It was a promising yet ultimately frustrating Saturday afternoon at St James’ Park, as defensive mistakes cost us our first win of the season.
There were lots of positives to take from the game, but results elsewhere mean that our task of staying up has got harder.
Below we rate the performance of each player.
Karl Darlow – 3 – It is harsh to be critical of any player, but Karl Darlow isn’t good enough in the top flight. He should have saved Toney’s goal, while he flapped at one cross to give Toney an open goal. Luckily Fabian Schar was on hand to clear. Martin Dubravka needs to be back next week.
Jacob Murphy – 5 – The wing back is getting better in the role defensively, but he is still targeted. Rico Henry was given too much space at times and he punished us. In possession, Murphy was good.
Fabian Schar – 4 – It was good to see him back and some of his distribution was excellent. However, he still has issues at the back and he struggled to deal with Ivan Toney’s physicality.
Jamaal Lascelles – 5 – The skipper is always a threat from set pieces and he took his goal well. Like the others at the back, he struggled to deal with Brentford. The own goal was unlucky, but showed his lack of confidence in his defensive ability at the moment.
Ciaran Clark – 4 – The Irishman is in the team as he is left footed. He looked more confident with the ball, but again, struggled against the pace and movement of the Brentford attack. We need better defenders.
Matt Ritchie – 5 – It was a committed display from the converted winger. His assist for the first goal showed his quality from dead balls. Defensively, he has issues.
Jonjo Shelvey – 6.5 – Eddie Howe spoke Shelvey up during his pre match press conference. It was easy to see why, as some of his passes were excellent today. His lack of mobility does expose the defence and his poor attempt at winning the ball back prior to Brentford’s third cost us.
Joe Willock – 7 – This was a much better performance from Willock, as he showed his energy and ability in both halves of the pitch. His lay off for Allan Saint-Maximin showed his awareness in the final third, but the Frenchman struck wide.
Joelinton – 8.5* – The Brazilian had his best day for Newcastle, with his goal being excellently taken. He was a threat throughout and showed his ability to link the play. Late on, he tired and will be disappointed that he slipped when through on goal with the game on the line.
Allan Saint-Maximin – 8 – He was very threatening throughout and should have scored more on the day. The Frenchman had some excellent chances and managed to take one to equalise in the second half. He should have got the assist for the winner, but Joelinton slipped.
Callum Wilson – 7 – The striker wasn’t given many clear cut opportunities of his own, but his movement caused a lot of problems for Brentford. It was a solid performance. He will be hoping for more chances in the coming weeks.
Ryan Fraser – 7 – It was an impressive cameo from the Scottish international. He assisted the equaliser and made a few more good contributions down the right.
Sean Longstaff – 6 – He didn’t do a lot to catch the eye, but he was tidy in possession and always looking to be positive with the ball. A few loose touches.