SCOTT ROBSON with the scores on the doors, from the 2-2 draw at Molineux.
Nick Pope – 6. My feelings are well known that Pope is our best goalkeeper for years, but on occasions he provides as much jeopardy as any of our previous inferior ones. He was lucky to get away with steaming out which resulted in a pitiful VAR check on a handball while he would have all your dads fuming at why he didn’t catch the ball instead of punching which started a bit of a mess for the equaliser. Made a couple of decent first half saves, but not his best night (admittedly not in great conditions).
Kieran Trippier – 6. Strangely looked out of sorts in the first half up against a rampant Ait-Nouri and got lucky with a terrible cross-field pass before being outmuscled at the far post for the first Wolves goal. I mean, Trippier’s usual perfection means any mistake is magnified, but despite a better second half, he made more today than in any game this season.
Jamaal Lascelles – 7. Looked like he was right in amongst a right scramble as we almost forced an injury time winner and defensively did well. He got lucky with a terrible defensive header midway through the second half and was promptly booked but apart from that mad three minutes, he continued to negate the loss of Botman.
Fabian Schär – 8. Our best player today. The headline grabs will be for the penalty and for what it’s worth I didn’t think it was one, but the fact that our centre half is up in the opposition area in the final seconds of the half not only sums Schar up, but affords him that little bit of luck that we undoubtedly got. Tackle of the day around the hour mark and his passing was on it as usual. Missed a great far post chance to win it but you win some you lose some.
Dan Burn – 6. Struggled at times tonight, but by no means terrible. Burn was booked and looked like a rabbit in the headlights faced with Hwang for the goal. Battled well though and when the rain’s pouring and we are slightly off the pace, Burn sees you through for a point.
Sean Longstaff – 6. Started very well and was inches away with an angled shot inside the first 10, but after dominating in the opening quarter, he retreated into almost incessant defensive work. That’s all well and good but Longstaff has got so much joy going forward lately and we seemed to lose control in midfield early in the second half because of this.
Bruno Guimarães – 7. Didn’t look his usual vibrant self but still gave us glimpses especially in the first half when he did well to set up Longstaff but like Dortmund the other night his passing didn’t suit the rain. Seeing as we have loads of the stuff in this country and Newcastle has 122 rainy days a year, this excuse for losing the ball will wear thin quickly. Diving in on the touchline for the Wolves equaliser might have been down to that as well. Possibly.
Miguel Almirón – 6. Defensively was a big help and covered on a few occasions very well, probably more than his fellow midfielders today. Going forward there wasn’t much though and you can probably best describe this as a 2021 Almiron performance rather than the vintage we have been served up lately. Subbed in the last twenty minutes.
Joelinton – 6. Still doesn’t look fully fit and if we didn’t have bother with the Italian authorities or have Murphy in a sling, it’s probably fair to say Joelinton might be easing his way back in rather than fleeting in and out in the pouring rain in the Black Country, but them’s the breaks I suppose.
Anthony Gordon – 6. Did well for Wilson’s opener but I can’t remember much else at all after that before waking up right at the end and winning a few corners. Wolves’ best attacks seemed to come from their defensive areas and this seemed to drag Gordon back up the pitch rather than where we needed him to be.
Callum Wilson – 8. Another game, another rise up the all time Newcastle goalscoring charts. His brilliantly executed first goal and his ‘heart in mouth moment’ penalty, if you take a step back once in a while, show an unbelievable strike rate from a player who not only keeps scoring but shuts up the naysayers. Apart from the goals, he didn’t do much and the battle for pace between him and Dawson was like two bald men fighting over a comb, but a goalscorer is a goalscorer.
Joe Willock (for Almirón 72 minutes) – 6. Never really got into the game after he entered and seemed genuinely gutted at conceding a goal kick near the end.
Did you see the rest of the bench? Just as the Castore adverts say, “Better never stops” (headlines today of wrong players names and numbers being sent over to England at the Cricket World Cup say otherwise) but after a gruelling week, to see us piling forward in the last quarter shows how fit Howe and co have this team. After 55 minutes the players seemed done. They were playing at walking pace. However, they came again, and I was genuinely more happy about that than any individual performance tonight and it bodes well for other gruelling weeks to come.