Graeme Jones’ first match in charge of Newcastle United ended in disappointment as their winless start to the Premier League season continued against Crystal Palace with a 1-1 draw.
Christian Benteke fired the hosts in front on 56 minutes before Callum Wilson rescued a draw shortly afterwards with a sensational overhead kick into the top corner. The Magpies remain 19th in the Premier League table and are three points off safety, whilst they are only two points ahead of bottom side Norwich.
One player in particular who let Jones down with his display against the Eagles was Allan Saint-Maximin.
The French winger, who is usually the bright spark for the Magpies, was disappointing throughout the game before being taken off for Joelinton in the second half. Saint-Maximin is used to being the star of the show with his tricky, brilliant performances and has so often been a game-changer for the club, but he was unable to showcase his best qualities in the first match after Steve Bruce’s dismissal.
In the eight games prior to today, he had produced two goals and three assists. This shows that he has the ability to provide quality in the final third, which is why he let Jones down this afternoon with his dreadful showing against Palace.
As per SofaScore, Saint-Maximin lost five of his nine duels, including five of his seven ground duels. He also failed to make a single tackle as he was dribbled past once, with zero clearances or blocks, whilst making just one interception for his team. This shows that he was a lightweight in his defensive duties, allowing Palace to get past him too easily.
On the ball, he was not his usual self either. As per SofaScore, he had a dribble success rate of 0% and only completed five of his 12 attempted passes (42%). The 24-year-old also failed to complete a single cross or long ball and lost possession a whopping 19 times from 31 touches.
Along with his lack of defensive nous, Saint-Maximin was unable to effectively use his dribbling skills to create chances for himself and others. Normally so lively in the final third, he was far from his best today and ended up letting Jones down at Selhurst Park.