Newcastle United mid-season awards Q&A: Best player, goal, unsung hero and January targets
Eddie Howe’s Newcastle are sitting third in the Premier League table with 30 points. It is the club’s best start to a season since the 1995-96 campaign, a season which saw them finish second and come within touching distance of claiming the Premier League title.
Our Newcastle United writers Miles Starforth and Dominic Scurr assess the opening 15 matches of the season and highlight the key players, moments and matches witnessed so far...
1. Miles’ Newcastle player of the season so far
Miles’ view: It has to be Miguel Almiron, who’s really stepped up this season. There was some disappointment on Tyneside when the club failed to sign a winger in the summer, and right wing was seen as something of a problem position for Howe. Yet left-footed Almiron has been a revelation on that side, and leads the scoring chart with eight goals.
2. Dominic’s Newcastle player of the season so far
Dominic’s view: It could be one of several players and Miguel Almiron is certainly the most obvious one given his goalscoring form over the past month. But before the start of October, the Paraguayan was still struggling to make an impact in the final third which is why I’ve gone for a player who has been performing at the very top level since the first game of the season. Fabian Schar has barely put a foot wrong in defence for Newcastle this season and has flown under the radar slightly as arguably Newcastle’s best player so far. The one game he missed was United’s only defeat suffered in the league this season. Kieran Trippier is another who deserves huge credit given the level he’s been playing at so far this season and the difference he’s made at both ends of the field.
Photo: Julian Finney
3. Miles’ unsung hero
Miles’ view: I’m not sure Fabian Schar gets the credit he deserves. The defender, restored to the team by Howe last winter after a couple of months in the cold, is a good foil for Sven Botman. Schar has been committed out of possession and composed off the ball, and it’s not hard to see why Howe rates him so highly.
4. Dominic’s unsung hero
Dominic’s view: Sean Longstaff has been a slightly underappreciated player in Newcastle’s side this season in my opinion. At the start of the season, many would have been happy to see him as a regular on the bench. But an injury to Bruno Guimaraes early on saw Longstaff get his chance and it’s one he’s been able to take. Without being particularly flashy and still prone to the odd dawdling on the ball, the midfielder has brought so much energy and hard work to the middle of the park for Newcastle which has really helped make a difference over the past couple of months.
Photo: ANDY BUCHANAN