Newcastle fans had to be thrilled going into the half against Arsenal with the display of new signing Valentino Lazaro. The 23-year-old was making his full debut and looked a real threat down the right flank.
The Austrian played very well as he exploited space and even got into the box early to receive a cross from Joelinton with his subsequent shot being blocked for a corner.
Lazaro also took over set-piece duties and whipped in a few decent corners. We thought Valentino looked solid defensively early in the game and noted an outstanding tackle on Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang to prevent an Arsenal break.
However, once Arsenal came out in the second half and began to dictate play, Lazaro began to struggle a bit defensively. Unfortunately, he made a couple of mistakes that ended with the ball in the back of the net.
One thing we’ve been very impressed with about Valentino is that he seems a forthright and honest person who is very happy on Tyneside. After this match, Valentino was one of a couple of Magpies to face the media.
The Chronicle have published the following comments from Valentino after the loss at Arsenal.
“I can only thank the fans for coming down here today. We’re sorry about the second half. It is not what we wanted to show.
“In the first half, you could really see our desire, and we came here to get a point or possibly win.
“We can just apologize for the second half. We’re going to work hard to bounce back next week.”
Lazaro doesn’t shirk anything in his comments. It shows a lot that a player making his full debut would come out and speak on behalf of the team after such a heavy defeat.
Newcastle will just have to take the lessons from this loss and then put it behind them. There were some positives in the first half, but the second half was just not good enough. The players know that.
Valentino added that he is looking now to next week against Crystal Palace, where he hopes the lads will redeem themselves.
“I’ve just said, after a second half like that, all you want to do is get back out there and play the next game.
“We have to show it was a mistake. In the second half, we fell apart. We normally don’t do that.
“It’ll be tough waiting a whole week. We have to work hard and bounce back next week.”
There was a lot to take from Lazaro’s first start for Newcastle United. Unfortunately, a lot of that will be overshadowed by the heavy defeat.
However, we were impressed with his display overall and look forward to seeing how he progresses over the next few weeks.
Who Was Newcastle's Best Player In Defeat At Arsenal?
- A. Saint-Maximin (66%, 893 )
- Valentino Lazaro (8%, 110 )
- Sean Longstaff (5%, 68 )
- Martin Dubravka (4%, 55 )
- Joelinton (3%, 47 )
- Federico Fernandez (3%, 35 )
- Miguel Almiron (3%, 35 )
- Danny Rose (2%, 27 )
- Nabil Bentaleb (2%, 23 )
- Ciaran Clark (2%, 21 )
- Matt Ritchie (1%, 12 )
- Jamaal Lascelles (1%, 9 )
- Isaac Hayden (1%, 9 )
- Fabian Schar (1%, 8 )
Total Voters: 1,352