It was another defeat and another game that saw us ship too many soft goals, but there were were a few positives to take from Saturday’s 4-1 loss at Old Trafford.
One of those was Joe Willock, who put in his best performance for the club since he signed a permanent deal at St James’ Park.
He’s been known for his energy, movement and ability to score goals since he first arrived on Tyneside earlier this year, however he showed the other side of his game against Man Utd.
As revealed by Sky Sports, his NINE tackles was not only a weekend high from all 10 Premier League fixtures, but the highest number of tackles anyone has completed in a game so far this season.
Here’s the table below, which came up on Monday Night Football after Everton’s 3-1 win over Burnley:
Considering Steve Bruce failed to sign a defensive midfielder in Hamza Choudhury on deadline day, it will be a huge boost to our survival hopes if Willock can contribute at both ends of the pitch.
We know he makes great runs into the box, carries the ball forward forcefully and has an eye for goal, but it’s great to see him also doing the dirty work so well.
Mix this with the sort of goals he was scoring over the second half of last season and we’ll have a well-rounded box to box midfielder on our hands.