Speaking about Sunday’s win over Man Utd on Sky’s Monday Night Football last night, Jamie Carragher has praised Dwight Gayle for his brilliant assist for Matt Ritchie’s goal, but admitted the striker is still ‘not up to the standard’ required to play for Newcastle United.
Unlike some of his comments in recent months, this is an assessment that I think most fans would tend to agree with.
He played a huge part in the goal, showing the sort of attacking intelligence we’ve seen so infrequently this season with the assist, however he’s not done nearly enough over the season and Carragher seems to recognise that despite our brilliant performance, a new striker is needed.
Gayle worked his socks off on Sunday, making it difficult for the two Man Utd centre-backs and holding up the ball better than he has done in the past, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Slimani’s return to fitness can’t come quick enough.
Here’s what the Sky pundit had to say about the striker when reflecting on Sunday’s game last night:
“He’s has had a lot of criticism and he’s not quite up to standard. That’s why they brought in Slimani”
“But, that is a brilliant touch around the corner (for the goal) and Ritchie finishes. It’s a great finish.”
“I think what we see here – the touch for the goal – is one of the assists of the weekend. It’s similar to Olivier Giroud’s (for Chelsea against West Brom).”
Credit where credit’s due. Gayle was much much better than he has been recently and played an underrated part in the all important goal – something Carragher rightfully picked up on last night, even if he doesn’t think Gayle’s ‘up to standard’ in the Premier League.
Hopefully Slimani’s arrival has given the likes of Gayle and Joselu a kick up the backside, making them realise that they must grasp their chances in the side with both hands if they wish to earn a place in the side between now and the end of the season.