This was the team for the 0-0 draw against Brighton, including the three second-half substitutions.
These are our individual player ratings of yesterday’s performance.
Martin Dubravka – 7
- The Slovakian faced 16 shots from Brighton however only 3 were on target. Was always awake and made a couple of decent saves. Dubravka tried to get the ball out quickly but often was stifled by the lack of awareness of his teammates. Martin was one of our better players as usual.
Paul Dummett – 6
- Paul made some timely tackles and interceptions. His no-nonsense clearances in the first half were astute as he seemed to understand the team were out of sorts. The local lad did get caught out on a couple of occasions but did his best to recover.
Jamaal Lascelles – 6
- Jamaal didn’t have any glaring mistakes but needed to take control in the first 20 minutes as the captain. He was obviously frustrated with the way the game was unfolding but didn’t do what was needed to organize the defense. Lascelles still made the necessary blocks and clearances to keep Newcastle in the game.
Fabian Schar – 7
- Fabian’s second half clearance saved Newcastle a point against a likely bottom half rival. He wanted to push the team forward from the back but the team ethos prevented that especially in the first half. Had some issues with Manquillo early on but was steady as he tried his best to absorb the constant attacks from Brighton. Fabian made some excellent runs forward. One in particular when he barely prevented a Brighton interception from a risky Shelvey pass. The subsequent run was sublime but the resulting shot did it no justice. Schar was most likely the Man of the Match. He doesn’t deserve what is going on at Newcastle at the moment. Fabian is an expansive defender who may be too good for a Newcastle with this feeble amount of ambition. The club will do well to convince Schar to sign a new deal.
Javier Manquillo – 5
- Javier may not have done enough to keep his place after coming into the side for Emil Krafth. He did not seem to work well positionally with Fabian Schar in the first twenty minutes and was easily beaten on numerous occasions in the first half. However, Manquillo improved in the second half. He ended up making some good tackles and had a few key clearances.
Jetro Willems – 5
- We are not quite sure what was going on with Jetro positionally. In a quiet performance, he was deployed in numerous positions. Offered very little going forward unlike his other appearances. He made his way into midfield before being substituted for Carroll. While he may have been a victim of Bruce’s tactics, Willems was a bit of a passenger. Although, sitting back and absorbing pressure at home does not play to Jetro’s strengths.
Isaac Hayden – 6
- Isaac played hard but spent most of the game chasing the ball to little effect. Put in a few challenges and tried to press but needed more from his teammates for it to have an impact on Brighton. Told Bruce that it wasn’t working at the fifteen minute mark when he and Schar huddled at the sideline during a break in play. Isaac is an intelligent lad and did the best he could in a bad overall performance by the team.
Jonjo Shelvey – 4
- Jonjo was extremely poor in the first half and made some terrible decisions with the ball. He does not seem to understand the value of possession in a game like yesterday’s. Ki’s sensible decisions made an immediate difference when he came on as he recycled possession much better than Shelvey. Once Sean Longstaff is back, it’s to the bench for Shelvey. He just cannot put in performances like this and expect to keep his place when players like Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden are so industrious.
Christian Atsu – 5
- Started slowly but that was due to the team sitting back. Did not have much of an impact in the first half. Had great opportunity early in second half which he put the ball wide. He has slipped in his performances slightly since the international break but games like these don’t suit Christian. He still put in the effort but the disjointed team performance did not allow him too many attacking opportunities.
Miguel Almiron – 4
- Miguel had little impact but did make some decent runs. His two chances were both very tame and straight at the keeper which is a running theme for Almiron. He was substituted for Saint-Maximin who became a bigger threat as soon as he came on.
Joelinton – 5
- The Brazilian again was far too isolated and was visibly frustrated at times. Only managed to get a couple of chances. His free header in the first half missed was wide of goal while he had a second effort from a Saint-Maximin run blocked. Joelinton still was decent in possession but Newcastle had so little of the ball that he was not able to have an impact on the game.
Ki Sung-yueng – 6
- Ki was an instant improvement in the midfield when he came on for Jonjo Shelvey. Did the easy things to keep possession and made the sensible passes. His set pieces, though, were lacking. Andy Carroll at one point called for a flat corner with pace and Ki responded with a lob that was easily handled by Brighton. However, he is a very steady and experienced player who Steve Bruce should use more often to benefit this team.
Allan Saint-Maximin – 7
- Allan’s impact was instant as he injected life into the side. He has a swagger about him and his turn of pace is deadly. Saint-Maximin is direct and can beat his man. His final ball was lacking but he was only on for 17 minutes. Needs to stay fit and he will be a big player this season.
Andy Carroll – 7
- This was a decent 10 minute run out for Andy Carroll. He was eager to provide that fairytale moment and battled hard. Had a nice pass to release Saint-Maximin and a headed clearance at the back. The delivery on set pieces when he was on were poor so he didn’t even get half of a chance. If he can stay fit, Andy will provide a physical presence off the bench. We are petrified of seeing him start just yet. We winced every time he put in a challenge or battled for position in fear of him getting injured. He should be worked into the team slowly.