Eddie Howe’s clear message to new Newcastle United signing, Fabian Schar’s fury and new contract – moments missed
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Eddie Howe made one change to the Newcastle side that beat Aston Villa 4-0 at St James’s Park in the previous match. Joelinton’s yellow-card suspension forced the United head coach to bring in Jacob Murphy on the left-wing in place of the Brazilian.
The 27-year-old was preferred to the recently injury-free Allan Saint-Maximin on this occasion with the Frenchman remaining on the bench. And it was on the bench where an interesting change was made by Howe.
Elliot Anderson returned as a substitute following a minor injury, as did goalkeeper Karl Darlow. Darlow suffered an ankle injury in September which forced Newcastle to make a free agent signing outside of the transfer window, bringing in Loris Karius as goalkeeper cover.
But with Darlow returning to full training ahead of the match, Howe had a decision whether to bring him or Karius to St Mary’s Stadium as cover for Nick Pope.
A newly-fit Darlow’s presence on the bench ahead of Karius made Howe’s goalkeeping pecking-order quite apparent. Karius is still yet to feature for Newcastle and his chances of starting in the Carabao Cup against Crystal Palace on Wednesday have now suffered a blow with Darlow back in contention.
Under-21s goalkeeper Jude Smith travelled with the squad to Southampton as additional goalkeeper support while Karius wasn’t seen.
England manager Gareth Southgate watches on as Newcastle have double injury scare
A seventh goal in seven matches from Miguel Almiron saw him give Newcastle the lead after Callum Wilson played him in.
Wilson had been suffering from illness during the week but was always expected to start the match with England boss Gareth Southgate watching on for the second week running. Southgate is set to announce his England squad for the 2022 World Cup this Thursday and Wilson is understood to have a chance of being named in it.
But when the Newcastle No. 9 was substituted off at half-time, many feared the worst given his injury record. But Wilson put any fears to rest after the match as he tweeted: “Fun in the Sun Another W on the road! Annoying illness got the better of me in the end but we rest up and go again next week.”
Head coach Howe also explained: "With Callum, he was unwell in the week, declared himself fit to play today. Felt a little bit light-headed at half-time. I think he’s fine physically, he was just suffering with a bit of illness, so we withdrew him.”
Chris Wood replaced Wilson at half-time and doubled Newcastle’s advantage with his first goal of the season shortly afterwards.
Still, there was another England injury concern at Newcastle with Kieran Trippier limping off at half-time holding his hamstring. The 32-year-old right-back opted to continue, but looked in some discomfort.
"I felt it tighten up as I stretched but I came out in the second half to carry on, I’m okay,” Trippier said afterwards.
Trippier showed no signs of any injury as he demonstrated a good turn of pace to launch a Newcastle attack and play a pinpoint ball through to Joe Willock to make it 3-0 to the visitors.
Newcastle United contract extension triggered
Jonjo Shelvey’s introduction for Jacob Murphy after 65 minutes saw the midfielder make his 200th appearance for Newcastle and trigger a one-year contract extension in the process.
Shelvey signed for Newcastle from Swansea City for £12million in January 2016 and his contract was set to expire at the end of the current campaign. But during pre-season the 30-year-old confirmed that he would trigger a one-year extension on his deal once he made his 200th appearance for the club. The new deal is understood to be worth around £3million.
Fabian Schar’s furious reaction
It’s clear the standards are high at Newcastle. So when Southampton’s Romain Perraud waltzed through the Magpies’ defence to pull back a late consolation for the hosts, there was visible disappointment on the pitch.
United were well on their way to keeping their fourth clean sheet in five Premier League games and seventh in total for the season before being undone by a late lapse of concentration.
Substitute Elliot Anderson – who was playing in an unnatural right wing-back position – allowed Perraud to slip through on goal before sending the covering Dan Burn for a proverbial hot dog and finding the right corner of the goal.
Defender Fabian Schar didn’t hide his feelings on the sloppy goal to concede as he stood on the edge of the penalty area and gestured in disgust. Even though his side had effectively already secured another three points, they were minutes away from another clean sheet and now the 'best defence in the league’ is now only the joint best.
The trademark Newcastle United celebration
Newcastle would ultimately have the last laugh at St Mary’s as Bruno Guimaraes emphatically curled in his third goal of the campaign into the bottom right corner of the goal from 25-yards to make it 4-1.
The Brazilian ran off in celebration, and made an ‘M’ symbol with his hands in tribute to his newborn son Matteo. But it was Guimaraes’ knee-slide that also caught the eye as the Newcastle players made the most of the damp conditions on the south coast.
All four of United’s goalscorers adopted the knee-slide celebration upon finding the net, something that is becoming somewhat of a trademark within the squad.
Newcastle’s best start to a Premier League season in 26 years
The win took Newcastle up to third in the Premier League table. Their points total of 27 is their best return after 14 matches since the 1996-97 campaign when they picked up 29 points and eventually ended the campaign in second place.
The big question is just how high can Newcastle finish this season?