Shelvey madness, the Willock 'no brainer' & Dubravka rolling back time – Liam Kennedy's SEVEN Newcastle United takeaways

Another point, another step closer to safety for Newcastle United, this time at Champions League chasing Liverpool.

Sunday, 25th April 2021, 12:00 pm

But what did we learn from the Anfield draw? Here’s Liam Kennedy’s SEVEN Newcastle United takeaways.

Play Willock

OK this theory is a little bit flawed.

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The Newcastle United team warm up prior to the Premier League match between Liverpool and Newcastle United at Anfield on April 24, 2021 in Liverpool, England.

Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce can't play Willock in his next game - against parent club Arsenal at St James' Park - but he can in the final four games. And so he should.

I don't actually care who he takes out the team, it's just not right that Willock, who has such a huge impact on games in the final third, doesn't get a look in from the start.

Sign Willock

This is a no brainer.

The player is unlikely to be used as part of an Arsenal reboot next season and would be shown the door if someone puts cash on the table.

Will United do that? Things are going to be tight without a takeover, with Covid hitting the Newcastle bank balance HARD.

Another loan might do it. But whatever happens to Willock in the summer, United need to be right, front and centre.

What an impact he's made.

His goals have just about secured the club's Premier League status.

Stop this Shelvey madness

Given the armband by Steve Bruce, unsurprisingly, and that looks to have secured the player's place in the United midfield until the end of the season, no matter his form.

And to be honest, his form has been very poor of late, even by his standards.

I can just about stomach Shelvey in midfield, just - but what is all of this madness of putting him into centre-half?

This is all getting a bit crazy for me.

Murphy continues to grow

The real breakout player in the United ranks this season, for me, has been Jacob Murphy.

A forward or winger by trade, he's slotted into right wing-back with ease - and week-by-week his defensive work is getting better and better, no matter the opposition.

Long may his upward trajectory continue.

Dubravka back to his absolute best

A point was won by Willock, but crafted by Martin Dubravka.

The Slovak stopper took a few weeks to get right back up to speed when he was brought back into the side but now the keeper is cooking on gas.

Against Burnley a few weeks back he was sensational - against Liverpool he was even better.

This is no slight on Karl Darlow, as he is excellent in his own right, but it makes you wonder where United would be now, if Dubravka had played all season.

Defensive headaches – time for Schar?

United have looked at sixes and sevens at the back since Jamaal Lascelles got injured, so it was timely to see Fabian Schar back in full contact training.

It would be no surprise to see him come in for any one of Paul Dummett, Ciaran Clark or Fede Fernandez, who have been very poor in the last few weeks.

ASM needs protected

Too often now Allan Saint-Maximin gets kicked out of games by the opposition – it is something that needs picked out by referees and nipped in the bud.

Every week now his ankles take a battering. However, it never stops him producing some absolute magic.

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