Sven Botman was arguably Newcastle’s best player against Manchester United, and Jacob Murphy has been very complimentary towards the defender.
The Dutchman started at centre-back alongside Fabian Schar for the third game in a row, and the pair played exceptionally well together. They were our top performers in our Toon player ratings, both receiving an 8/10.
Botman was imperious at the back, and never looked like he would be beaten at Old Trafford. Not even his hero Cristiano Ronaldo could find the net. Legally of course, as he had two efforts correctly chalked off.
The Magpies defended very well against Man United, and really had to dig in in the second half. We played very well in the opening 45 and should have been ahead, but the latter stages were backs to the wall defending.
And Botman stood up to everything.
The 22-year-old is looking better and better each time he plays for Newcastle, and Murphy has provided a very kind assessment of his teammate.
Murphy’s message to Botman
After the game, Botman took to Instagram. Alongside a a selection of pictures from the game, he wrote: “Great point at Old Trafford achieved with a big team effort. Thank you once again fans, see you Wednesday.”
Plenty of Botman’s Toon teammates replied, including Schar, Jamal Lewis and Elliot Anderson. But the best comment came from Murphy.
He wrote: “Football is too easy for you.”
Botman getting better and better
The way Botman plays, he makes it look easy. Murphy probably feels very confident knowing he has the £35million man behind him.
Botman simply looks like a class act, a Rolls Royce of a defender. You rarely see him make a desperate lunge to try and atone for an error.
And when he does slide in, he always seems nailed on to win possession.
Eddie Howe must be very happy with the progress he has seen from Botman in recent weeks. The defender was in and out of the team, but now has to be considered a regular starter.
As Murphy says, football is too easy for him, and it would be crazy to see him left out of the starting XI anytime soon.
However, Howe does now have a decision to make this week. With games on Wednesday and Sunday, the Toon boss must consider whether he should shuffle his pack to keep his squad fresh.
And with Jamaal Lascelles waiting on the bench for an opportunity, there is always a chance Botman could be back among the substitutes, if only temporarily.