The BBC pundit believes there were a ‘number of impressive displays’ from the trio of new signings on show, but feels our free agent from Burnley was the ‘pick of the bunch’, praising his intelligence with the ball, ‘eye for goal’ and brilliant strike to seal the win.
Here’s what he’s had to say about the 28-year-old’s impressive all round performance, followed by his team of the week in full:
“At West Ham, there were a number of impressive displays by Newcastle’s new arrivals. The pick of the bunch was Jeff Hendrick.
“As well as being smart with the ball, Hendrick has an acute eye for goal. He set up Callum Wilson’s debut finish before hitting a lovely strike past Lukasz Fabianski to put the game way beyond the Hammers.
“This time last season, Steve Bruce was arguably the most unpopular man in the north east. He is now considered a very credible manager, having created a team worthy of the area.“
A star-studded side, yet one Hendrick fully deserves a place in after his influential display at both ends of the pitch on Saturday.
Interestingly, the same piece also highlights that Saturday was the FIRST time Jeff Hendrick has both scored and assisted in a Premier League game, with him failing to do so in any of his other 122 appearances for Burnley.
I’m not sure Crooks can say he has an ‘acute eye for goal’ after scoring just 9 times in 123 league appearances, however we can only hope this is something he can add to his game following a superb outing in his first competitive appearance for the club!
A dream debut for the Irishman and perhaps a sign that he may have license to get into more advanced areas under Steve Bruce, with him regularly arriving in the box – both for his flick on to Wilson and brilliant strike to seal a 0-2 win.