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Garth Crooks bizarre choice of Newcastle United player in Premier League team of the week

5 months ago
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Garth Crooks has selected what he considers to be the 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 is a bizarre inclusion.

Garth Crooks selecting Callum Wilson in his top eleven Premier League performers, after his display against West Brom.

Now I’m a big fan of our centre-forward and most weeks this season no eyebrows raised if anybody selected him in a PL best eleven – but this weekend?

Callum Wilson was of course still well worth his place in the Newcastle team on Saturday but surely nowhere near being man of the match for NUFC, never mind best in the Premier League.

Isaac Hayden was top Newcastle man I think for most people, Ciaran Clark a close second probably. An overly negative approach from Steve Bruce meaning West Brom had control of the midfield for the majority of the match, the centre-back repeatedly clearing the ball as it appeared in the box.

Isaac Hayden not only filling in as a makeshift centre-back but also revealing after the game that he had been laid low by the virus for 10 days and only able to start back training in the days leading up to the game.

Garth Crooks giving some pretty bizarre reasoning as well for his decision, claiming Callum Wilson was ‘running the Baggies ragged’ throughout the game. I can’t say I saw that myself, through no fault of his own Wilson was as usual feeding off relative scraps and did put in his usual decent or better team performance but running them ragged???

As for the eventual winning goal, Garth Crooks has an overly active imagination: ‘But it was Wilson who had pulled the West Brom defence apart in order for Gayle and Murphy to finish them off.’

Well Callum Wilson was in the box but in actual fact there was absolutely no pulling of any defence apart by anybody. Instead, it was a simply a brilliant cross by Murphy from what looked an unthreatening position, with Gayle alive to the situation unlike his marker, a quality header then giving the keeper absolutely no chance.

Always nice when the likes of Garth Crooks gives recognition to Newcastle United players but it would be even better if when he does so, it makes at least some sense to the fans who actually watched the match.

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

Callum Wilson:

“Having had a squad ravaged by Covid-19 in recent weeks, Steve Bruce eventually got a chance to put the pandemic behind him and produce a team that needed all hands on deck to beat a stubborn West Brom.

“It was just as well he had Callum Wilson, who was involved in their first goal and then spent the rest of the game running the Baggies ragged.

“Bruce made an inspired double substitution late in the second half, both of whom turned the game. Dwight Gayle got the winner with an amazing header after Jacob Murphy delivered the most exquisite cross.

“But it was Wilson who had pulled the West Brom defence apart in order for Gayle and Murphy to finish them off.

“Did you know?

“Wilson, who did not have a shot, was involved in 18 duels in the game. Nobody else was in more.”

Garth Crooks Premier League team of the week:

Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)

Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham)

Michael Keane (Everton)

Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa)

Bobby Decordova-Reid (Fulham)

James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)

Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)

James Maddison (Leicester)

Callum Wilson (Newcastle)

Jamie Vardy (Leicester)

Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace)

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