New signings Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle grabbed their first goals for Newcastle United in only their first game for the club, as they ran out comfortable winners against Bohemians.
All five of Newcastle’s summer signings featured in United colours for the first time. Matt Sels and Matt Ritchie were given the go ahead from the start but both players were removed from the action at half-time.
Sels, who signed from Gent to become Rafael Benitez’s first signing of the summer, started as the man in between the posts. Sels made way for Karl Darlow after having a quiet opening 45 minutes to his Toon career.
Ritchie also joined his Sels in the starting 11, taking just 15 minutes to announce himself as a Newcastle player when he curled his shot into the top left hand corner to give his new side the lead.
Isaac Hayden and Dwight Gayle both joined the action at half time. Like Ritchie, Gayle didn’t take long to get on the score-sheet when he cleverly flicked the ball under the inside of the crossbar just eight minutes after coming on. Hayden, who was reportedly signed at a defensive midfielder played his first 45 minutes for the club at centre-half.
And finally, last season’s Champions League finalist, Jesus Gamez came on with 12 minutes to go as he slowly continues to get grips with the stamina that the English game requires.
Thauvin – a future at the club
Florian Thauvin’s Newcastle career looked to be over when the Frenchman was loaned back to Marseille after just six months on Tyneside. The winger has returned to Tyneside as Marseille has continued to express their desire to bring Thauvin back the Stade Velodrome, however, the Ligue One club currently don’t have the funds to buy Thauvin.
Marcelo Bielsa, Thauvin’s former coach at Marsielle was keen to for Thauvin to join him at Lazio. But remarkably, Bielsa quit after just two days in charge at the Serie A club.
So for now, the 23-year-old will have to stay put with his Newcastle team-mates. It is a different Thauvin that United fans are seeing – with his attitude becoming more positive. Thauvin has reportedly been happy and is working hard in training. And Thauvin’s solid week in Ireland was capped off with a goal on 55 minutes.
Lascalles – captain for the day
Benitez has still yet to name to his new club captain following the departure of Fabricio Coloccini earlier last month. However, the game against Bohemians may have revealed Benitez’s choice.
Jamaal Lascalles was the the most popular option when fans were asked who should take the armband, and it seems he is Benitez’s to. The ex-Nottingham Forest defender told the media that he has matured under Benitez, believing that is most definitely a better player than he was four months ago.
The appointment of Lascalles suggests that the 22-year-old has proven to Benitez that he is the man for the job, not only in training, but to the media as well. Lascalles’ interview after the Southampton defeat kick started the players inner-leadership strengths - he looks to be on the road to becoming one of Newcastle’s youngest ever captains.
Mitro’s on fire
Although the Serbian international will miss United’s opening four Championship, that has not stopped the striker’s hunger for goal. Aleksander Mitrovic failed to be a prolific goal scorer last season as he was dealt with the task of providing the goals for his team mates. Despite his lack of consistency in finding the net, the Serb has established himself as a fans favourite.
With the addition of Gayle, the 21-year-old will now face competition for his place meaning the striker will have to improve his finishing if he wants to become United’s number one goal-scorer next season.
Mitrovic’s bid would have done itself no harm - winning and scoring his penalty to put the Magpies two up before heading into the break.
Want-aways Wijnaldum and Janmaat play their part
There has been no secret that the Dutch pair are hunting for a move away the North East. Although, it looks like the pair will have to continue preparing for life in the Championship.
Darryl Janmaat was introduced to the game at half-time, as the attacking right-back was given the licence to get forward as Bohemians began to tire. And Janmaat nearly wrote his name on the score-sheet as a bursting run forward ended in Janmaat finding the side netting.
Newcastle’s top scorer last year, Georginio Wijnaldum, replaced Vurnon Anita on 69 minutes, and six minutes later, found himself making it 6-0 to United. Wijnaldum’s goal reminded Newcastle fans on what they from the ifirst half of last season where Wijnaldum would be found in a central position, delivering the goals.