While Newcastle snatched a last-gasp draw at Everton, their overall performance was a real cause for concern.
Florian Lejeune’s stoppage time brace handed Newcastle a point they didn’t deserve at all, with the Magpies barely laying a glove on their opponents until late on.
We couldn’t keep the ball. We didn’t create anything. It was another rough watch, yet somehow we got a point out of it.
The Longstaff brothers started in centre midfield, and despite doing well away to Wolves the other week, they really struggled at Goodison Park.
Sloppy in possession all night, Newcastle never had any real control of the game. It was only in the final 15 minutes that they managed to dominate possession, but it was pointless pass after pointless pass, unable to penetrate the Everton defence.
Sean in particular was poor, looking slow and sluggish. Matty was a bit better, but it was far from his usual high standards.
The Longstaffs are still young and have a big future in black and white. But right now, it’s clear that new recruit Nabil Bentaleb can walk into this team.
The former Tottenham man can be the force in midfield we need, someone who can put his foot on the ball and keep it with purpose.
His new teammates’ struggles will have helped Bentaleb out, as it only increased the possibility of him getting an early chance to impress Steve Bruce.
The lack of Jonjo Shelvey was certainly a miss, and Isaac Hayden was out of position most of the night. But there’s clearly a chance for Bentaleb to make a mark on this team straight away.