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Martin Keown spots Newcastle’s very obvious weakest link against Brentford

4 days ago
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Martin Keown didn’t take long to work out where Eddie Howe’s biggest problem was during his first match in charge.

Covering the game for BBC Sport, the former Arsenal defender identified the very weakest link for NUFC within 11 minutes.

Newcastle United opening brightly and taking the lead after only ten minutes, Jamaal Lascelles heading home a Ritchie corner.

However, only seconds later, a shot from wide right seeing Ivan Toney somehow beat Karl Darlow when it was a simple save.

A brilliant start for the new NUFC Head Coach…only to see the balloon popped within seconds.

Martin Keown on BBC Sport during Newcastle 3 Brentford 3:

“Karl Darlow, the Newcastle goalkeeper, had a nightmare.

“It [Toney’s goal to make it 1-1] goes through him.

“It is really poor.

“You want everyone to do everything right in those first few minutes when you score.

“I think everyone just got carried away in the euphoria of the goal.

“You just need that period to settle.

“You want your goalkeeper to do the basics…

“And he didn’t do that.”

To be honest, that was only the start of the issues surrounding Karl Darlow, if he had been an outfield player he would have been subbed for sure.

As well as letting that very poor goal in, Darlow was also at fault for the third, when failing to take easy possession in the build up.

On top of that you had him failing to dominate when repeatedly not coming off his line for the ball, both on the deck and on crosses, terrible distribution, whilst as for giving confidence to those in front of him…completely absent.

Before the match, a poll of Newcastle fans would have seen 90% or more choosing Martin Dubravka.

That figure will now be 100% for Arsenal next Saturday and will include Eddie Howe.

If Martin Dubravka had played today, Newcastle United would have won.

Out injured for the opening 14 Premier League games last (2020/21) season, insult was added to injury when Steve Bruce thenfailed to put him in the team once fit, despite Karl Darlow’s rapidly deteriorating form after some promising performances early on.

From late December 202, Bruce kept Martin Dubravka on the bench for 11 PL games and Newcastle won only two them. A different story though once the Slovakian keeper was restored to the team, the final 13 PL match seeing Dubravka and NUFC losing only three of them, with five wins and five draws.

No time to waste, Martin Dubravka HAS to play at the Emirates next Saturday.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 3 Brentford 3 – Saturday 20 November 3pm

Goals:

Brentford

Toney 11, Henry 31, Lascelles own goal 61

Newcastle:

Lascelles 10, Joelinton 39, Saint-Maximin 75

(In brackets the first half stats)

Possession was Brentford 48% (45%) Newcastle 52% (55%)

Total shots were Brentford 10 (7)  Newcastle 23 (16)

Shots on target were Brentford 4 (4) Newcastle 9 (7)

Corners were Brentford 2 (0) Newcastle 8 (5)

Referee: Robert Jones

Crowd: 52,131 (Brentford 3,000)

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Murphy, Schar (Longstaff 71), Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Shelvey, Willock (Fraser 71), Saint-Maximin, Joelinton, Wilson

Unused Subs:

Dubravka, Hayden, Lewis, Krafth, Manquillo, Almiron, Gayle

(Newcastle 3 Brentford 3 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 3 Brentford 3 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s draw – Read HERE)

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