In the days leading up to last weekend’s win over West Brom, our Opposition Opinion piece featured the pre-match thoughts of Baggies fan Jack Bradley.
A few days on from our late victory at St James’ Park, Jack has given us his view on the game, their disastrous start, the Newcastle players that impressed, those who did not, and his thoughts on the former West Brom loanees who combined in style to hand us all three points.
Here’s what he’s had to say when reflecting on last week’s game:
What did you make of the game? Did the right team win or do you feel hard done by?
“The right team won in the end.
“To go behind in the fashion we did within 30 seconds of kick off was nothing short of embarrassing and it was a damning indictment of our frailties this season.
“We gradually grew into the game to a degree, but we never looked threatening and the damage had already been done. Darnell Furlong’s equaliser was well-taken, but that was our one moment of real quality and it came from a wing back, who is decent going forward but often beatable defensively.
“When Dwight Gayle came on, the writing was on the wall. It was a superb cross from Jacob Murphy (more on him later) though he should never have been given the chance to whip it in, and as lively as Gayle is in the penalty area, when he is rising unopposed to ‘beat’ two centre halves in the air like that, you know it’s another one of those days.“
Which NUFC players stood out / impressed you and why?
“The first name that springs to mind is Joelinton.
“I thought his general hold-up play was well and he combined well with those around him to look a constant threat.
“Isaac Hayden, a player who has been linked with Albion in the past, impressed me too. We weren’t up to much going forward but he dealt with everything swiftly and in an assured manner at the back, and he has quality on the ball too.
“Mind you – I’m not sure how he got away with heading the ball behind for a corner and instead a goal kick was awarded!“
Which NUFC players did not impress you and why?
“Jamal Lewis – who is a player I do rate – didn’t have his best game. Darnell Furlong had one of his better games this season, and as such made life difficult for the youngster at times.
“He didn’t shirk from the battle however, and that should be encouraging for any Newcastle fan considering the young defender’s performance.”
Jacob Murphy and Dwight Gayle combined brilliantly to win us the game – two former WBA loanees! What did you make of them during their time at The Hawthorns?
“Dwight Gayle is rightly adored by Baggies fans for his performances on loan. He cared, and that is something that you don’t always get with loanees dropping into the division below (more on that with Murphy in a moment). Many fans still call for his return but his injury record will always be a concern – any new signing is only going to be good value if they’re not hamstrung for most of their time at the club.
“Jacob Murphy was the polar opposite of Gayle in his loan spell with us. I had never before seen a player pull out of not 50-50 challenges, but 75-25 ones with so much regularity. From day one, he didn’t bring the fight that we needed to pull us over the line – and he wasn’t alone in that, but he was a player who I certainly hoped would make a real difference. He seems to be getting regular game time now at Newcastle, so maybe ‘the penny has dropped’ and he might just reach his potential if so.“