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Garth Crooks picks Newcastle star after “Major part in this controlled professional performance”

3 weeks ago
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Garth Crooks has picked his best 11 performers from the weekend’s action.

The Premier League team of the weekend that has most impressed him.

Included in his top 11 is one player from Newcastle’s 1-1 draw with Watford..

No prizes for guessing that it is Fabian Schar who the BBC Sport pundit has picked out.

The Swiss defender made it five goals in his last 18 Premier League starts for Newcastle, rescuing a point from what was looking to be a disaster on Saturday.

Garth Crooks states that Newcastle ‘didn’t panic when they went 1-0 down’ and that Schar ‘took his goal with great composure. Not bad for a centre-back.’

I would certainly agree with the latter, as Fabian Schar yet again showed  the desire and ambition in open play to get in the box and then the ability as well as the composure to volley home with his weaker foot.

With Newcastle looking a side short of goals, we desperately need other players to follow Schar’s lead and accept responsibility for getting in the box and contributing to the goals total.

I’m not so sure though about Newcastle taking any credit for not panicking after going behind, the reaction was more that they just didn’t react at all. Apart from Almiron failing to take an opportunity when a cross unexpectedly reached him straight after going behind, Newcastle were so flat. If Schar hadn’t rescued the situation with that goal just before half-time, I doubt whether United would have got back into the match, as the equaliser was Newcastle’s first shot on target.

Garth  Crooks also says that ‘Schar played a major part in this controlled professional performance by Newcastle.’

I didn’t see a ‘controlled professional performance’, as it was more a case of Newcastle being really poor first half, then improving in the second half and having a 10-15 minute spell when they finally looked a threat, before quickly fading and Watford much the better in the final 20 minutes.

Maybe the biggest positive was that Newcastle still took a point despite being  so poor and didn’t hand a likely relegation rival three points.

Needless to say, with six of last season’s Premier League top half clubs to play within the next seven games, far better will be needed.

Hopefully this international break will get the team more sorted and some injuries cleared up.

Garth Crooks with his BBC Sport Premier League team of the week and reasons for selecting Fabian Schar:

Fabian Schar:

“This was a very different test to the one facing Newcastle last week against Spurs.

“I posed the question ‘could the Magpies attack with the same conviction as they defended at White Hart Lane?’

“Well the performance wasn’t quite as convincing but good enough to contain a Watford side desperate for points.

“Schar played a major part in this controlled professional performance by Newcastle.

“They didn’t panic when they went 1-0 down and he took his goal with great composure. Not bad for a centre-back.

“Did you know?

“Since the start of 2019, Schar has scored five Premier League goals, more than any other current Newcastle player. Four of these have come at St James Park.”

Adrian (Liverpool)

Fabian Schar (Newcastle)

Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool0

Jannik Vestergaard (Southampton)

Kevin de Bruyne (Man City)

Jack Grealish (Aston Villa)

Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)

Christian Eriksen (Spurs)

Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace)

Sergio Aguero (Man City)

Jamie Vardy (Leicester)

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