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Garth Crooks surprising but predictable choice of Newcastle player in PL team of week

4 weeks 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 slightly surprising but wholly predictable Garth Crooks inclusion.

In The Mag player ratings that are the collective ones from fans, substitute Jacob Murphy was actually highest rated despite coming on in the 79th minute, Murphy having hit the bar, dribbled past his marker into the box and creating another chance, then providing the assist for the equaliser.

Martin Dubravka with a very assured performance and nothing he could do about the goal, NUFC fans rated him second best against Villa.

Jamaal Lascelles was third choice for fans but that is who Garth Crooks has selected in his top eleven Premier League performers, after his display against Villa.

The reason that this was largely predictable though, is because Lascelles scored a goal.

There is a feeling that Garth Crooks may well pick his best PL team each week based on the briefest of evidence, watching maybe the goals in most games, possibly the briefest of highlights.

In an overwhelming number of cases, the defenders that Garth Crooks picks each week, have invariably scored goals.

This week is no different, Crooks picking four defenders and Lascelles, Stones and Dunk all goalscorers, Rudiger the exception.

Garth Crooks claims: ‘This was a game where Newcastle had most of the play but couldn’t finish’ which makes it sound like Steve Bruce’s team were well on top…the reality is that when you look at the stats (see below), Villa had more possession, more shots and more shots on target. Indeed, other than Lascelles’ last gasp equaliser, Newcastle only had two other shots on target and they were difficult saves.

Newcastle did play a bit better and did ok but this was a struggling Villa side and more needed in these upcoming games.

One interesting fact though from Garth Crooks: ‘All eight of Lascelles’ Premier League goals have been headers, including his late equaliser against Aston Villa on Friday – he is the top scorer in the competition’s history to net 100% of his goals with his head.’

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

Jamaal Lascelles:

“This was a game where Newcastle had most of the play but couldn’t finish.

“In the end it took the captain, Jamaal Lascelles, to produce a brilliant header to provide Newcastle and Steve Bruce with a reprieve.

“The Magpies are in a relegation battle and the manager is fighting to retain his job.

“If they want to survive then they have to get Allan Saint-Maximin, Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron all fit and back on the pitch pronto.

“Did you know?

“All eight of Lascelles’ Premier League goals have been headers, including his late equaliser against Aston Villa on Friday – he is the top scorer in the competition’s history to net 100% of his goals with his head.”

Garth Crooks Premier League team of the week:

Edouard Mendy (Chelsea)

Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea)

Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle)

Lewis Dunk (Brighton)

John Stones (Manchester City)

Dwight McNeil (Burnley)

Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace)

Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal)

Diogo Jota (Liverpool)

Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)

Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City)

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Aston  Villa 1 – Friday 12 March 8pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Lascelles 90+4

Aston Villa:

Ciaran Clark (OG) 86

Possession was Villa 51% Newcastle 49%

Total shots were Villa 15 Newcastle 12

Shots on target were Villa 5 Newcastle 3

Corners were Villa 2 Newcastle 2

Referee: Paul Tierney

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Krafth (Manquillo 83), Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Willock, Hayden (Carroll 88), Shelvey, Gayle, Fraser (Murphy 79), Joelinton

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Ritchie, Lewis, Fernandez, Hendrick, S Longstaff

Crowd: 00,000

(Match Report – Newcastle 1 Aston Villa 1 : The beginner’s guide to drawing – Read HERE)

(Steve Bruce promises no more excuses from now on…after making excuses for Aston Villa – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 1 Aston Villa 1 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 1 Aston Villa 1 – Different game but same old problems – Read HERE)

(Steve Bruce 2 wins in 19 now “There is no question, managing Newcastle is always difficult” – Read HERE)

(Dean Smith with damning verdict after Newcastle 1 Aston Villa 1 – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 1 Aston Villa 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Friday’s draw – Read HERE)

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