Newcastle United surprised everyone with their late revival to land a respectable 12th position in the Premier League this season.
In the context of the season, the position is widely welcomed, but there are still plenty of issues at the club, mostly lying in the club’s dugout.. Steve Bruce.
But there are issues on the pitch as well. There have been some real disappointing displays across the campaign from certain players.
Here’s a run-through of Newcastle’s five worst players according to stats on WhoScored, in order of best to worstThe only rule is that they must’ve played 10 games or more.
Sean Longstaff – 6.36
The Geordie midfielder had a trifling season of being in and out of the first-team line-up. It wasn’t until the final third of the campaign that Longstaff was able to showcase his ability. He was a standout performer in Newcastle’s 2-1 win over Burnley at Turf Moor.
You’d think that if the 23-year-old was offered a platform and got a string of performances behind him next season, then we might get a chance to see him truly flourish.
Jamal Lewis – 6.34
Granted 20 league starts, there was hope for more from Lewis. He provided a rather tepid season on the left flank, an area where Newcastle were exposed on a number of occasions. For a wing-back of his stature – a little more nibble than most – you’d expect him to flourish in getting forward.
“But Lewis just mustered 1.2 dribbles per 90 minutes – only half of which were successful. Averaging 0.7 key passes in the same period, too, hardly speaks of brilliance. However, at 23 years old, there’s room for growth and patience will be required, especially given the £15million the club paid for him.
“That’s not to say the Northern Ireland international’s season has been completely terrible. It has not. Glimmers of potential were there for everyone to see. We just need more of that next season.
Jeff Hendrick – 6.33
Hendrick’s move was seen as a good piece of business at the time. A solid Premier League experienced player who could plug in where needed and offer some reliability – and at only 29 years old, it was a win-win. Instead, Hendrick became the player most synonymous with Steve Bruce’s dour style of player – and his constant choosing over the aforementioned Longstaff did no favours in garnering popularity from fans.
“He started his debut season brilliantly with his debut goal against West Ham, but soon Hendrick was known for his backward passing and lack of urgency. How did such a transfer backfire so badly?
Andy Carroll – 6.31
After years of speculation of a grand return to St James’ Park, in 2019 the pony-tailed Geordie finally did come back. But his move back to his boyhood club wasn’t the Hollywood tale some (me included) thought it might’ve been.
“Carroll’s career has been marred with injury, but despite being relatively fit throughout this campaign, Carroll failed to provide anything of note. His single goal against Leicester City was a lovely moment, but at this stage, the club has outgrown him. Carroll’s career will sadly go down the Jonathan Woodgate path of ‘what might’ve been’.
Dwight Gayle – 6.21
Gayle only made four starts this season for Newcastle, coming off the bench 14 times in total. If his job was to be an impact substitute he failed quite miserably, scoring a single goal and providing a single assist in the 506 minutes of game-time he had. He only averaged 0.2 shots per 90 minutes, 0.4 dribble attempts, and 1.4 unsuccessful passes in the same time frame.
“In the interest of fairness, despite being only 5 feet 7 inches in height, the 31-year-old succeeded in averaging 2.0 successful headers per 90 minutes. The one which assisted Joe Willock to score late on against Liverpool will go down as one of his most significant – and perhaps his last – moments of magic for Newcastle.