasions that Slimani did win an aerial duel in the box.

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)

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  • Paul Patterson

    Yedlin 7?
    That’s an eyebrow raiser . .

    • Kevin Christie

      Really a 6.5 but gave him the benefit of the doubt! At least he tried to overlap and make things happen. Recovered well a couple of times defensively when he needed to as well.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    That was Kenedy`s last game at St James, i wish the lad well because he gave us a bit of a spark when we most needed it & the kids a class act
    rest assured Penfold will begin looking for his replacement in the window,
    if he gets no answer off 118, 118 there`s always confused dot com.

    • Kevin Christie

      Sadly, you might be right. Has so much personality and really brings a lot to the team. Hard to think of a similar player we could pursue if he doesn’t re-join us…

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        I don`t think there is 1

        • Coach Clagnut

          Thauvin?

  • Gianfranco Shola

    I’m not one to bleat on about Mitro like he’s the second coming of Shearer but my god he’s far better than Joselu, Gayle and Slimani surely! All 3 of them look completely lost in the 18 yard area which isn’t exactly ideal as a premier league striker. Without Jamaal holding the defence together this season we’d be fighting West Brom for the dreaded wooden spoon if you ask me

  • Mike Adam

    Slimani offers nothing that Mitro didn’t.

    • Leicester Mag

      Less

      • Mike Adam

        and Mitro is 23!

  • Robin Wilson

    5 for Diame! were you at the same game as me. Our stand out performer by a country mile, ran his socks off and was at the heart of everything we tried to do, if the rest of them tried as hard as he did today the result would have been very different imo.

    • Kevin Christie

      Counted at least 4 passes that went completely out of play today! Thought he just seemed off the pace mentally and physically this afternoon. Also, took up the same position as others too often when we approached the final third which contributed to the messy, pedestrian nature of our attacking play.

  • Damon Horner

    Personally I thought Lejeune’s distribution was quite decent today. Think that one’s harsh.

  • Belfast Ali

    I would have given Perez 1 as he was awful today!

  • Mmalex86

    Not trying to be overly critical, but these ratings are contrary to what I saw today. Shelvy a 4 at best. Diame an off day but still the best player on the pitch.

    Not sure how Slimani Ritchie or more surprisingly Murphy received such high marks. Slimani was a ghost today, Ritchie all effort and not much else. Gave the ball up so many times. And Murphy…did he do anything besides give the ball straight back to WBA today? He was terrible.

    Is what it is I suppose. If I were Rafa I would move on completely from Slimani. Get better in. Would love Mitro and he to extend the olive branch but it’s not going to happen, so hope money can be put into a proper striker. I’d upgrade Dubravka too (not saying anything about his game today, but I think we could do better). Must sign Kennedy no matter the cost

    • Mrkgw

      Well said on all counts.

    • NUFCLX

      I guess I was watching the same match as you

    • Ram Kishore

      I’m with u on all counts except Dubravka

  • Mrkgw

    The whole team were hopeless today and there were no exeptions. I’m also becoming increasingly fed up with the lack of cutting edge in the side with none of our forwards anywhere near good enough. People might well criticise Mitrovic but he is considerably better than this current crop.

  • Clarko

    Mitrovic > Slimani

  • Kev-82

    Yedlin 7, have a word with yourself 2nd worst player on the pitch after Dummett today, gave so much away and wasted so many opportunities to Cross by hesitating rather than putting the early ball in. Not singling him out as they were all mediocre today he just certainly wasn’t worth anywhere near a 7.