Newcastle’s 2-0 win over Verona yesterday capped off our summer of pre-season friendlies in impressive fashion, and after being lucky to enough to watch every kick of us in action over the past few weeks, we have came up with the three players who’ve impressed us most:
It took Newcastle some time to secure the signing of the 6ft 3′ centre-back from Eibar this summer, but from what i’ve seen so far, he’s been worth the wait.
The Frenchman looks to have a nice blend of no nonsense and ball playing ability, with his coolness and quality in possession particularly standing out, having seen him ping some outstanding cross-field passes to start attacks. His positioning has also looked sound and despite being a big unit, he is no slouch.
— Josh (@joshgoodfelloww) July 27, 2017
He brings a sense of calm to the back four and, from what I observed in yesterdays 2-0 win at St. James’ Park, he appears to be an organiser too.
He arrived as a relatively unknown quantity, but you can sense already that fans are liking what they’ve seen from the big centre-half.
It’s fair to say he’s never been put under huge pressure over pre-season, but he’s had an air of class about everything he’s done. Big tests are to come, starting with Spurs on Sunday, but I think we’ve got a cracking player here.
Shelvey admitted prior to pre-season getting underway that he felt in the best shape of his career and you can tell.
He has dictated the play in so many of our games, pinging passes out wide, playing dangerous through balls in behind and moving the ball quickly to get us on the front foot.
His improved fitness levels were summed up in his devastating display away to Bradford last month, where he outpaced two Bradford players in a marauding run down the right hand side.
A fit & firing Jonjo Shelvey could be a dangerous weapon next season..
— Black&WhiteBarmy (@BlackWhiteBarmy) August 3, 2017
The midfield maestro has looked fit, lean and razor sharp and appears to be in superb condition ahead of the big kick off on Sunday.
Sections of the Geordie faithful were sceptical about signing the winger on a permanent deal from Chelsea after some patchy spells in the Championship last season, however if his pre-season is anything to go by, his signing will be more than justified.
The Ghanaian has looked incredibly lively in just about every game this summer, beating his man with ease and backing that up some dangerous deliveries into the box.
He’s supplied a handful of assists and bagged two goals to boot, including a tidy finish to make it 2-0 against Verona yesterday.
Christian Atsu goal vs. Verona ??⚫️⚪️⚫️
— Black&WhiteBarmy (@BlackWhiteBarmy) August 7, 2017
I’d label Atsu as a confidence player, and he looks full of it. Here’s hoping he can take that newfound confidence into the new season, starting with Spurs on Sunday.