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Garth Crooks picks out Newcastle United stand out star

3 weeks ago
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Garth Crooks has picked his best 11 performers from the past week’s action.

The Premier League team of the week (this time covering both the midweek round of matches and the weekend’s games) that have most impressed him.

Included in his top 11 is one Newcastle United player from the games at Villa Park and St James’ Park.

Garth Crooks explains why he picked Fabian Schar in his Premier League team of the week and then the full eleven are listed below:

“No one could have predicted the outcome of Aston Villa v Newcastle.

“Newcastle have had the most amazing, if not turbulent, season. A taste of the Champions League left Eddie Howe’s team running on empty at times.

“Meanwhile, Aston Villa had gone on a 17-match unbeaten run in the Premier League on home soil but succumbed to a 3-1 defeat in devastating performance by the Magpies after the winter break gave them enough time to recover. Schar performed brilliantly in both penalty boxes, scoring two well-taken goals while at the same time defending admirably.

“He had a much more difficult time however against Luton in a 4-4 thriller at St James’ Park four days later.

“Newcastle conceded four goals but collected four points from two games and came from behind twice against the Hatters.

“Newcastle held their nerve and produced a result having been 4-2 down while Luton caved in, the reason I still think they won’t survive.”

Fabian Schar has been excellent since Eddie Howe came in, back in November 2021.

Arguably the best performing and most consistent of all the players the NUFC Head Coach inherited and rescued from Steve Bruce. Summing Brucey up, he didn’t even rate Fabian Schar and repeatedly didn’t play him, preferring the likes of Ciaran Clark and Jamaal Lascelles, even selecting at times midfielder Isaac Hayden to play in central defence ahead of the Switzerland international.

Schar had only started two Premier League matches in the previous near ten months but Eddie Howe selected Fabian Schar to start in his very first NUFC PL team and the pair of them have never looked back.

Garth Crooks Premier League team of the week:

David Raya (Arsenal)

Conor Bradley (Liverpool)

Gabriel (Arsenal)

Fabian Schar (Newcastle)

Phil Foden (Manchester City)

Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace)

Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa)

Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)

Elijah Adebayo (Luton)

Matheus Cunha (Wolves)

Richarlison (Tottenham)

Stats via BBC Sport:

Newcastle 4 Luton 4 – Saturday 3 February 2024 3pm:

Goals:

Newcastle United:

Longstaff 7, 23, Trippier 67, Barnes 73

Luton:

Osho 21, Barkley 40, Morris pen 59, Adebayo 62

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Luton 46% (51%) Newcastle 54% (49%)

Total shots were Luton 11 (7) Newcastle 19 (6)

Shots on target were Luton 8 (4) Newcastle 6 (3)

Corners were Luton 2 (2) Newcastle 8 (4)

Referee: Thomas Bramall

Newcastle team v Luton:

Dubravka, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn (Livramento 64), Longstaff, Guimaraes, Miley, Murphy, Almiron (Barnes 63), Gordon (Wilson 45)

Unused subs:

Karius, Dummett, Ritchie, Krafth, Hall, White

(Newcastle 4 Luton 4 – Match ratings and comments on all the Newcastle United players – Read HERE)

(Eddie Howe with blinding honesty after Newcastle 4 Luton 4 – If only more managers the same – Read HERE)

(Just a normal day – Barnes and Wilson back from injury and Anthony Gordon leaves on crutches – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 4 Luton 4 at St James’ Park – What can you say? Well how about… Read HERE)

(Newcastle 4 Luton 4 – Instant Newcastle United fan / writer reaction – Read HERE)

Newcastle United confirmed matches to end of March 2024:

Saturday 10 February 2024 – Forest v Newcastle (5.30pm) Sky Sports

Saturday 17 February 2024 – Newcastle v Bournemouth (3pm)

Saturday 24 February 2024 – Arsenal v Newcastle (8pm) TNT Sports

Tuesday 27 February 2024 – Blackburn v Newcastle (7.45pm) BBC1

Saturday 2 March 2024 – Newcastle v Wolves (3pm)

Monday 11 March 2024 – Chelsea v Newcastle (8pm) Sky Sports

Saturday 16 March 2024 – Crystal Palace v Newcastle (3pm) ***If Newcastle beat Blackburn, NUFC will be playing in FA Cup sixth round this weekend instead.

Saturday 30 March 2024 – Newcastle v West Ham (12.30pm) TNT Sports

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