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Newcastle 2 West Brom 1 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players

5 months ago
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We asked Matthew Robson to give us his match ratings after Newcastle 2 West Brom 1.

A poor game that was lit up by three good / very good goals, thankfully Newcastle United scoring two of the three.

So what should we make of the 90 minutes overall?

Matthew Robson gives us his NUFC player ratings and comments.

Darlow – 6.5

West Brom had plenty of the ball but lacked quality to use it.

The best chances they did create tended to go off target and Darlow had no chance with the very good goal the visitors did get.

Did pretty well overall and always ready to challenge for crosses, decent display.

Krafth – 5

In the absence of Manquillo, a major weakness.

Poor in defence and his crossing is abysmal, was skinned in the lead up to the West Brom goal.

Arguably Newcastle’s worst player on the day.

Clark – 7.5

When the ball came in the box, it invariably seemed to be Clark who cleared it.

A very good display and my man of the match.

West Brom were hopeless up front and midfielders generally clueless when getting in the final third. So the centre of defence was rarely challenged by quality, instead the United centre-backs had quantity to deal with and were comfortable.

Hayden – 7

Has generally looked ok when asked the odd time to play centre of defence, more of the same this time.

Having recovered from a positive virus test, Hayden came back into the team and did everything asked of him.

Maybe just behind Clark in the man of the match stakes.

Lewis – 5

Hasn’t really stood out this season but generally has done alright.

Not today, West Brom caused him problems on that side of the pitch and he needlessly got himself booked in a daft skirmish.

Motionless and ball watching as the player he was supposedly marking breezed past and scored the equaliser. Newcastle looked better after Ritchie replaced him but hopefully Lewis can bounce back on Wednesday at Leeds.

Sean Longstaff – 5.5

I know the negative Steve Bruce tactics don’t help but yet again our central midfield was second best.

Up against one of, if not the, weakest opposition midfield, a disappointment that Sean Longstaff and his partner couldn’t shine.

As usual, very little pace or spark or running / running and passing with the ball from our central midfielders. It wasn’t a fatigue thing either, as neither Longstaff or Shelvey bossed anything in the first half, never mind the second.

Shelvey – 5.5

As per usual, a lack of workrate and mobility means Shelvey rarely, if ever, is a dominant force in matches.

Knocks the ball around occasionally but tends to be in non-threatening areas, very rarely do you see him making key passes into dangerous areas, or indeed getting into those areas himself.

Difficult to understand why Steve Bruce isn’t demanding more of the midfielder and when available is almost always a starter, no matter how little he contributes. Interesting to see how our midfield gets on against a Leeds team who have looked good on the eye much of the time but potentially getting found out a bit now.

Ritchie – 6

A first start since the injury against Tottenham and didn’t do too bad.

Worked hard defensively and Newcastle improved in the final stages when Lewis was subbed and Ritchie dropped to left-back.

Struggles to create much at all going forward now and more of a squad player now surely, a handy player to have though to fill in with the odd start and come off the bench to add some character and workrate.

Almiron – 7

A great finish and easy to imagine how the Paraguayan would thrive if Newcastle played a more attacking style.

You look back at footage of his goals and assists in America and Saturday’s goal was very much in that style, getting at the opposition with numbers in a free flowing move, instead of the ponderous slow build up with minimal numbers risked going forward that we see under Steve Bruce.

Did his usual share of hard work at the defensive end but surely Newcastle capable of playing far better and more of an attacking threat, able to press high up the pitch with players such as Almiron, Fraser, ASM and Wilson at the club now.

Joelinton – 5.5

Played a very smart pass for Almiron to open the scoring but other than that he contributed so little.

Had a golden chance to score his fourth Premier League goal in his 48th appearance but hit it straight at the keeper at his near post when a shot across the goal would surely have seen him score, or he could have laid the ball back to Shelvey for an easy finish. I have a feeling that both Almiron and Wilson would have scored this one.

Has been given more freedom and not expected to be centre-forward or the main source of goals. A lot of journalists and indeed some fans think Joelinton has been playing a lot better in recent matches. Well, he has been better up to a point but from such a low starting level that wasn’t difficult and still not contributing anywhere near enough.

Lost possession outside the West Brom box on one occasion in the second half and made absolutely no attempt to win the ball back, the Baggies ending up breaking and wasting a good attacking situation in the end. Disappointing to see.

We all want him to succeed but surely when others are fit, Joelinton can’t be in the starting eleven. Gayle alongside Wilson would look a far better bet to me.

Wilson – 7

Before Saturday, Callum Wilson had scored seven and got two assists, only three other PL goals scored and one of those was an own goal. Whilst Wilson also won the free-kick that Murphy scored from at Wolves.

Yet again he didn’t have a great supply to feed on but continues to impress with his all round game regardless.

Great strength to win possession and feed Joelinton for the assist to Almiron in those opening seconds of the game.

Yet another player where you wonder what impact he could have, especially scoring goals, if Newcastle played a more expansive game and pressured the opposition more.

Subs

Gayle – 7

To be honest I can’t really remember him doing anything else but score the winner, not that I’m complaining!

A great header from the one chance that came his way.

Murphy – 7

Similar to Dwight Gayle and only on for the final 10 minutes (plus stoppage time).

A superb cross from deep on the right and Gayle did the rest, can’t really remember him touching the ball otherwise.

Yedlin – NA (not on long enough)

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 West Brom 1 – Saturday 12 December 3pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Almiron 1, Gayle 82

West Brom:

Furlong 50

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was West Brom 54% (57%) Newcastle 46% (43%)

Total shots were West Brom 13 (9) Newcastle 12 (6)

Shots on target were West Brom 3 (1) Newcastle 7 (4)

Corners were West Brom 3 (2) Newcastle 4 (2)

Referee: Darren England

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Krafth (Murphy 80), Hayden, Clark, Lewis (Gayle 69), Shelvey, S Longstaff, Ritchie, Almiron (Yedlin 86), Joelinton, Wilson

Unused Subs:

Langley, M Longstaff, Carroll, Hendrick

Crowd: 00,000

(After stating virus cases would stay confidential, Steve Bruce now praises Newcastle star who bounced back – Read HERE)

(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 2 West Brom 1 – Read HERE)

(Slaven Bilic says he is hurting after Newcastle: ‘They put one cross in and they scored the winner’ – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 2 West Brom 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s victory – Read HERE)

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