Preston 2-1 Newcastle – Shelvey scores & mixed day for Joelinton on his debut

A decent pre-season run out on a rain sodden pitch in Preston, but Steve Bruce’s opening game in the dugout ended in defeat as the Championship side won 2-1 thanks to two Paul Gallagher penalties.

We started with a 3-5-2 formation in the first half, seeing Aarons and Muto paired up top, Shelvey, Hayden and Matty Longstaff in the middle, Ritchie and Manquillo as attacking wing-backs and a three-man defence of Dummett, Fernandez and Schar, with Woodman in goal.

(3-5-2: Woodman – Schar, Fernandez, Dummett – Manquillo, Hayden, Shelvey, M. Longstaff, Ritchie – Aarons, Muto).

There was very little action in the opening stages, with us seeming content on just keeping the ball without any real purpose in attack, although Matty Longstaff did show real urgency and eagerness to get on the ball in what was his first start for the senior side.

Aarons and Muto struggled to get a hold of the ball and were left a little isolated up top at times, with Preston looking like a side who were just a week away from the new Championship season – and us very much looking like a team that were adapting to a new system and getting back into the swing of things.

Shelvey had our best chance of the first 30 minutes, having a shot blocked from a clever Matt Ritchie cut back:

He then turned provider from the resultant corner, however, swinging in a cross which Isaac Hayden almost converted at the second attempt:

Preston then had a big chance moments later, with the ball falling in the box to Clarke, however Ritchie got a cross with a brilliant last ditch block to deny an almost certain goal.

We upped the tempo considerably over the final 20 minutes of the first half, showing more intensity in attack without creating too much in the final third, but the breakthrough arrives just 5 minutes before the break.

A superb 40-yard run from Fabian Schar ended with him being brought down in a dangerous area and Jonjo Shelvey smashed home the resultant free-kick – albeit via a bit of dodgy goalkeeping from Rudd:

Muto then had a big chance to make it 2-0 moments before the break after being slipped in by Matty Longstaff.

He should’ve done much better, dithering on the ball and failing to set up what would’ve been a tap in for Aarons – a decision that earned him an earful from both Hayden and Aarons soon after:

Bruce then made wholesale changes at half-time, with the following side coming out for the second period (with Woodman and Fernandez being the only two players to stay on):

(3-5-2: Woodman – Fernandez, Lascelles, Clark – Sterry, S. Longstaff, Ki, Colback, Murphy – Almiron, Joelinton)

Joelinton was introduced for his first appearance following his £40m move from Hoffenheim and he made an instant impact.

Just a MINUTE into the second half, Almiron slipped in the Brazilian striker, who turned well and won a penalty with what was his first touch for the club – although a tame effort from the Paraguayan was saved from the resultant spot kick:

It was an awful penalty from Almiron, however he looked very lively in the second half, giving us that spark in attack that we lacked in the first half.

Played in a left wing-back role, Murphy used his pace well at times and caused a few problems, although his decision making and final ball let him down a little at times, while Sean Longstaff picked out some nice passes – including this one:

Preston then won a penalty of their own, and Gallagher converted after Sterry adjudged to have blocked a cross with his hand:

As for Joelinton, the 22-year-old showed some very nice first-time touches and turns, linking well at times and helping build attacks as he drifted into a false number 9 role.

He also showed decent work rate and physicality, tracking back well and holding off his man when receiving the ball with his back to goal.

The Brazilian was growing into the game, but went from provider to offender as he CONCEDED a penalty at the other end – which Paul Gallagher lashed home past Freddie Woodman once again to make it 2-1 with 20 minutes to go:

A huge chance to make it 2-2 then emerged just moments later, with Jack Colback failing to convert after a another brilliant Sean Longstaff through ball put him one on one with Rudd:

Almiron had a half chance late on, but his 25-yard after flew over the bar, seeing the game end with a 2-1 win for Preston.

A disjointed performance that lacked fluidity and quality throughout – a sign that several key signings are still very much needed before the transfer window shuts a week on Thursday.

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

58 thoughts on “Preston 2-1 Newcastle – Shelvey scores & mixed day for Joelinton on his debut

  1. Yup seems like it Kim… sounds like a canny match. Joelinton sounds like a decent player and chuffed for Longstaff

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  2. Just wish Miggy would break his duck and get his first goal… well bed time for me as it’s late. Goodnight Kim

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  3. Steve Bruce is “quietly confident” we will bring in more players. Steve, I thought you’d have done some research on your employers. 😯

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  4. Pretty negligent the lack of signings really . Joe just replaces Rondon really and it remains to be seen if he is an adequate replacement .

    RIP Sir Bobby 10 years today 🙁

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  5. Lovely finish by Joelinton yesterday and cracking goal for Longstaff on the support. Lascelles was a good headed from a very good cross from Aaron’s – who looks like he wants to play himself into Bruceys plans.
    Good for him I say. If I were him I’d see an opportunity to get ahead of Atsu and Murphy – with a bit of hard work and focus.
    We saw Longstaff and Hayden come in from the reserves last season – maybe Aaron’s has that same chance ??‍♂️.
    I still think we need another winger in like – that looked like the Saint, but it’s a bit concerning how quiet that has gone. Maybe just usual NUFC dragging their heels – or maybe there has been a opening for Bowen or Wilson who they’d prefer – or maybe that’s wishful thinking and they will just **** it up again

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  6. kimtoon:
    Pretty negligent the lack of signings really . Joe just replaces Rondon really and it remains to be seen if he is an adequate replacement .

    RIP Sir Bobby 10 years today

    Kim – Sir Bobby is a legend of English football, one of the most successful managers – up there with Alf Ramsey. Yet SSN and BBC Sport do nowt to honour or respect him ?.
    The BBC have managed to do an article on thumb wars though ??‍♂️??‍♂️

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  7. Sharpy, yeah it’s piss poor isn’t it, 10 years too, you would think a special segment on him today.

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  8. kimtoon:
    Sharpy, yeah it’s piss poor isn’t it, 10 years too, you would think a special segment on him today.

    Kim – that said, it seems NUFC, ITFC, BARCA and the FA haven’t bothered their ar$e for him either.

    Like you say, 10yrs on you’d have thought they would have made the effort.

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  9. PremAndUp:
    You would think, ha! that with Ritchie’s injury that would accelerate the N’Soki deal

    Prem – I think that deal is progressing to be fair. The lad has left PSG pre-season camp and headed back for the likes of medicals and bits he needs to be involved with.

    It’s the Saint deal that puzzles me. I thought that was as good as done, but seemingly not.

    I believe nothing I read anymore though, coz they said the hold up for Joelinton was him wanting a 3yr deal and us wanting him to sign a 4yr deal – he signed a 6yr deal.
    So I believe nowt they say – but equally, trying to second guess NUFC is as pointless too.

    Let’s see what the last brings, but we defo need more that Joel

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  10. I’d like to believe that about Nsoki Sharpy but it turns out he’s just one of 5 PSG are sending home unused. All kids like him. Expecting to suddenly turn out in the PL after a few days is also stretching it. The deal should have been done weeks ago.

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  11. georgio:
    I’d like to believe that about Nsoki Sharpy but it turns out he’s just one of 5 PSG are sending home unused. All kids like him. Expecting to suddenly turn out in the PL after a few days is also stretching it. The deal should have been done weeks ago.

    Don’t disagree about weeks ago mate, but PSG named the 5 sent back and added that Stanley and another were about to leave the club altogether – so PSG seem to expect it to happen.

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  12. Net spend of £7.5million and one week to go in the transfer window. 1 striker that cost a sh.it load of money and unproven in the Premiership and 2 free transfer kids for the under 23s. Even if Joelinton does well what do we have as backup if he’s injured?

    Relegation coming I fear ??????

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  13. DT: we have basically the same team as the one that beat Fulham 4 nil. Like for like swaps of Joelinton and Rondon. Perez and Gayle. Nothing else has changed squad wise (yet).

    Manager? But, didn’t Rafa take us on the worst run of results in more than 100 years at the start of last season?

    We ended strongly so hopefully that will be how we play. Bruce seems like he is sticking with 3 centre backs.

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  14. I’ve heard the hold up with the Saint deal is down to Nice being bought out – how bloody ironic is that?!?!?!!

    What’s worse is it’s an English man buying Nice ? … buy NUFC you big g!t!!.

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  15. Is there anybody Aston Villa haven’t bought this summer? I think tbhey’ve spent nearly £150m! Rather galling. Whether they’re good players or not it’s a complete joke that we get overtaken by newly promoted clubs on spending.

    It was always a big ask for us to expect Mike Ashley’s NUFC tro do the required transfer business in only 3/4 weeks. We now have one week and need another 3 players. I’d say it’s almost zero chance we get them in. Given the form.

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  16. Stu – I get your point, but I think the quality of player absolutely matters. If we spent £20m on Tyrone Mings or £14m on Matt Targett – our fans would go nuts .. and rightly so, coz they aren’t good enough.
    The fact they couldn’t get games for B’mth and Saints supports that.

    For all the money they have spent, and the players they have brought in, not 1 do I look at and think – god I wish we’d got him!!. Also, as I look at the players they have brought in, I see very little PL experience being added to a squad that also lacks PL experience.

    It seems very similar to Fulham last summer actually – and after Villa had problems with their finances last season, I’m really surprised to see them spend in such a way.

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  17. I notice we have representatives heading out to Nice to finalise the Saint deal. That should be fairly straight forward now the fee is agreed. The lad has the same agent as Joelinton, so I imagined the personal stuff has already been worked out.
    They will stop off in Paris on the way back to get the Stanley deal sorted, coz he’s back from China now – so those 2 deals will be done in the next day or 2.

    I think there will be something done with the Swedish RB. He wants to come, and the fee looks fair – may just be them finding a replacement that’s holding that one up.

    Beyond those 3, I still see something happening with free transfers – big Andy maybe. Also, we love a loan deal, so I wouldn’t rule one of those before the window closes either.

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  18. I must admit to being a bit puzzled by these deals, particularly A S-M.
    It looks like Brucie is going for 3-3-2 + 2 wing backs. N’Soki makes sense especially with Ritchie not 100%, And Kraft is competition on the right for Yedlin, Manquillo, Sterry, 4 RWB really? But A S-M does not fit into this at all. If we were playing 3 up front then yes, A S-M Joe & Miggy look an exciting combination, but a fast tricky winger with questionable end product, really?

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  19. Sharpy17:
    Stu – I get your point, but I think the quality of player absolutely matters.If we spent £20m on Tyrone Mings or £14m on Matt Targett – our fans would go nuts .. and rightly so, coz they aren’t good enough.
    The fact they couldn’t get games for B’mth and Saints supports that.

    For all the money they have spent, and the players they have brought in, not 1 do I look at and think – god I wish we’d got him!!.Also, as I look at the players they have brought in, I see very little PL experience being added to a squad that also lacks PL experience.

    It seems very similar to Fulham last summer actually – and after Villa had problems with their finances last season, I’m really surprised to see them spend in such a way.

    I think you miss my point. I’m not bothered who they’ve bought. Their requirements are different to ours. I’m galled by the amount they’re spending. If we spent £150m we wouldn’t need to buy Mings etc… We would only need 3-4 players.

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  20. Prem, nowt makes sense with our club mate. Sometimes i think it’s more about sell on value than positional needs of the team/managers choice.

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  21. PremAndUp:
    I must admit to being a bit puzzled by these deals, particularly A S-M.
    It looks like Brucie is going for 3-3-2 + 2 wing backs. N’Soki makes sense especially with Ritchie not 100%, And Kraft is competition on the right for Yedlin, Manquillo, Sterry, 4 RWB really? But A S-M does not fit into this at all. If we were playing 3 up front then yes, A S-M Joe & Miggy look an exciting combination, but a fast tricky winger with questionable end product, really?

    Prem – if we get the RB, I think Sterry will likely go on loan. Manq can cover either side so is always a good player to cover on the bench.

    The other option with the new RB could be to use Yedlin more as a RW ??‍♂️ He has good pace, good delivery and defending isn’t his strength – but as a winger helping a RB out, could be a good option.

    I could see Almiron and ASM either side of Joelinton as wide forwards.

    I think they give options in the squad – ASM is a right winger and we don’t really have one of those.

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  22. Stuart79: I think you miss my point. I’m not bothered who they’ve bought. Their requirements are different to ours. I’m galled by the amount they’re spending. If we spent £150m we wouldn’t need to buy Mings etc… We would only need 3-4 players.

    Stu – I have never cared how much other clubs spend – and in fact, I don’t care how much NUFC spend either – providing they get the players in that are needed.
    By that I mean, I’m not more pleased that we’ve spent £40m on Joelinton, rather than £16m on Rondon (I know Ashley’s age thing stopped Rondon being an option, but you get what I mean).

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  23. Stu – another example of what I mean is last summer Huddersfield paid £18m for Kongolo – we spent around £3.5m on Schar.

    It didn’t bother me one bit that Huddersfield spent 5 times more on their CB than we did ours.

    I was really pleased to get a top CB into the club.

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  24. Sharpy, agree on the Rondon, joelinton thing, i’m not convinced by Joe yet, with Rondon i knew he’d come good.

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  25. kimtoon:
    Sharpy, agree on the Rondon, joelinton thing, i’m not convinced by Joe yet, with Rondon i knew he’d come good.

    Kim – I think Joelinton will do very well, but it may take a little longer than Rondon – who had a lot more experience – both in the PL and football knowledge.

    Joelinton has a lot of new faces round him too – obviously Rondon had Perez alongside him with PL experience. Joelinton will have Almiron who’s still bedding in himself, and looks like Saint – both good players, but young and finding their own feet really.

    I’m not making excuses for him, coz I’ve liked what I saw at Hibs, and I’m happy we signed him.
    What I meant was, I’m not happy coz we spent £40m, I’m happy coz he’s good. Equally I wouldn’t have been disappointed if we spent £16m on Rondon, I’d be pleased we bought a quality CF.

    It’s not my money, so I’m not bothered how little or much they spend – providing they get quality players in ??‍♂️.

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  26. So apparently we are in for a young CB at PSG as well?! – Sissoko.

    No idea how much he’s meant to be.

    I think he could be the final domino to the Maguire to Man Utd deal though.

    Maguire to Utd, Dunk to Leicester, Bristol City CB to Brighton, Clark to Bristol City for a reported £7m, and this youngster in to replace Clark.

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  27. I don’t really understand why we’re prioritising a winger when we need another striker. I would be very nervious if we went into the season with Joe, Gayle and Muto. There isn’t a lot of top league goals between them.

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  28. Stuart79:
    I don’t really understand why we’re prioritising a winger when we need another striker. I would be very nervious if we went into the season with Joe, Gayle and Muto. There isn’t a lot of top league goals between them.

    Stu – would you keep Gayle over Charlie Austin or Andy Carroll?

    I say those 2 coz I think they would be the most likely replacements for Gayle if he left I think.

    I don’t know what’s happening with this Marrony lad either – that ones gone very quiet as well.

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  29. Also, I think Austin is surplus to requirements at Saints and Carroll is free – so I suspect any deal for those 2 would take less time to negotiate than ASM.

    Looking at our wide options versus our forwards – I have more confidence in Gayle and Muto over Atsu and Murphy – Id even go as far to say I see Aaron’s leapfrogging those 2 in the squad

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  30. Stu , I share your concerns mate and Gayle got injured the week Bruce was announced, all that time at the baggies and no problems with his hammy’s or owt else, back to us and bang gets a calf injury !. 🙄
    I don’t want us to be relying on Gayle at any stage.

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  31. We can rule out Austin. He would cost money and is over 28. Carroll is more likely as he’d be free. But personally I’d take Carroll over Gayle.

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