Gayle & Hayden praise, but a tough day for Lewis & Krafth – Liam Kennedy's SEVEN Newcastle United takeaways

Newcastle United made it back-to-back Premier League wins with a Dwight Gayle-inspired victory against West Brom at St James’s Park – but what did our writer Liam Kennedy learn from the 90-minute show?

Here’s his SEVEN Newcastle United takeaways...

What’s happened to Jamal Lewis?

When Jamal Lewis was signed he looked like an attacking full-back, delivering balls galore into the box at West Ham, a real addition to the Newcastle United backline.

Newcastle United's English striker Dwight Gayle (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on December 12, 2020.

His performances of late, bar maybe the Everton win, have been rather poor.

And Saturday's was another. West Brom caused him all kinds of problems down the United left, which was typified by the 'half asleep' attempt at a clearance for the Baggies equaliser.

Needs to sharpen up a little.

Almiron should be one of first names on teamsheet


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Miguel Almiron's finish for his first goal of the season was like he'd scored ten already.

It was a top class finish from a player who has not quite hit the heights of last season, for whatever reason.

For me, he'd always be in my starting XI, no matter the opposition, no matter the position.

Nothing convincing about Krafth


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End of attack at one end, like an open gate at the other.

The more I see of Emil Krafth the more question marks I have about his allround game.

The Sweden international has very little quality on the ball and fails to prevent the opposition getting around him defensively.

Surely DeAndre Yedlin would be a better bet in the absence of Javier Manquillo?


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Wilson threat – even without the goals

Callum Wilson has been a breath of fresh air for Newcastle United's forward play this campaign.

Even when he is not scoring the striker provides a real threat to defenders with his movement and pace.

All he needs is someone to support him because at times Joelinton struggles to provide that, particularly on the break.


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Joelinton improving, but very slowly

Baby steps. Joelinton is a better player than he was last season, but a long way off the level of player Newcastle United require in his position.

His lack of pace is an issue at times, so too his laid back approach holding up the ball.

He is a work in progress, but getting better, little by little.


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Gayle = goals (sometimes, anyway)

Dwight Gayle had been missing for Newcastle United since Project Restart, which he ended with a goal against Premier League champions Liverpool.

Within seconds of his arrival back into Magpies fold he had a header cleared off the line. He then followed it up with a snapshot volley.

When the ball is in the box Gayle is lively to it.


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What a header for the goal, too, against his former club.

Fingers crossed he can stay fit to strike up a proper partnership with United top scorer Wilson.

Plenty strings to Hayden’s bow

After an early season defensive horror show out of position against Spurs, Isaac Hayden was much more solid and assured in a defensive role. The opposition probably helped, mind.


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He may not always be everyone's pick in a starting XI, he has proven himself a more than useful player in a number of roles for United in recent seasons.

He has his limitations but there is still a lot to like about Hayden.

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

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