An awful day at the office. The less said about this one the better.
Here’s our thoughts and marks out of 10 from the 0-3 defeat at St James’ Park today:
Elliot – 3 – A decent early save to keep out Richarlison but another really poor game aside from that. Distribution too slow and hesitant, kicking very mixed and could’ve done better with one or two of their goals.
Yedlin – 3 – Really struggled to cope with Richarlison today, who was a real handful throughout. All three goals came down his side – one being an own-goal of his own – and although he wasn’t helped out enough by Ritchie, he really wasn’t ‘at it’ at either end today.
Lejeune – 4 – Struggled with their pace and was caught out a few too many times. Didn’t look nearly as assured and controlled as he had earlier in the season.
Clark – 4 – Distribution was poor in the first half. Looked under confident and was left quite exposed – NUFC were missing Lascelles’ presence and leadership at the back.
Manquillo – 4 – Caught in no mans land too many times. Didn’t offer anything going forward and struggled with Hughes’ energy and invention at the other end. Wasn’t tested much compared to Yedlin, but he doesn’t look comfortable at LB – Dummett’s return should help us down that side.
Ritchie – 3 – Left Yedlin isolated defensively on too many occasions, contributing to all three of Watford’s goals coming down his side. He never got close to Watford wing back Zeeglaar. Had a decent early shot and tried to get things going with Yedlin in the second half, but it was yet another out of sorts performance from someone who has so often been Mr. Reliable at NUFC. We need him to regain his best form and quick.
Shelvey – 5 –Got himself a silly yellow card early on, lunging in needlessly. He made some good forward runs in the first half, but was often picking up the ball so deep and struggling to find any out-ball.
Diame – 4 – Never really got going, but was one of the only players who pressed with any real intent from time to time – even if some of that was far too over committed, seeing the play bypass him. Didn’t take his chance in the first team once again though.
Murphy – 7* – Without doubt our best player today and the only shining light in an generally awful afternoon. He took players on, had a go and was by far our most likely forward player. Need to make sure he sharpens up defensively however.
Gayle – 4 – Was so isolated up top and was chasing shadows for much of it. A very quiet day for the NUFC number 9 a week on from his goal at Old Trafford.
Joselu – 2 – He’s been unconvincing for a while now, but I’m really struggling for a reason why Rafa can justify picking him over Mitrovic. He looked slow, sluggish, had no composure in the box and didn’t even win many headers or hold the ball up. So so lacking unfortunately.
Mitrovic – 6 – Came on and offered so much more than Joselu did. It didn’t ever come to much, but he held the ball up and linked the play in the final third better in 20 minutes than Joselu did for 70. Surely Rafa realises he’s worth playing over Joselu next week?
Merino – 5 – Didn’t look at his best and was lacking sharpness, as you’d expect. Still looked to get on the ball and make forward passes though.
Perez – N/A – Not really on long enough to earn a rating. Tried to have a run at them but fell over quite a bit and got the ball tangled in-between his legs without ever really having control of it.