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Garth Crooks says so painful for Steve Bruce to see his ‘resurgent Newcastle’ torn apart

1 month 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 are two players from the game at Anfield but no surprises that they weren’t wearing black and white.

Although if we were talking best goals of the weekend then Jetro Willems would certainly be a contender, though Liverpool had two contenders of their own on that count as well.

Garth Crooks chose Sadio Mane in his team of the weekend after his two goals against Newcastle, though in both cases poor defending from NUFC helped him out. Firmino got much of the credit generally for the turn around but it was Mane who got the key goals.

Crooks says that it ‘must have been excruciating for Steve Bruce’ to watch the performance of left-back Andrew Robertson. The defender is credited as Bruce’s best ever signing of his managerial career after Hull paid £3m for him from Dundee United in 2014.

A little strange though that the BBC pundit describes the Liverpool player ‘tear his resurgent Newcastle apart’…I must have been asleep when that happened.

If Aston Villa avoid defeat tonight at home to West Ham then Newcastle drop back into the relegation zone. With only one win in six games including yet another first chance exit out of the League Cup, I don’t think ‘resurgent’ was a word any Newcastle fans were using.

Next Saturday is such a massive game, maybe not a ‘must win’ but after taking only one point from six and such poor performances against Norwich and Watford, failing to beat Brighton at home would pile serious pressure on Steve Bruce and his players.

Garth Crooks with his BBC Sport Premier League team of the week and reasons for selecting Andrew Robertson and Sadio Mane:

Andrew Robertson:

“It must have been excruciating for Steve Bruce to watch the player he brought to English football tear his resurgent Newcastle apart.

“The Scottish international was outstanding yet again for Liverpool.

“Robertson was so effective down Liverpool’s left-hand side and almost entirely responsible for Sadio Mane’s brilliant opening goal.

“My only criticism of Robertson is someone who strikes the ball as cleanly as he does should be having more shots on goal. He has the firepower, now apply the confidence.

“Did you know? Robertson has made 17 assists in the Premier League since the start of the 2017-18 season, the most of any defender in this period.”

Sadio Mane:

“It was quite fitting that Mane’s two goals against Newcastle placed the Senegal international with other illustrious African names who have scored 70 goals in the Premier League.

“It was also nice to see Mohamed Salah congratulating Mane on his goals after their recent spat at Southampton. Salah’s goal was magnificent but even he must realise that he has to concede the spotlight to team-mates on the odd occasion.

“Did you know? Liverpool’s Sadio Mane has never lost a Premier League home game in which he’s found the net, winning 33 and drawing two of his previous 35 games in the competition when doing so.”

David de Gea (Man Utd)

Serge Aurier (Tottenham)

Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea)

Harry Maguire (Man Utd)

Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)

Moussa Djenepo (Southampton)

Emiliano Buendia (Norwich)

Todd Cantwell (Norwich)

Son Heung-min (Tottenham)

Tammy Abraham (Chelsea)

Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

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