NUFC player ratings vs Brentford – Two 9’s, several 8’s, three 7’s, a few 6’s & one frustrating 5

Another week, another dominant Newcastle United performance and another step closer to survival.

The game at Brentford was shaped as an important one, as it gave us the chance to move above the London side in the league table with TWO games in hand. That seemed an unthinkable task just a few weeks ago.

Since then, the two sides have gone in very different directions. This was a huge step closer to survival.

Below, we rate the performances of each player:

Martin Dubravka – 6 –  The keeper will be pleased to keep another clean sheet, but he had very little to do. A smart save at the end did keep his clean sheet in tact.

Emil Krafth – 6.5 – It was a steady performance from the right-back, as he did the simple things well and didn’t do much wrong defensively. In possession, he is limited and at times, his team-mates were frustrated by his lack of movement in the final third. 

Fabian Schar – 8 – The Swiss international was excellent on Saturday. Defensively, he was assured in everything that he did. Meanwhile, his contribution for the second goal showed the class he has on the ball. It was an incredible touch, turn and pass to assist Joe Willock. A centre back shouldn’t be able to do that!

Dan Burn – 7 – Another solid performance from the new signing. He looks at home in our back four and he has added a calmness that was previously lacking. Burn showed his confidence to move up the pitch to contribute to the build-up play in the final third.

Matt Targett – 9 – That is now three outstanding performances in a row from Targett. Defensively, he looks capable of stopping any one in a one-vs-one situation. It is his movement and contributions on the ball that are most impressive. His link-up play with Ryan Fraser was excellent. On another day, he could have scored and got at least one assist. 

Joe Willock – 7 –  The confidence is back for Joe Willock, as he scored for the second successive match. It was a great finish and underlined the fluency in Willock’s game. He faded as the match progressed and made a couple of poor decisions in the final third. On the whole, it was another very good display.

Jonjo Shelvey – 8 – This match was perfect for Shelvey, as he had space to dictate the tempo from deep, spreading the play from side to side. He is currently in his most consistent run of form since joining the club. 

Joelinton – 9* – The big man is our player of the season so far, for me. It was great to see him score the opening goal. The Brazilian took the goal well and hopefully, this sparks more confidence in the final third. In midfield, he is a dominant presence and helped us control the game in those areas. Man of the match.

Ryan Fraser – 8 – The Scot was a constant threat down the left, not only delivering several teasing crosses into the box, but pressing tirelessly and being unlucky not to score with one effort that was well saved by Raya. Got the assist for Joelinton’s goal and would’ve got another had Wood’s header been either side of the goalkeeper.

Jacob Murphy – 5 – It was an afternoon to forget for Murphy, as he struggled to get much change out of Rico Henry. He is always positive in what he is trying to do, but it didn’t come off for him today.

Chris Wood – 6.5 – The New Zealand international is still struggling to carry a goal threat. This was his most threatening game for us, as he came close to scoring from two headers. At times, his team-mates don’t play him in, despite his movement being very good.

SUBS:

Bruno Guimaraes – 6 – It is great to see the midfielder get a little bit longer on the pitch to show his quality. He helped us get control back after the arrival of Christian Eriksen. This will whet the appetite for more playing time in the coming weeks. 

Jamaal Lascelles – N/A – The captain will be frustrated he didn’t play more, but he helped us see out the game without conceding. 

Miguel Almiron – N/A – Only had a few touches, one of which was a tame short at Rayan when he should’ve played in Wood.

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