Newcastle eased past Serie A side Hellas Verona today with a comfortable 2-0 win at St. James’ Park, ending the pre-season on a high in front of the home support.
Here are our thoughts and marks out of 10 for the starting 11 and substitutes from today’s game:
Elliot – 6 – Don’t think he had a save to make, but his kicking was solid, spraying a few angled balls to the full backs on occasion.
Manquillo – 9 – Superb display from the Spaniard, who built on his eye-catching outing at Wolfsburg. Looked very comfortable on the ball and carried it well, made some great runs & linked up well with Ritchie. Great assist for Perez’s opener.
Lejeune – 8 – Impressive yet again from the Frenchman. Oozed class on the ball, solid positioning & some timely interceptions. Has barely put a foot wrong all pre-season – really like the look of him.
Clark – 7 – Looked comfortable alongside Lejeune and I fully expect him to line up alongside him against Spurs. Won his headers and was calm on the ground – denied Verona with a superb block.
Dummett – 7 – Played some nice balls down the line to Atsu and linked very well with the Ghanaian in the first half. A solid display from Rafa’s trusted left-back.
Hayden – 7 – Mopped up well, moved the ball quickly and put in some tough and well timed tackles. A good athlete who’s comfortable with the ball at his feet. He has the makings of a very capable Premier League midfielder.
Isaac Hayden ? pic.twitter.com/ddZICMI4dg
— Adam (@SimplyMitro) August 6, 2017
Shelvey – 9 – Another effortless display from the midfield maestro. Pulled the strings and made several incisive passes, both long & short to set up attacks. Looks razor sharp and in great shape to do real damage next season.
Ritchie – 8 – Never stopped running & trying to make things happen. Linked very well with Manquillo down the right and was unlucky not to score, with his second half free kick striking the post. A typically busy performance from the winger.
Perez – 7 – Took his goal very well, worked hard and linked up nicely at times, however failed to strike much of partnership with Mitrovic. Needs to toughen up and make more of a constant impact on the game.
Atsu – 9 – An electric display from Rafa’s first summer signing. He looked lively, direct and full of confidence all games, regularly beating his man, offering some great deliveries & neat touches.
Mitrovic – 6 – Painted a slightly frustrated figure up front despite our first half dominance. Put in a decent shift, but saw little of the ball and had a few loose touches.
Aarons – 7 – Stretched the Verona defence with his pace and high energy. You can see he’s still raw, but there’s definite potential there. He looks determined to make an impact this season.
Murphy – 6 – He clearly has the ability to take on a man and is very direct in his style, but did surrender possession cheaply at times.
De Jong – 7 – Arguably did as much as Mitrovic during his 15 minute cameo in the false number 9 role. Some clever passes and saw a powerful shot on the edge of the box parried wide.
Merino – 7 – Looks a clever player with good awareness & a calmness in possession. Played with his head up, competed well & often showed for the ball.
Diame – 6 – Took up a central midfield role and tried to make things happen from a deeper position. Some decent passes and bursts from midfield.
Lascelles – 5 – Has had limited game time over pre-season and it showed a little. Was slow to react on occasion and didn’t look to have the same level of composure on the ball as Lejeune showed.
Mbemba – 7 – Came out with the ball nicely and made a well timed sliding tackle in the box to halt a swift Verona attack.
Gamez – 6 – Slotted in for Dummett and showed his coolness on the ball, with some nice pieces of play with Aarons down the left.
Darlow – 5 – Like Elliot he didn’t have a save to make, but his kicking was a cause for concern. Visibly remember him scuffing two clearances which failed to get out of his own half. It’s easy to see why Rafa wants a ball playing goalie.