An awful start to 2020 at St James’ Park, with costly errors and a host of injuries gifting Leicester the win on Tyneside today.
Here’s an assessment of each player’s performance along with our marks out of 10:
Dubravka – 7 – Couldn’t be blamed for any of the goals and made a couple of good saves. Did spill one in the first half and wasn’t punished but made several key saves to keep the score semi-respectable. Our best player.
Manquillo – 6 – Did little wrong or right until he was taken off with an injury and was replaced by Emil Krafth. He could be a big miss based on recent form.
Schar – 5 – Pulled up with his hamstring seconds into the second half, but wasn’t great before that. Hasn’t looked the same player in recent weeks. Very useful with the ball and can create from deep, but needs to stay switched on.
Fernandez – 5 – Poor again. Has had a Christmas period to forget and looked as if he was shaping up for a red card towards the end which thankfully didn’t materialise.
Lejeune – 2 – Oh Florian. My dear sweet Florian. The lad needs a hug, an absolute mare. Gave the ball away in awful positions TWICE to create Leicester’s first two goals. Looks physically and mentality shot. He’s a good player and will bounce back.
Willems – 5 – Another who is injured and came off for Yedlin. Did nothing of note but did look a little leggy and slow from the off. Hopefully he’ll return soon, mind.
Hayden – 5 – We need more from him. Hasn’t played well at all in the last 3 games and was poor again for me. Effort is always there but so limited on the ball.
Shelvey – 6 – Our best outfield player in the opening stages, putting Joelinton clean through with a brilliant ball. Looks to get us going forward but another who went off injured.
Almiron – 6 – He gets a 6 for his effort at wing back under difficult circumstances. His first half attacking performance would be a 4. Looked good in the no.10 role against Palace but has been quiet from an attacking perspective since then.
Joelinton – 3 – Absolutely terrible today. I thought he was excellent against Man Utd and Everton and was unfairly made a scapegoat. No defence of him today. Missed a good chance first half, couldn’t get ball under control and then had a horrible miss-kick in the second half.
Muto – 5 – Has energy, passion and work rate in abundance. Sadly he also never looks like scoring and drifts in and out of games far too often.
Yedlin – Gave us a bit of pace and was one of few who tried to get forward in second half, but his crossing was so poor whenever he got into a good position.
Krafth – Had to play down the left-side after Manquillo went off injured just moments after replacing Willems down that side. Was steady enough.
S. Longstaff – Replaced Shelvey at half-time. We had so little of the ball in the second half so he struggled to get into it.