Newcastle United notes: Isak pulls rank on Bruno, Joelinton’s close shave & Howe proves he’s in zone


Newcastle United now head into the international fortnight left to reflect on what might have been in the Premier League.

Denied by VAR controversy against Crystal Palace two weeks ago, football’s third eye came to their rescue against the Cherries with the award of a penalty at least salvaging a point. It was a clear handball by Jefferson Lerma after Kieran Trippier’s cross with Alexander Isak then keeping his cool to level the scores.

Chances to win came and went with a quarter of the game left but Newcastle were unable to find the win they badly needed. There’s no panic on Tyneside despite just one win in seven matches and United will sit in the top 10 for the next two weeks but Eddie Howe quickly admitted the performance had dropped below the required level.

Alexander Isak shows he can handle the pressure of life at St James’ Park by demanding spot-kick responsibility

The Sweden international probably has a good argument when it comes to poor service in two matches at St James’ Park. Maybe he thought it was just a one-off against Crystal Palace a fortnight ago.

But it happened again when Bournemouth came to St James’ on Saturday and it should not become a bad habit. Just a couple of lukewarm balls into the box were all the £63million man had to feed off.

Newcastle did manage plenty of crosses but all too often they were at a nice easy angle to be headed clear by the Bournemouth defend or easy pickings for Bournemouth’s ex-Barcelona man Neto to come out and claim.

That Isak not only stepped up and scored the penalty but also took the ball out of the hands of influential Brazil international Bruno, shows that he is here for business. The return of Allan Saint-Maximin probably can’t come soon enough for the former La Liga star though.

Isak was far from happy after the game and it showed in the interview zone at St James’ Park. Still living in a hotel and finding his feet, Isak was approached by Swedish TV for an interview but said no.

Joelinton escapes VAR call

When Joelinton went down in the first half and won a free-kick nobody thought much of it at first. But replays on TV showed that the Brazilian had caught Marcus Tavernier with a stray boot.

Thankfully for Newcastle it wasn’t picked up by VAR but if it had he would have been heading for an early bath. Perhaps given the amount of rotten officiating previously this was part of the levelling up process we are told occurs over a season.

But Joelinton will admit he was a lucky lad against the Cherries.

Eddie Howe focused on nothing but winning for Newcastle United

It’s easy to say it, but Howe is firmly focused on picking up victories for United. In years gone by former Newcastle bosses have not turned down the opportunity to wave at supporters of their old clubs demanding “a wave”.

But Howe did as the travelling support from the South Coast chanted his name in the first half. There was a rendition of “Eddie Howe had a dream”, a terrace chant that pays tribute to Howe taking over when Bournemouth were on minus 17 points and in the lower leagues.

Yet when Bournemouth fans asked for a wave he either didn’t hear, or didn’t want to oblige as he was focused on the task in hand. Either way it’s a great sign for Newcastle.

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