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Garth Crooks picks Newcastle player in PL team of the week but his explanation is laughable

2 weeks 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.

Included in his top 11 is one Newcastle United player who he says particularly impressed him at the London Stadium.

Garth Crooks has selected Jeff Hendrick and no argument with that, though I thought Callum Wilson was the best on the pitch, despite the midfielder getting a goal and an assist.

However, when he talks about Jeff Hendrick and explains his selection, it quickly becomes apparent that Garth Crooks doesn’t really have a clue about Hendrick as a player and certainly hasn’t done anything so tedious as a bit of research.

Garth Crooks declaring: ‘As well as being smart with the ball, Hendrick has an acute eye for goal. He set up Callum Wilson’s debut finish before hitting a lovely strike past Lukasz Fabianski to put the game way beyond the Hammers.’

Crooks is of course correct in saying the NUFC midfielder did well to set up one goal and score another BUT any fool (apart from Garth Crooks) would know that whatever other attributes Jeff Hendrick brings to a team, it isn’t an ‘acute eye’ for setting up or scoring goals.

Jeff Hendrick only has two goals in well over fifty appearances for the Republic of Ireland, whilst in the Premier League he managed only five assists and nine goals for Burnley. A great start for Newcastle and the goal and assist were massive bonuses – but his record says we can’t expect them to be a regular feature – instead we have to see them as big bonuses. The fact is, Jeff Hendrick had never in his entire career previously scored and got an assist in a Premier League match.

I have commented before about how Garth Crooks clearly does minimal (if any) research before picking his Premier League team of the week.

It is comical how often he just chooses the players who just happen to have scored goals that particular weekend.

This time, of the 10 outfield players there are seven who scored goals this weekend, including three of the four defenders – who would the best performing defenders based mainly on goalscoring…?

If it isn’t goals then it appears to be simply the assists stats that Garth Crooks uses, as he chooses right-back Lamptey who was the Brighton player who got the assist for their only goal, plus Willian who got two assists for Arsenal.

The odd man out was James Rodriguez who didn’t get a goal or an assist for Everton BUT had a compelling stat of becoming the first PL debutant in six years to create five or more chances, as the blues won at Spurs.

Also, Garth Crooks can’t resist making ridiculous Steve Bruce comments, which other club has the media pundits and commentators giving weekly updates on what fans supposedly think of their manager and how credible he is?

Garth Crooks stating: ‘This time last season, Steve Bruce was arguably the most unpopular man in the north east. He is now considered a very credible manager, having created a team worthy of the area.’

It is all just cobbled together nonsense and although I don’t want to be getting into the Steve Bruce debate yet again, Garth Crooks did start it…and if he’d had a quick check he would have known that before winning at West Ham, Newcastle had only won four Premier League matches since before Christmas 2019.

Good luck to Steve Bruce and the players this season BUT creating ‘a team worthy of the area’ will need a few more wins to back that claim up.

Garth Crooks explaining to BBC Sport why he chose Jeff Hendrick in his Premier League team of the week (full PL team of the week below):

“At West Ham, there were a number of impressive displays by Newcastle’s new arrivals.

“The pick of the bunch was Jeff Hendrick.

“As well as being smart with the ball, Hendrick has an acute eye for goal.

“He set up Callum Wilson’s debut finish before hitting a lovely strike past Lukasz Fabianski to put the game way beyond the Hammers.

“This time last season, Steve Bruce was arguably the most unpopular man in the north east.

“He is now considered a very credible manager, having created a team worthy of the area.

“Meanwhile, West Ham continue to create headlines for all the wrong reasons.”

Garth Crooks Premier League team of the week:

Vicente Guaita (Crystal Palace)

Timothy Castagne (Leicester)

Gabriel (Arsenal)

Romain Saiss (Wolves)

Tariq Lamptey (Brighton)

Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle)

James Rodriguez (Everton)

Willian (Arsenal)

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)

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