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Garth Crooks picks two Newcastle players in PL team of the week – Mistaken identity with one of them?

10 months 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 St James Park.

No prizes for guessing the identity of one of the Garth Crooks choices…

Crooks declaring: ‘When you haven’t scored for 26 games, you’re entitled to go a little crazy when you finally get on the scoresheet.’

The BBC Sport man says that Miguel Almiron’s winning goal was ‘so clinical, it makes you wonder why it has taken him so long to score.

Garth Crooks notes that this was the Paraguayan’s 47th shot so far in the Premier League but to be honest, not a great deal of those shots will have been from great positions, especially this season. Asked to play a more defensive role tight on the right in most matches so far, Almiron was given a little bit more freedom to move inside on Saturday and the winning strike was proof that we need him playing further forward and allowed to get in and around the box more.

As for the pundit’s other choice of Newcastle player in his team of the week, I’m wondering if it is a case of mistaken identity.

Garth Crooks making the choice of this Newcastle defender and saying ‘it was his battles with Wilfried Zaha that I found most fascinating.’

However, before you start agreeing that Javier Manquillo very much deserves this accolade, it is actually Fabian Schar that Crooks is talking about!

Whilst Schar had a decent game and put the cross in for Carroll to assist Almiron, I’m pretty sure it was Manquillo who took care of Zaha most of the game.

Garth Crooks also talks about ‘in an often spiteful encounter with Crystal Palace’ but I didn’t think there was too much on that front, maybe last week you could have said the Burnley match was pretty fractious at times – but not this one.

It was so low on ‘spiteful’ incidents, there wasn’t one second of added time added on at the end of the first half and just three minutes at the end of the second period.

Interesting the small margins anyway with the pundits picking their teams of the week because I bet anything you like, if Almiron hadn’t scored and the game had ended 0-0, there would have been zero NUFC players chosen by Garth Crooks, or indeed anybody else.

Garth Crooks explains why he picked Miguel Almiron and Fabian Schar in his Premier League team of the week and then the full eleven are listed below:

Miguel Almiron:

“When you haven’t scored for 26 games, you’re entitled to go a little crazy when you finally get on the scoresheet.

“The reaction from Miguel Almiron after his winner against Crystal Palace seemed to reflect the fact that the Paraguay international’s drought had finally come to an end.

“Yet it was the quality of the finish that stood out for me. The ball sat up after a lovely cushioned header from Andy Carroll only to be beautifully dispatched by Almiron. When you see a strike so clinical, it makes you wonder what has taken him so long to get among the goals.

“Did you know?

Almiron scored his first Premier League goal in what was his 27th appearance in the competition, ending a run of 2,190 minutes and 46 shots without scoring.”

Fabian Schar:

“The overall contribution by Newcastle’s Fabian Schar in an often spiteful encounter with Crystal Palace was enough for the Swiss international to get into my team of the week.

“However, it was his battles with Wilfried Zaha that I found most fascinating. Schar had no intention whatsoever of giving an inch to Zaha’s abilities and refused to be bedazzled by his footwork or antics.

“If ever a player made it his mission to thwart the opposition’s main threat, then Schar’s second-half display was it – and that was critical to Newcastle’s victory.

“Did you know?

“Schar made more interceptions (three) and regained possession (nine) on more occasions than any other player in Newcastle’s 1-0 victory against Crystal Palace.”

Ben Foster (Watford)

Fabian Schar (Newcastle)

Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea)

Calum Chambers (Arsenal)

Miguel Almiron (Newcastle)

Kevin de Bruyne (Man City)

John Lundstram (Sheff Utd)

Willian (Chelsea)

Riyad Mahrez (Man City)

Danny Ings (Southampton)

Mason Mount (Chelsea)

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