4 positives, 4 negatives from Newcastle 1-1 Everton – Observations from St James’ Park

After controlling most of the game and missing some big chances to make it 2-0, last night’s 1-1 draw with Everton felt so avoidable.

In this piece, I’ve picked out some of the positives and negatives I took away from the game at St James’ Park after watching on from the Gallowgate.


Elliot Anderson – His first start in six months and I thought he gave us something different. Set the tone from the off, constantly finding space, drove us forward and offered that disruptive presence that the Everton midfield struggled to cope with. His energy, ingenuity and aggression was great to see. It felt like we were harder to play against a far less of a soft touch with him in the side.

Better defensively – Dan Burn was rock solid at centre-back and looks far more comfortable in the middle after several shaky displays at left-back. We limited Everton to very few efforts on goal and both centre-backs did very little wrong. I thought Lewis Hall also showed another side to his game in this one, winning his fair share in the air and adding some balance to our back four before ‘fatigue’ forced him off.

First half control – Too many of our games at St James’ Park have been end to end, chaotic and energy-sapping, but I thought we controlled the game so well in the first half in particular. We looked much more measured, kept the ball well and were no longer gifting the opposition chances to break on the counter. It’s bittersweet to say this when we threw it away in the second, but the approach was encouraging and on another day we’d have taken those chances before handing Everton that chance to equalise.

Alexander Isak – He’s top class. We threw away two points at the death, but he’ll win us games in the final eight matches of the season on current form. Up to 15 for the season – 19 in all comps – has scored in each of his last five home games and is answering questions over his fitness after coming through another 90 minutes unscathed.


Missed chance and momentum killer – It could’ve been very different, but it’s hugely frustrating to drop two points so late against such a beatable Everton side. With West Ham and Wolves only managing a point and Man Utd taking on Chelsea tomorrow night, we’ve wasted the chance to move back into seventh, move clear of other European rivals and make up further ground on Man Utd. It also feels like a chance missed to build on the momentum and confidence we’ll have taken from beating West Ham on Saturday.

Injuries and bench – I counted 12 senior players unavailable for selection and Howe confirmed after the game that Livramento and Miggy will be missing for a month, with Trippier also ruled out of Fulham on Saturday. We looked threadbare again and the bench told a story, with two four youngsters and two goalkeepers selected giving Howe little to work with when we began to fade.

Paul Dummett – There’s talk of us handing him a new one-year deal after ACL injuries to Lascelles and Botman but he doesn’t look up to it at Premier League level. Moment of madness aside, he moved like a former pro playing Masters football and his decision making for the penalty was that of a player who has featured seven times in three seasons. All that aside, it’s worth noting that this isn’t all on him; we’d have won it before his error had we taken our chances.

Martin Dubravka – This may seem like a minor one and I don’t mean to pick on him, but there was four or five occasions when he came for the ball and either A) didn’t shout to make our defenders aware or B) was ignored as our defenders didn’t trust him to sweep up. If he wasn’t doing that, he was rooted to his goal mouth and reluctant to claim high balls into the box. Our defence protected him in the main, but his hesitance off his line does not inspire confidence.

About Olly Hawkins

As a Junior Magpie since birth and season ticket holder, I eat, sleep and breathe all things NUFC! Here at the blog, I aim to bring you news, views, match reports and transfer exclusives as and when I get them.

3 thoughts on “4 positives, 4 negatives from Newcastle 1-1 Everton – Observations from St James’ Park

  1. How players like Dummet are still at this club is beyond me, never any good in his prime never mind now.
    Our squad (when fully fit) is carrying too many passengers yet they are given extended contracts etc for being good for morale around the place.
    We’d have been better off having Alex Murphy on the bench than Dummet, I’m loathe to have a go at Howe but how many players like Dummet, Ritchie and even Lascelles would be here if a top manager was appointed.
    I know Lascelles has been ok this season but he should have been one of the first out the door along with the likes of Dummet, Ritchie etc imo.
    Totally agree about our keeper as well, how someone defended him the other day is beyond me.


  2. Howe defending Dummet is ridiculous, he is as we are led to believe an experienced defender who should have enough awareness not to foul a 38 year old relic in the box with 2 minutes remaining, and was given an extended contract by the club yet rarely ever plays due to injury. This says as much about Howe as it does Dummet.
    Longstaff may be playing with an injury but he can’t pass a ball and he gives it away all to often, he is like Forest Gump an Almiron clone who just keeps running.
    Anderson and Hall give us hope for the future, delighted for Burn in his favoured position, are you taking note Eddie!


  3. Longstaff has become some fans scapegoat this season wasn’t that last season when fans were saying should be in England squad huge miss when he wasn’t playing call Longstaff you call Willock them who hasn’t set the world alight since he came back be consistent if your calling players


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