By Richard Parks
Jamie Carragher has slammed Dwight Gayle as below the standard required for a Newcastle United centre-forward.
The Liverpool legend told Monday Night Football, which was broadcast on Sky Sports’ Main Event channel, in his analysis of Newcastle’s shock 1-0 win against Manchester United on Sunday that Gayle deserves some of the criticism that comes his way.
But the Sky pundit also paid tribute to the striker, 27, for his assist that set up Matt Richie for the second-half matchwinner against United at St James’ Park.
“The centre forward has had a lot of criticism and he’s not quite up to standard,” Carragher told Monday Night Football. “They brought in Slimani and I think what we see here – the touch for the goal – is one of the assists of the weekend. It’s similar to Olivier Giroud’s (for Chelsea against West Brom).
“That is a brilliant touch, round the corner and Ritchie finishes. It’s a great finish.”
Gayle scored 23 league goals from 32 matches as Newcastle secured promotion from the Championship but he has not been able to match those feats in the top division.
The former Crystal Palace striker has scored just three goals and supplied three assists from 27 matches in all competitions this season, with 15 of them starts.
Following the January loan signing of Islam Slimani from Leicester City, Gayle is set to be pushed down the pecking order at Newcastle.
The Magpies’ win against Man United lifted them to 13th in the Premier League table, five places and two points above the drop zone.
It was their first triumph against the Premier League’s second placed club in five years.
In other Newcastle United news, Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has claimed that one Toon player was an “absolute joy to watch” in their triumph against Man United.