Newcastle United’s shocking start to the new season continued as they fell to an agonising penalty shoot-out defeat to Burnley in the second round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.
Steve Bruce’s side came into the game off the back of two successive defeats in the Premier League, and would have been hoping for a bit of respite at home to the Clarets.
Instead, the Magpies saw some big chances fail to go their way in normal time, before Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron saw their spot-kicks saved.
But while the duo will be gutted with their penalty misses, it was Dwight Gayle who arguably let his manager down the most.
The striker had the best opportunities of any Newcastle player on the pitch to give the Magpies the lead, but saw one effort come off the bar, and another denied by the Burnley goalkeeper.
Barring those shots on goal, Gayle was nowhere to be seen, putting in a rather anonymous display.
As per Sofascore, he had just 22 touches of the ball and made only 13 passes – both significantly less than even goalkeeper Freddie Woodman.
In what was a difficult night, he won just three of his seven duels, provided no key passes or crosses, and attempted no dribbles whatsoever – the fact he was taken off by Bruce with 15 minutes remaining and the possibility of penalties looming said it all.
And, writing in his player ratings for The Shields Gazette, Jordan Cronin gave him the team’s lowest score of a five, saying: “Denied a goal by the underside of the crossbar but apart from that, it was another quiet outing for Gayle.”
Those thoughts were echoed by The Chronicle’s Lee Ryder, who added: “Didn’t really get into the game until after the break. Struck the bar and had one effort saved by Hennessey. Needs to take his chances to stand a chance of Premier League starts.”
The £40k-a-week earning ace was given the chance to impress from the off, but failed to grab his opportunity. With Callum Wilson firmly established as the club’s starting number nine, it’s difficult to see how Gayle’s display on Wednesday night did anything to even remotely change that.