This is part three of my player ratings for the season so far.
The centre backs are the most controversial today as there are so many of them. Fabian Schar I am going to start with the elegant man. It has been a strange season for Fabian. He has scored two goals this season and, at the start of the season, played relatively fine. However, he has had minor injuries and has been in and out of the squad throughout the season. Last season, he was arguably our best player. This season it is like he has just been a back up whilst Lascelles was out. He played a lot and did well. But since Lascelles coming back into the team, he has not been considered much which is baffling to me.
I think he could play in midfield as a holding midfielder if needed but I would love to see Lascelles and Schar get that partnership back. Best moment: goal vs Watford Rating: 6/10 Florian Lejeune Lejeune has had a major injury throughout the season and didn't actually play until late December. Then just back from injury had to play three games in seven days and he looked out of his depth with the massive mistakes against Man United and Leicester. Back then, we did not have much choice. The more he plays the more comfortable he looks but it is not wrong in saying there are preferred players in Bruce's thoughts to play centre back. And with the change of formation to having four at the back, it is going to be even harder for Florian to get games. That being said though, his two goals against Everton is just the most banter thing I've ever seen. More Premier league goals in 50 seconds than Joelinton in 25 league games. We will make a striker of you, Florian. Best moment: the brace vs Everton. Absolute carnage! Rating: 5/10 (would have been a 4 but deserves better after Everton) Federico Fernandez Fernandez has been very consistent this year. He has not done much wrong. He has had a few errors but, when called upon this season, more often than not he has done well for the club this year and got the contract extension he deserved and is very highly rated by Steve Bruce. He has scored two premier league goals this season; both of which were key goals too. The winner against Southampton at home and one of the three goals against West Ham away. I think he is going to get better now that his future is settled on Tyneside. He partners well with Lascelles and Clark and leads the backline when he is with Schar and Lejeune. I remember the uncertainty of the fanbase when he signed for the club. He has turned out to be a very solid addition for Newcastle. I still cannot believe Rob only gave him a 6/10 on the radio show…… Best moment: his match-winner vs Southampton Rating: 8/10 Ciaran Clark This lad was heavily linked with a move away in the summer. We even said on our show we could see him leaving for Leeds or West Brom last summer. He failed to get a start in the team until the Man United match at home in October but he has been unbelievable since then. Scoring two goals and has been, in my opinion, our best defender this season. He has certainly been the most underrated of the defensive players this season. He has only played 15 games and I cannot see that changing due to his injury but the games he played; he was unreal. I am more than happy to see him do so well and I cannot wait to see him back in the team! Best moment: his performance vs Man United Rating: 9/10 Paul Dummett It feels like it has been forever and a day since we last saw him play. As usual with Dummett, you get the constant. Always consistent and is always at least a seven out of 10 every time he plays. Similar to Clark, Dummett is massively underrated and I am not sure why. He is always a safe bet in the team and he never lets you down. Dummett is the only centre back that Joelinton has scored more league goals than this season; I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Best moment: pre-season tackle vs Preston. If you know, you know. Rating: 7/10
Always solid. My captain! #6 Best moment: Spurs away performance. Best I've seen him defend that day. Rating: 8/10 Quite a list to get through for the defenders. Not as long a list in the next part with Left backs. Check out the next part on the website tomorrow!
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