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Garth Crooks says West Ham deserved to beat Newcastle and picks out star man who dominated

1 month ago
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Garth Crooks has selected his best 11 performers from the weekend’s action.

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

Garth Crooks making his selection after a midweek where Newcastle had a 2-2 draw with West Ham.

Garth Crooks has no doubts as to who deserved to win the game: ‘This was a game I thought West Ham should have won. They certainly had enough chances.’

The stats appear to back that view up, with West Ham having 17 shots to Newcastle’s 11 with seven on target for the Hammers and only four for the home side.

Many Newcastle fans made Jonjo Shelvey man of the match as he scored an excellent equaliser and appeared to many people to be the dominant figure in the middle of the pitch, NUFC with 57% possession.

However, Garth Crooks picks out Declan Rice as his man of the match and in his PL team of the week, putting up these stats: ‘Rice gained possession nine times against Newcastle, more than double the number of any of his team-mates. And no other player on the pitch made more than his three key passes.’

Maybe a case in reality then where Newcastle had more of the ball but did less with it. Certainly the last quarter of the game after Saint-Maximin went off, Newcastle all but disappeared as an attacking threat.

Garth Crooks on Declan Rice:

“This was a game I thought West Ham should have won.

“They certainly had enough chances.

“The inspiration behind the victory against Chelsea and the heart of a steely performance against Newcastle at St James’ Park was Declan Rice.

“In the absence of Mark Noble, Rice has proven himself to be something of a leader for the Hammers.

“The England international is only 21 and has caught the eye of a number of clubs – there’s even speculation that Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has targeted the versatile Rice as a potential centre-back for the Blues. That will go down like a lead balloon in East London.

“Did you know?

“Rice gained possession nine times against Newcastle, more than double the number of any of his team-mates. And no other player on the pitch made more than his three key passes.”

Garth Crooks Premier League team of the week:

Alisson (Liverpool)

Jack Stephens (Southampton)

Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal)

John Egan (Sheff Utd)

Willian (Chelsea)

Bruno Fernandes (Man Utd)

Declan Rice (West Ham)

Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)

Mason Greenwood (Man Utd)

Jamie Vardy (Leicester)

Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

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