Joelinton quality shines, Danny Rose blooms & the two strikers experiment – Liam Kennedy highlights his SEVEN Newcastle United takeaways from Villa draw

One point gained or two points dropped?

Thursday, 25th June 2020, 10:00 am
Aston Villa's Brazilian midfielder Douglas Luiz (R) vies for the ball against Newcastle United's English defender Jamaal Lascelles (2nd R) during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on June 24, 2020.

A Steve Bruce favourite Ahmed Eissa Elmohamady stole in at the front post to nod home a late, unlikely equaliser for Aston Villa as Newcastle United looked set to stroll to their second win since the Premier League as we know it returned.

But what did Liam Kennedy learn from the 90 minutes at St James’s Park? Here’s his top SEVEN takeaways from the 1-1 draw.

Joelinton – strength to strength?

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He’s taken the stick on the chin and never shirked, now it’s time for some praise for the Brazilian.

While some will see Andy Carroll’s ‘role back the years’ show off the bench as a sign he should start – I think Joelinton’s performance was all-action, physical and tough against a massive, rugged Villa backline.

He led the line and could have had a goal, but for an outstanding block from Tyrone Mings.

ASM on the wing – but the right not the left?

Allan Saint-Maximin has the skills you just can’t teach. The confidence that is uncoachable. And strikes more fear into opposition defenders than a love child of Freddy Krueger and that lass from The Ring (Not seen it? Not sure you want to).

But he always starts on the left. As Jonjo Shelvey – anonymous last night – that’s his spot. But is it really his best position? Every time he switches flanks with Matt Ritchie he comes alive.

Maybe a rethink needed?

Miguel? Are you there?

Newcastle played with 10 men while Miguel Almiron was on the pitch.

I am a massive fan of the likeable, energetic, smile on the face Paraguayan. But this performance was enough to wipe the grin off anyone’s boat race.

Chalk and Cheese for this NUFC defender

Federico Fernandez has gone from the Magpies’ stand out defender against Sheffield United to their most suspect last night.

His distribution was particularly woeful on a forgettable evening for the Argentine.

He’ll bounce back though. Still a class act.

But the best showing in black and white for another

While it was not the best day for one of United’s back four it was the best in black and white for another.

Danny Rose has been less than impressive since arriving from Tottenham Hotspur in January, but after a steady return against Sheffield United, the England international was an influence at both ends at St James’s Park.

More of the same v Manchester City is required.

Two up top – a help and a hindrance

Bruce’s tactical change helped open the game up – bringing Dwight Gayle on to partner Andy Carroll, who was again inspired off the bench.

But while it brought a goal, it also opened United up at the other end – and the equaliser was, in the end, well-deserved for the visitors.

Gayle picks up where he left off – but better!

Gayle breathed new life into Newcastle’s starting XI before the coronavirus struck.

Against Southampton back in the first week of March he was an upgrade on Joelinton up top – but similar to the Brazilian didn’t trouble the scorers.

In fact, Gayle contrived to miss a number of gilt-edged opportunities in the game.

This time though, his transformative appearance brought a goal, his first of the season.

All of a sudden United look to have an option or two up top.