Joelinton and Paul Dummett positivity but it's been a Jonjo Shelvey shocker for Newcastle United – Liam Kennedy's half-time player ratings
Things are all square at the break at St James’ Park as Newcastle United and Aston Villa battle away in a war of Premier League attrition.
But how have the players performed in the opening 45? Here’s Liam Kennedy’s HT player ratings...
Martin Dubravka – 6
When called upon has done the simple things well. Not all that much to contend with in the opening 45 minutes bar a few long-range efforts and crosses.
Emil Krafth – 5
Plenty of effort and endeavour but needs to face his winger up instead of backing off at every attempt. His poor decision-making puts the rest of the United backline under pressure.
Jamaal Lascelles – 6
Defensively solid from the skipper. Has done the simple things reasonably well, even if his passing out from the back is expectedly limited.
Ciaran Clark – 7
Has covered well when Dummett has needed it outside of him. And has continued his excellent form from West Brom into this one. Has seen lots of the ball at his feet.
Paul Dummett – 7
Defensively solid against some challenging Villa widemen and has also provided a delivery option from the left-hand side.
Jonjo Shelvey – 3
Distribution has been absolutely awful. Has passed the ball out of play more often than he has found a black and white shirt in the opening 45.
Joe Willock – 5
Attempting to drop into pockets of space but has looked a little lost in the midfield at times.
Isaac Hayden – 5
Not that comfortable out on the left of the three but has put plenty of work in to keep things tight down that side.
Joelinton – 7
A physical threat and has given England international Tyrone Mings something to think about off the right. But his decision-making always seems to let him down at the key moment.
Ryan Fraser – 5
One early powerful strike from the ‘false nine’ role but has done little else to hurt the opposition.
Dwight Gayle – 5
Has switched central from time to time but mostly operating off the left. A little bit of a nonentity out wide. Doesn’t really look to have the adaptability to fit into this new Newcastle system… so far.