The Alan Shearer verdict on Newcastle United victory over West Brom
Alan Shearer reflecting on Saturday afternoon’s match at St James Park.
The Magpies taking all three points with a 2-1 win over a poor West Brom side, who look sure to be relegated.
Much to like about the goals on 19 seconds and 82 minutes but what about the 81 minutes in between?
Miguel Almiron gave Newcastle that early lead when West Brom lost the ball straight from kick-off, with Lewis, Wilson and Joelinton setting the Paraguayan up for a cool left foot finish before most of the players on the pitch had even touched the ball.
Not surprisingly, Alan Shearer was loving the unstoppable Dwight Gayle header that won this poor contest, a goal totally out of keeping with the game, as was the cross from deep on the right from Jacob Murphy.
Alan Shearer thinks it was a game where you had to forget about how bad most of the match was and instead put that and the result in context, Newcastle United coming out with three points from a game after the training ground only reopened on Tuesday and group training kicking off again on Wednesday.
Alan Shearer pointed to positive substitutions as making the difference between the two sides but you have to acknowledge that despite any players who were missing through the virus or injuries, Newcastle’s bench was far stronger than the visitors.
Indeed, Dwight Gayle would surely be first name on the team sheet for the Baggies, whereas he has only started 10 of the 49 Premier League matches under Steve Bruce. Jacob Murphy would also very likely be in Slaven Bilic’ starting eleven and he and Gayle came off the bench for the winning assist and goal. Whilst at the other end the West Brom boss was having to rely on a lumbering Charlie Austin to try and give them some attacking threat.
With Shelvey, Ritchie, Joelinton, Gayle, Murphy, Wilson and Almiron all on the pitch when the winner went in, that is some £125m worth of signings, the kind of spending and players that should be too much for the likes of West Brom AND allow Newcastle to play far better, and more attacking, football than was on show on Saturday.
With the likes of Ryan Fraser, Andy Carroll and Allan Saint-Maximin also at the club, there are more than enough attacking options that should ensure these type of matches can be better attacked than we have seen in the 49 Steve Bruce PL games so far.
These three points were essential as a very busy and challenging set of fixtures coming up, West Brom at home looked the easiest of the 10 (will be 11 if NUFC beat Brentford) games Newcastle face in a five week spell, Leeds up next on Wednesday as the Magpies face the second of three promoted clubs in the space of eight days.
Alan Shearer speaking on Match of The Day:
“Given their circumstances with COVID, as they [Newcastle United] had to shut the training ground for ten days and only started training again on Wednesday.
“[Also] Had a midfielder playing centre half.
“I think it was a brilliant result [for Newcastle].
“Steve [Bruce]made some substitutions in the second half that worked perfectly.
“Yes they got off to a very good start [with Almiron’s goal in less than 20 seconds] but they then found themselves in a bit of a rut.
“There were chances to put the ball into the box in the first half and they didn’t do it.
“There weren’t too many decisions that the West Brom back line had to make in the first half.
“The difference is though, [Jamal] Lewis off and [Dwight] Gayle on, Ritchie going to left-back.
“All of a sudden you don’t have to get to the byline, the first thought is get the ball into the box.
“Jacob Murphy comes on into the right-back position and puts the ball straight into the box.
“It was dream land for a forward, what a ball [from Jacob Murphy] and what a header it was from Dwight Gayle.
“That is what wins the game for Newcastle, the positive substitutions.
“A great result and three points.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 2 West Brom 1 – Saturday 12 December 3pm
Almiron 1, Gayle 82
(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
Darlow, Krafth (Murphy 80), Hayden, Clark, Lewis (Gayle 69), Shelvey, S Longstaff, Ritchie, Almiron (Yedlin 86), Joelinton, Wilson
Langley, M Longstaff, Carroll, Hendrick
(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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