Sky Sports’ North-East correspondent has hit the nail on the head following our 1-0 win over Chelsea, paying tribute to one of the club’s unsung heroes – Ciaran Clark.
Downie even goes as far to say the Irish international is “one of the most underrated defenders in the Premier League” – and it’s difficult to disagree on current form.
As he says below, the centre-back barley puts a foot wrong whenever he’s given his chance in the starting 11, with him either scoring key goals or putting in rock solid defensive displays.
Here’s what the Sky Sports reporter tweeted after the game:
“Ciaran Clark must be one of the most underrated defenders in the Premier League.
“He’s hardly put a foot wrong since he came into the team, never moans, heads it, kicks it, clears it.
“But most of all his defensive positioning is exemplary.”
Some felt it was time to move Clark on following our return to the Premier League (I too feared he may be a ‘Championship player’), but he’s now consistently proving what a capable player he is at this level.
He’s not only performing admirably defensively, however, with his bagging five goals in his last 21 appearances – a strike rate no other Newcastle player has bettered in that time!
To think he’s debatably the club’s fifth choice centre-back when everyone’s fit!