The result was poor. The final 10 minutes offer a little bit of promise though going forward. Jonjo Shelvey was sorely missed in Newcastle’s 1-0 loss at Huddersfield Town on Sunday. It is apparent that Newcastle have no chance of scoring with Ayoze Perez and Dwight Gayle up top. The Toon finally showed signs of life once new boy Joselu entered the fold.
Pressed for options along the backline, Rafa Benitez started Chancel Mbemba at left back. He did not have the best of days, but certainly could have been worse off playing a new position. Mikel Merino made his first start as well, leaving a lot to be desired. These rankings are not as kind as they were a week ago against Spurs.
Rob Elliot- 6
Decent day for the Ireland goalkeeper. Made a couple of good saves early on in the contest. Misplayed a few set piece opportunities though. Not much he could have done about the goal.
Javier Manquillo- 5
Another below average performance from Manquillo leaves fans itching for the return of DeAndre Yedlin. While the former Atletico man showed signs of life on offense, his poor marking led to the goal from Aaron Mooy.
Jamaal Lascelles- 6
An unspectacular showing from Lascelles. Controlled the area with his head on set pieces. Limited the number of shots that Elliot had to face.
Ciaran Clark- 6
Surprisingly, Clark started alongside Lascelles rather than out wide. He played well and even launched a couple of searching long balls off of free kicks to give Newcastle a chance to attack.
Chancel Mbemba- 6
Evaluating his play purely as a defender, this is deserved. Taking into account that Mbemba is not a left back, he was very good today. Positioning was tough, but he held up. Hopeless though on offense.
Mikel Merino- 5
Poor passing and an inability to properly clear gave Huddersfield several chances in the early goings. He closed down well, but not a great performance.
Isaac Hayden- 5
Losing the possession battle to Huddersfield is less than ideal. A lot of that falls on Hayden’s shoulders.
Christian Atsu- 5
Struggled to retain possession. He showed off his speed once again, but it was nowhere near as effective as it was against Spurs. Did not seem inclined to play much defense either.
Ayoze Perez- 5
Decent passing showing from Perez, setting up Ritchie and Joselu with chances. His finishing was poor though. He skied a very real possibility at an equalizer in the closing minutes.
Matt Ritchie- 7
Easily the best Newcastle player on the pitch. He came inches away from scoring around 15 minutes in and continued to work hard to create chances late into the match.
Dwight Gayle- 4
Poor service aside, Dwight Gayle was nowhere to be found in this match. He barely touched the ball and snatched at the few chances he had. Unlikely he will start Newcastle’s next match.
The offense immediately improved as soon as Joselu stepped on the field. He used his size to control the ball in a way Gayle could not.
Mo Diame- 6
Seeing playing time in the absence of Shelvey. Did not really do much. Avoided mistakes though and aided in the late pressure from the Magpies.
Jacob Murphy- N/A
Not enough time to earn a rating this week for the former Norwich man. He showed some promise though in his short time. He definitely has the potential to contribute.