Newcastle 1 Everton 2 – Match ratings and comments on all NUFC players
Ahead of today’s game, we asked Jamie Swan to give us his match ratings after the final whistle, the game ending Newcastle 1 Everton 2…
Honestly, in my opinion that is the best we have played in some time at home.
There will be some wild knee-jerking going on, no doubt swinging more violently than Deontay Wilder finding his lass in bed with Santa, but we played well.
Don’t join the queue for the Tyne Bridge just yet, the one you might have seen is just the tail end of the 15 mile Mackem queue for the Queen Alexandra.
First half then.
To be fair we started on the back foot for first 15-20 mins. Walcott was getting way too much of the ball in space and obviously fancied a crack at Lejeune. He always used to murder us but this kid Calvert-Lewin who a lot of people (including Shearer) have been creaming themselves about, was the one who did the damage today.
Scruffy goal, lucky goal, not a corner (?), was it even a free kick? Poor refereeing, whatever, nobody really knew what was going on with this bloke – but one nil down we went.
The shape of the team was good, great balance with a nice left sided-partnership between Almiron and Willems definitely brewing. I’m a firm believer in keeping players on their natural side, especially when we have a unit like Carroll up top.
Miggy is so much more involved and dangerous on this inside left position.
Auld Jetro Willems, the guy who looks like a dutch genie, was paying homage to the Beardsley shuffle a couple of times, but just not always the final ball to match. He did get the ball to Miggy, who was very unlucky for his smashed shot to come off the inside of the post before it was tapped in and disallowed for offside (Carroll).
Still in the first half, Jonjo Shelvey and even Hayden were excellent and turning players to run into space. Shelvey was using the width of the pitch well and was bang at it.
Joelinton (who I think is a pure ringer by the way) was (cue a hammering) decent this afternoon. Don’t care what people say, he definitely had his best game by a mile, even though he was subbed and didn’t score again! Ha-ha, to be fair his previous performances don’t take much beating – but fair is fair!
He was right in amongst it and at least running across the front line and down the right, often ahead of Carroll.
Half-time whistle came at a bad time as we were banging at the door big time.
All in all best performance and shape of the season but behind.
We didn’t come out firing on the same cylinders but we got the equaliser from a Schar volley after another towering AC knockdown from a free kick that had been swung in. Carroll fought the good fight, ran himself into the ground, but had a few loose and heavy touches and passes.
Joelinton blasted down the right a couple of times (yes, Joelinton) and Almiron absolutely ran his heart out. Know it is mentioned all the time but this lad has an unbelievable engine on him. In fact his chasing down unfortunately ended in the ball coming back to Carroll who gave it away with one of those heavy touches, they break and slide the ball and the man into the net.
It was a very open game but after their goal we changed shape to a back four, made a few subs and went humpy lumpy, launching it forward on the angle. Didn’t really bear much fruit and we do lack a plan B that’s for sure…but when your squad is so thin and you have Gayle and Atsu on the bench, not sure what we can expect?
Half-bothered shouts for penalties and bizarre pauses in play from the referee where literally nobody knew WTF was going on.
End of the day we got nowt, but even from a professional cynic like me, we played well enough not to be distraught.
NUFC 100% need player additions in January, a few tweaks and sticking a bit longer with this shape might bring a bit joy…but not going to hold me breath.
Marks out of 10
Dubravka – 8
Made a couple of great saves. Not at fault for the two.
Yedlin – 6.5
Got forward on the overlap well but his final delivery is never great.
Schar – 7.5
Got a goal but never totally comfortable.
Fernandez – 7.5
Lejeune – 6.5
A tougher afternoon for him. Bit rusty but to be expected.
Willems – 8
Some really good attacking skills and good link up with Miggy. Until moved back.
Shelvey – 8
Was right in amongst it. Played very well.
Hayden – 7
Backed Shelvey up. Doesn’t have the quality to match the heart.
Almiron – 8.5
Really unlucky not to score. Ran his pods off, didn’t deserve to be on losing side.
Joelinton – 7.5
Everyone’s punch bag but played much better.
Carroll – 8
Set the goal up, ran his lanky frame into the ground, took them on.
If it wasn’t for some heavy touches would have had 8.5.
Atsu – 4
Lost the ball every time he got it.
Gayle – 4
Did literally nothing to improve us.
Sean Longstaff – 5
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 1 Everton 2 – Saturday 28 December 3pm
Calvert-Lewin 13. 64
Possession was Everton 58%, Newcastle 42%
Total shots were Everton 22 , Newcastle 20
Shots on target were Everton 9, Newcastle 5
Corners were Everton 8, Newcastle 5
Crowd: 52,211 (10,000 free NUFC season ticket holders and 3,000 Everton)
Referee: Lee Mason
Newcastle team v Everton:
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar, Lejeune (Atsu 74), Fernandez, Willems (Sean Longstaff 84), Hayden, Shelvey, Almiron, Carroll, Joelinton (Gayle 74)
Darlow, M Longstaff, Manquillo, Krafth
(Newcastle 1 Everton 2 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s defeat – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 1 Everton 2 – Watch official match highlights and all three goals here – Watch HERE)
(Newcastle 1 Everton 2 – Third defeat in four games as Andy Carroll is hero then villain – Read HERE)
(The Magpie Group official response to ‘sold out’ Newcastle 1 Everton 2 match – Read HERE)
You can follow Jamie on Twitter @JamieSwan1
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