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Who Did Our Readers Select As The Best Player At Everton?

We’re still coming down from the elation of Newcastle’s miraculous comeback against Everton on Tuesday. If Saturday’s win against Chelsea was a smash and grab, then the draw at Goodison Park was highway robbery.

However, we’ll take points any way we can get them. Even if it’s 93 minutes of pure frustration followed by 2 minutes of joy.

There weren’t many great or even good performances in the game. Though many players seemed to be suffering from fatigue which is where Steve Bruce laid most of the blame for the disappointing display.

Well, that and the fact that the team was still missing some critical players. It was evident in the players that were on the bench, which had four defenders as well as two youngsters.

But this is what this team is at the moment, and you can’t help but pull for them. It’s not great to watch, but they have something about them that they are rarely out of games.

The poll for this match reflects the way the game unfolded. It was all about the final couple of minutes. In that time, Florian Lejeune scored his first two goals for Newcastle to claim the unlikeliest of points.

Of the 2613 votes, Lejeune collected 1662 for 64% to easily win his first best player poll this season. Martin Dubravka came in a distant second with 17% of the vote.

However, without Martin’s contribution in the first 90 minutes, Newcastle would have had no chance of getting this glorious point. But this game was all about what Florian did in the Everton box in the final minutes.

Who Was Newcastle's Best Player In 2-2 Draw At Everton?

  • Florian Lejeune (64%, 1,662 )
  • Martin Dubravka (17%, 433 )
  • Miguel Almiron (11%, 296 )
  • Matt Ritchie (3%, 67 )
  • Federico Fernandez (1%, 24 )
  • Fabian Schar (1%, 18 )
  • Isaac Hayden (1%, 18 )
  • Ciaran Clark (1%, 17 )
  • Jamaal Lascelles (1%, 16 )
  • Joelinton (1%, 16 )
  • Matty Longstaff (1%, 16 )
  • Sean Longstaff (0%, 11 )
  • Emil Krafth (0%, 11 )
  • Christian Atsu (0%, 8 )

Total Voters: 2,613

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156 comments so far

  • Munster Mag

    Jan 23, 2020 at 12:30 AM

    Comment #41

    Again, you miss the point, and missed it last time. Football style is about a managers philosophy. Fat Sam had more expensive players, correct. But it’s not about Sam. Watching the two teams kicks play sideways and whoosh, I questioned why Rafa plays that old style. It provoked a fierce backlash, because rafa was being compared in style to Fat Sam, one of the blogs hate figures because he plays old style football. Obviously I’d prefer rafa as a manager and as a person but their philosophy was similar and u didn’t like it being pointed out.

  • RobLeenio

    Jan 23, 2020 at 12:31 AM

    Comment #42

    Actually, I’ve already said I thought that the whole team were pressing higher up the pitch than I’ve seen them do for a long time. It’s like they’ve been working on it in training, but haven’t been doing it in matches as they are not quite ready to roll it out.

    Looked to me very much like a change in tactics, and we saw a boost in the possession stats too last night, probably as a direct consequence.

    Everyone keeps saying it was a dreadful performance, I only saw the beginning and end of each half (Dad taxi and packing) so I don’t have the complete picture, but what I saw wasn’t actually that bad.

    Also, we were the first team to score against Ancelloti’s Everton at Goodison, and we did it twice. They were always a good team, just inconsistent and that consistency is coming to them now. It was no real surprise that we struggled against them.

  • Munster Mag

    Jan 23, 2020 at 12:34 AM

    Comment #43

    Droppy, good point re Hinchcliffe. Thanks for your chip in tonight. Less inflammatory than me and others who have been on in the last 24 hours.

  • RobLeenio

    Jan 23, 2020 at 12:37 AM

    Comment #44

    For all you Ben Arfa fans (and I know there are many), there’s a delicious video on Twitter


  • droppy in Wallsend

    Jan 23, 2020 at 12:39 AM

    Comment #45


    No problem.

    Football is by its nature a passionate game, opinions differ and disagreements occur. It’s just a bit wearing given that we actually all support the same team. Just wish people would have a conversation rather than the petty insults. And yes I know you get more than your share.

  • NY Mag

    Jan 23, 2020 at 12:39 AM

    Comment #46


    I hope you don’t mind me picking up on the most insignificant thing……packing – is that moving house or going on vacation? 😀

  • NY Mag

    Jan 23, 2020 at 12:46 AM

    Comment #47

    BTW, I’m just being nosey…..both are no doubt good things 🙂

  • RobLeenio

    Jan 23, 2020 at 12:48 AM

    Comment #48

    Ah, lol, I’m in London tonight for a conference tomorrow. Won’t be on the blog much, it’ll be busy.

  • giimps

    Jan 23, 2020 at 12:49 AM

    Comment #49

    The reason a manager chooses a philosophy is usually because it works more often than it fails, when playing the “old school” way, you can get away with it with lesser quality players if drilled correctly.
    Rafa decided to go back to basics after the first couple of games when he realised we were poor defensively, he drilled the squad to defend first and try to counter, results began to improve (unfortunately not enough to keep us up).
    When we were in the fizzy pop, he continued to drill, got better players (or players more accustomed to playing the way he wanted) and we ended up winning the league.
    Once we were back in the premier league, he continued to drill the players as it worked , they knew the drills, we were very difficult to break down but we didnt have the funds to buy the better players to play a more expansive style (Cheers Mike) so he pretty much used what he was given to keep us up.
    in his third season, the defence was pretty much sorted so he started to develop a plan to get better players , again, the funds were not there……we ended the season with a better goal difference and more points than the season before but lower in the table…..this is how i saw what Rafa was doing (other than the great work off the pitch ) Bruce has come in (after Rafa was not given the tools he needed to get the club into a better place) has continued with what was working, he has been hampered by the lack of quality at his disposal too (cheers Mike) he has more points than Rafa had ….so what, we aren’t the same team, and neither is any of the other teams, there is no similarity other than the number of games played….Bruce has us in the 4th round of the fa cup…..hes only had to play Rochdale (and it took 2 attempts to do that) .
    Im not having a go at Bruce here by the way, i think hes doing a good job considering all that has gone on this season, what im saying is, managers tend to drift to what works and stick to it, especially if they are on a tight budget

  • giimps

    Jan 23, 2020 at 12:52 AM

    Comment #50

    Sorry, i should have ended that with IMHO

  • RobLeenio

    Jan 23, 2020 at 12:58 AM

    Comment #51

    giimps, I had an interesting conversation with a couple of work colleagues this morning around drifting to what works. I mentioned that football tactics, like everything in life, are subject to trends or cycles. So you have a trend towards fast, skilful players which encourages smaller, nippier players to be recruited, then that goes so far that you get a team which has some really big players who just dominate the smaller, more skilful ones physically and do better than their skill levels suggest they should.

    Then you get other teams aping that style and the trend / cycle moves again, until you find a team trained by a more ‘progressive’, ‘modern’ coach which gets a bunch of nippy, skilful players together that run rings round the big lumps who have no answer to it.

    I wonder if the cycle is changing and we’re riding the crest at the moment. Certainly Everton’s players had no counter to our big, physical presence once we were playing all of our central defenders and lumping the ball into the box.

    I recognise that it’s a limited set of evidence that I’m basing an entire theory on, also that it’s late and I’m probably talking nonsense.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jan 23, 2020 at 1:06 AM

    Comment #52

    The 22nd plate crashes to the ground!

  • giimps

    Jan 23, 2020 at 1:12 AM

    Comment #53

    If the balance is right, you can get a team that is greater than the sum of its parts, Ala Leicester, they have pace, lumps and a good manager, they have been built by an owner that wanted/wants success, the balance is there for all to see, pace and trickery, big lads at the back capable of stopping most attacks ,a good keeper and a very good work ethic, it does not need to be expensively assembled, it needs to have the right direction, play players to their strengths and if there is a player with an exceptional talent…exploit it, give them the freedom.
    We on the other hand, get players if theyre a bargain , dont get players to fulfil a certain role, have zero ambition ,the only cycle were going through is one of pennypinching , austerity ,lies and subterfuge.

  • giimps

    Jan 23, 2020 at 1:12 AM

    Comment #54

    I never liked that plate anyway Bill

  • giimps

    Jan 23, 2020 at 1:16 AM

    Comment #55

    Leicester won the league with a good keeper, great defence and hoofing the ball up to Vardy….if he missed Kante would win the ball back …..rinse and repeat, simple but very difficult to stop

  • NY Mag

    Jan 23, 2020 at 1:30 AM

    Comment #56


    Enjoy the big smoke mate…….

  • lesh

    Jan 23, 2020 at 1:37 AM

    Comment #57

    Droopy’s right when he said we can’t argue with the points on the board under Bruce. We’ve had more than luck this season than ever in recent years but being in mind the window’s got a week left and we’ve signed Baltabel but have been fannying on, running the clock down as other clubs have bought and bought well. We need a striker that can find the net yet we hear from Bruce that he’s got Muto, Carroll and Gayle coming back. And what are they going to bring to the party?

    RobL suggests we should be looking up the table but given Burnley’s winning, we’re among a clutch of clubs on 30 – and the gap between a relegation spot is narrowing.

    Bruce may not be the best in the world and he’s done well but unless Ashley and Barnes get their fingers out and spend some money, wisely and now, we’re likely to be staring the drop in the face – again.

  • lesh

    Jan 23, 2020 at 1:45 AM

    Comment #58

    NY MagNY Mag

    Enjoy the big smoke?

    RobL, what you up to? Sitting in a circle passing a nine skinner from one to another while listening to Abraxas or Borboletta and watching the cheese plant grow while sating the much with chocoates?

    Sounds cool bonny lad, enjoy.

    Anyway, enough. Night all.

  • giimps

    Jan 23, 2020 at 1:47 AM

    Comment #59

    I have a sneaking suspicion the trapdoor requirement may be 41-42 points this season as there is nobody cut adrift other than maybe Norwich, everyone else is taking points off each other and even the so called bigger teams

  • giimps

    Jan 23, 2020 at 1:47 AM

    Comment #60

    Night Lesh

  • NY Mag

    Jan 23, 2020 at 1:50 AM

    Comment #61


    Normally, we’re in agreement – but giving me and robL grief is not cricket, I’ll leave it at that

  • Unused Substitute

    Jan 23, 2020 at 2:22 AM

    Comment #62

    RobLeenio @9: our defensive frailties of this season predates the string of injuries. That showed in stats I summarized months back. Even the two goals we conceded against Everton were defensive errors. That’s partly because the coach is not a “drill master” making sure that everyone is fully aware of what to expect and stay focused. The sky high injury list also appears to be because of his outdated management style.

  • giimps

    Jan 23, 2020 at 2:36 AM

    Comment #63

    Bruce does seem to have a history of a large Injury list at the clubs hes managed , could be coincidence……or not, the other reason we concede IMHO is that the out ball when we regain possession of the ball in our 18yd box, comes straight back, therefore we spend more time under pressure, which inevitably leads to concession of goals, im just amazed that considering the length of time we are in our 18 yard box we haven’t conceded a penalty yet

  • giimps

    Jan 23, 2020 at 2:40 AM

    Comment #64

    Im not surprised we haven’t had a penalty either though, what with dodgy refereeing decisions and the fact we are hardly ever in the opposition 18 yd box, and even when we are, we are usually in there smothered by defenders as we attack alone or with a maximum of 2 in there.
    Even Burnley get more than 1/2 in the box when attacking.

  • Toonces

    Jan 23, 2020 at 2:52 AM

    Comment #65

    About this whole team spirit debate no one seems to be giving the players any credit, especially Lascelles as captain.

    I think that he has played an immense role in helping the players keep their heads down and pulling for each other through all the controversy they have had to deal with.

    Sure the managers have their part in this but to me the leadership in the team deserves more of the credit if not most.

  • Unused Substitute

    Jan 23, 2020 at 2:56 AM

    Comment #66

    I continue to carry the (humble) opinion that I shared here earlier, we’re where we’re despite Bruce not because of him. Others would have managed us better in terms of preparedness, results and injury. And possibly even motivation level – considering we cannot sell us to a number of players available in the market.

  • Online Guy

    Jan 23, 2020 at 3:07 AM

    Comment #67


    Thanks for your comments ..previous page #109.

    Munster , and yours #103 .

    Munster I don’t suppose we would ever come to blows over a pint if we debated Rafas tenure ..just maybe agree to disagree and shake on it.

    On reflection I was a tad strong after the match in my comment to you .

    Was a bit like a manager who wished he’d never opened his Gob after a game !

    Don’t know what the wife is putting in my tea these days ..

    Rob ..Im off to the smoke myself in about an hour .

    Will be in Piccadilly around 4 ish ..selling me mutton. Lol.

  • giimps

    Jan 23, 2020 at 3:14 AM

    Comment #68

    I agree ,Bruce has his detractors (for obvious reasons), whether or not hes scaring the potential signings off is a matter for deliberation after a couple of windows (if he lasts that long) Bentaleb seemed happy to sign, Lazaro may have his heart set on going back to Germany as he enjoyed his time there, If a player has a choice , he will go for the best deal or the one with the most benefits first, then i would imagine , the players in the dressing room and the manager .
    Bruce is old school, plays old school football, its easy to know what your role is, its easy for a player to understand the instructions as opposed to a Gardiola type situation where the players are given an encyclopedia of tactics, positioning and a write up of all the players in the opposition team ,all to learn before even getting your boots on….this might appeal to some footballers….or, it might not.

  • Unused Substitute

    Jan 23, 2020 at 4:03 AM

    Comment #69

    Bentaleb didn’t have a choice. He grabbed the only opportunity that came his way. Like we hired Bruce when no one else was prepared to work with our abominable owner. Back to Bruce, then.

    I doubt whether he prepares them for any opponent in particular other than giving them a daily run around. If he were to do that, our defence would have looked tighter. He appears to leave the players to follow their own instincts with broad objectives of not conceding and sneaking in points. Doubtless that’s easy on everyone. Like taking a dog out on a stroll is easy; training her for a specific job is difficult. If I hire a dog trainer and find no improvement in my dog’s attitude, would I continue to retain the trainer or get a trained dog and pretend it’s worth the money? And sorry for my undiplomatic analogy.

  • giimps

    Jan 23, 2020 at 4:23 AM

    Comment #70

    The manager is just a symptom of the situation we are in as a club, the slug is the issue, Bruce is …….a Pardew, a Joe Kinnear, a Carver, all lower class managers who have made a good living because they have stumbled onto the fact that because they have managed before, they are in the managerial inner circle, (especially i this country) or it was before the billionaire boys club came to town and demanded good football (present company excluded obviously)
    Bruce , for all his faults though has fallen into a group of players who seem to feel the passion of the area, they (the Lascelles, Ritchies, clarks and dummet etc), wont allow slackers, they feel the pain when things go wrong, and breathe the exhilaration when things are going well….Bruce is a part of it now, he is feeding from the happy trough, but your right , its the players who have dragged themselves into this , i think Joe would benefit from this if he would get a couple of game winning goals, just to light his fire, ignite his passion as at the moment, Bruce does not know what to do with him, the fans are (rightly or wrongly) turning on him and the longer he goes without impacting games with assists or goals, the harder it will be to change the mindset of the fans….this is where a decent manager earns his crust…..of which Bruce does not enter that category

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Jan 23, 2020 at 4:25 AM

    Comment #71

    I’m fine with Bruce, so long as he’s given a decent group of players to work with. Given a short blanket, he’d almost certainly take us down, like most managers would. He’d probably have taken us down this term, had the players not spoken up.

  • giimps

    Jan 23, 2020 at 4:26 AM

    Comment #72

    So is that a plus point for Bruce (the fact the players felt they could talk to him) or a negative the fact they thought they needed to talk to him?

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Jan 23, 2020 at 5:06 AM

    Comment #73

    He didn’t really know what he had when he arrived.

    I remember he originally played Shelvey as a quarterback pivot, with Hayden and Longstaff ahead of him, in a 5122 formation, which didn’t work predictably, then the short lived 4 at the back.

    If the players hadn’t of spoken up, I’m not entirely sure he’d have worked it out in time to save our season.

    Possibly though, it is quite obvious we lacked the pace and passing in central midfield to go toe to toe. Bentaleb should make a difference, if he is legit box to box, can get a challenge in and can pass the ball.

    If we get Bowen or Lazaro we might even be able think about 4231, with perhaps Almiron in the more advanced central mid role or number 10.

    We’d have the necessary pace and movement in the centre of the park then, to ditch the back 5, although whether we have the defenders is another thing.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Jan 23, 2020 at 5:17 AM

    Comment #74

    Anyway, there’s no urgency to ditch the back five. We get a bit more pace and forward momentum into our midfield, then we’ll more naturally increase our possession rate, get forward in greater numbers and more often and get more shots off.

  • giimps

    Jan 23, 2020 at 5:21 AM

    Comment #75

    I would go 4 1 4 1,
    Schar as the holding mid,
    Miggy and st Max either side of Bentaleb and Matty with big Andy up front.
    this would allow Ritchie and Manqy to be rb and lb with lascelles and feddy/lejeune knowing Schar can cover if Ritchie and Manqy get up the pitch.
    We always get overrun in midfield due to having 5 at the back and 3 forwards, which means all 3 forwards come back to support, if we had 5 in the middle wed have more possession and reduce the chasing the ball down

  • cyprus

    Jan 23, 2020 at 6:10 AM

    Comment #76

    We have 9 more points (I think, Ed do that table you used to do) than last year, yet this season is a rarity.

    All teams, except Norwich, are en reute to very high thirties which, normally means safety. So, from Watford up, they have legitimate expectations to stay up.

    All big teams are dropping points to the smaller ones, so it’s a crazy table. Southampton, down and out a few weeks ago, are chasing Europe.

    Conclusion: most teams are looking up AND down. Lots of points remaining, we’ll need 4 wins minimum!

  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Jan 23, 2020 at 6:17 AM

    Comment #77

    The crap about fighting spirit and the players playing for Bruce is just that, crap.

    It’s another stick to try to beat the last manager.

    Everyone even the people making this claim have mentioned the togetherness and fighting spirit in the team and squad for the three years.

    Now it’s all forgotten about, never happened and Bruce has instilled it.

    People wonder why there’s so many arguments on here but theres a large section with a agenda who want to rewrite history to suit themselves.

    I dare say you could go back over three years on the blog and the match reports WOULD mention the fighting spirit so many claim wasnt there.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Jan 23, 2020 at 6:49 AM

    Comment #78

    Rafa brought in captain type driven players, not known to let their heads drop. we have several captains on the pitch. the opposite of mclarens team. yet we have dropped our heads many times this season. even some of the comebacks its not like we were throwing everything at them. dubs just kept making saves then we got one cross or corner and scored. and the price to pay for our players running themselves into the ground until the 90 th minute – injuries.

  • c-dog

    Jan 23, 2020 at 6:52 AM

    Comment #79

    Phil Neville is a clown
    I’d rather claw out my eyeballs that look at his horrible heed

  • c-dog

    Jan 23, 2020 at 6:54 AM

    Comment #80


    Bruce has done Well up to this point. Give it up man.


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