Newcastle United power rankings: Who is on the rise and whose stock has fallen?
It may only be five games into the new Premier League season but people are already looking at next weekend’s visit of Brighton as a must win for Newcastle United.
The Magpies have won just one game since Steve Bruce took over in the summer – but United have not been as bad as their results suggest. Saturday’s weekend loss at Liverpool was testament to that. The problem at the weekend was that Champions League winners and Premier League leaders Liverpool’s second gear is quicker than United’s sixth.
Here we take a look at three players whose stock has risen ahead of the Seagulls’ game, as well as assessing three players who head coach Bruce must assess over the next six days.
EMIL KRAFTH 📉
Fresh from international duty this was the Swede’s chance to show the early season wobbles were just a minor bump in the road.
Sadly, the right-back was hooked mid way through the second half by Bruce in order to stem the Liverpool tide.
It was a very difficult afternoon for Krafth – and Bruce must now decide whether to stick with his first-choice defender or opt for the safer Javier Manquillo, who replaced him at Anfield.
JETRO WILLEMS 📈
Another who had a shaky start to life at St James’s Park, but with every game seems to be getting better and better.
Clearly a player who needs more gametime, but the international break looks to have done the world of good for his sharpness and fitness.
Still not 100% there, as he faded badly in the second half, but looks like he could become a real asset in this side.
MARTIN DUBRAVKA 📉
The Slovakian international ranks as one of the best goalkeepers in the division, few would argue about that.
While he is top class most of the time he does have the odd error in him – and on Saturday he dropped a clanger that allowed Sadio Mane to add Liverpool’s second after United had thrown away a lead at Anfield.
A new contract looks to be in the offing, though, and should he get that all signed and sealed, United will have managed to hang on to one of their prize assets.
ISAAC HAYDEN 📈
No matter the opposition, Hayden produces the goods.
The hard yards he puts in, with and without the ball, are invaluable.
A lot of his good work went unrewarded on Saturday, but that does not mean it was not noticed.
One thing it would be good to see him add to his game is a goal or two. He’s definitely got that in his locker.
CHRISTIAN ATSU 📉
Since he’s come into the team, he’s been a revelation. The pace he’s added has had a big impact on this United team.
He can take the team from A to B very quickly, and is just as impressive when he drops back into defensive positions.
But, this one was an off day for Atsu.
He was at fault for the second goal when he gave the ball away when a simple pass was on to a teammate.
ANDY CARROLL 📈
He hasn’t even kicked a ball but his stock is already on the rise.
Post-match Bruce again opened up the idea of Carroll being on the bench against Brighton.
Newcastle need another option up front – and Carroll could be just the man. The only issue would be his lack of games and training.
Bruce seems the type of manager who might just take the risk, though.