By Neil Langer
Porto 0-0 Newcastle. It wasn’t a thriller, but the game was played in a great atmosphere and proved a real good test for the Toon.
Once again there was no lack of effort and this was not your usual friendly. The Toon looked well organised with Rafa fielding a fairly strong team.
The first half was backs to the wall defending, something we are all well used to watching and the defence, in the main, looked strong.
Dubravka was outstanding – what a purchase he looks set to be at just under £4m – and Lascelles was a monster at the back as ever. Just look at this block:
— Total:NUFC (@Total_NUFC) July 28, 2018
It remains glaringly obvious that we have no significant threat up front, we’re lacking that cutting edge. Joselu isn’t good enough at this level and that was shown once again against a strong Porto side.
It was good to get a glimpse of Schar and Ki Sung-Yueng , both getting 30 minutes, although it’s far too early to comment on both of them in any great detail. The early signs are good though.
News of Lejeune’s cruciate injury is devastating, as he was developing a great centre-back partnership with Lacelles, however Ciaran Clark put in a strong display and new signing Fabian Schar looked solid in the centre of defence when he came on.
As for the sale of Mitrovic, £22m (rising to £27m) looks like a great bit of business with the hope that the full fee is made available for a replacement.
A lot of positives from last night despite the ‘bore draw’.
Things might just be looking up on Tyneside at last – but only if we actually spend the Mitrovic money in the final 11 days..
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