Newcastle United have lost their opening pre-season game of the summer.
The Magpies were beaten 1-0 by York City, with Michael Duckworth netting a late header for the hosts.
Pre-season cannot really be looked into too much.
That being said, it was a bit of a worry to see such lethargy.
That would have been partly down to the heat.
But Steve Bruce used many senior players on the day, and the Magpies really didn’t threaten all too often.
Allan Saint-Maximin was by far and away the best player on the park after he came on at half-time.
The Frenchman was a cut above everyone else, although he couldn’t find the breakthrough for the visitors.
One man who did do quite well despite the defeat, was defender Kell Watts.
The 21-year-old played a full 90 minutes at the LNER Community Stadium.
He lined up as the left centre-back, and moved into the middle when Federico Fernandez went off in the second-half.
The youngster, who’s had loan spells with Plymouth Argyle, Mansfield Town and Stevenage in the last couple of years, was impressive playing out from the back, and generally solid defensively.
He also made one crucial block in the second-half before York’s goal came late on.
It is certainly a solid start to pre-season for him personally, and hopefully he’ll keep it up over the next few weeks.
On social media, there has been some fury about the result, but some fans reserved praise for young Watts:
— Rob Nicholson (@rob_nicka) July 18, 2021
That was a typical pre season performance, we looked so tired in the second half. No need to panic though, we always look dire in pre season.
Watts and Murphy the only real positives. ASM had some nice moments, and I thought Fraser did alright as a no. 8. #NUFC
— Sanjay (@nufcsanjay) July 18, 2021
Watts, ASM and Joelinton the only ones who were decent.
Watts was the best player, impressed with him https://t.co/GOhzaLpncc
— ⚫⚪ NUFC_Warrior ⚪⚫ (@NUFCWARRIOR1) July 18, 2021
Kell watts played well #NUFC
— Ginola’s left foot (@Ldntoon) July 18, 2021
You can see why we are after ball playing cb or 2 and a new cm key to us upping the pace of our game, watts has looked good though #nufc
— DavidBaty-81 (@DavyBaty81) July 18, 2021
Ryan Fraser looking lively and also been very impressed with kell watts #NUFC
— 🍻⚫️Nath__D⚪️🍻 (@NufcNath92) July 18, 2021
Only positive from today is how impressive kell watts is
— james 🙂 (@jamess_t5) July 18, 2021
York aren’t in the football league, but are we playing 5 at the back, looks like the plan for the whole season! Hendrick looks invisible, but Kell Watts is looking like our answer at CB, looks much better than Ajer and we don’t have to pay a penny! #NUFC
— Ben Holbrook (@ben_holbrook14) July 18, 2021