COMMENT By Matt Farr
Newcastle soared to a comfortable 3-1 win over Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday night, extending their lead at the top of the Championship table.
However, it was not a match without poor performances from certain individuals in the Newcastle eleven and here, Football Insider analyses the three worst players from the victory.
There were times when Colback looked the part against Huddersfield, but it was often overshadowed by his tendency to fall into the liability category.
Tasked with the role of a ball-winner in the Newcastle midfield, Colback spent much of the game challenging the man rather than for the ball, picking up a silly yellow card for his efforts in the first-half.
The 27-year-old now has nine yellow cards from 21 Championship appearances, but the sacrifices he is making to get himself in the referee’s notebook are not proving worthy to the team.
Newcastle and Huddersfield have both shown the quality of a team preparing for life in the Premier League over the course of the season and Colback really needs to up his game if he is to return to that level.
Atsu gave an impressive display in the previous victory over Brighton, but fell away against Huddersfield.
He wasn’t particularly effective in the final third, with the majority of Newcastle’s attacks running through Matt Ritchie on the opposite flank.
The Ghana international made the necessary effort to try and influence proceedings, but it ultimately wasn’t a game for him to look back on in with any real pride.
His lack of strength on the ball was exploited by Huddersfield, as he was brushed off the ball on several occasions all too easily.
As the game progressed, he became more and more isolated on the right-hand side, and was eventually subbed off for DeAndre Yedlin.
One of the more forgettable performances from Diame in a Newcastle shirt. He has been such an asset to Rafa Benitez’s side in attack over the course of the season, but on Saturday it was quite the polar opposite.
His first touch was particularly poor, which was an alarming factor for someone who expects to receive so much of the ball.
Meanwhile, his attacking influence just simply wasn’t up to standard. Fans were less than impressed with his overall contribution to the victory, raising questions over his ability to produce the goods on the big occasion ahead of their likely return to the Premier League.
Perhaps his best contribution to the victory was his ability to waste time, and run down the clock in the latter stages.
In other Newcastle news, Mike Ashley is planning a stunning £30million Rangers swoop in the summer.