Indeed, as is perhaps to be expected after such a result, a number of the Magpies’ players turned in performances of the highest quality at the Brentford Community Stadium, with Ryan Fraser, Joelinton and Fabian Schar particularly wowing for the visitors.
However, despite the generally positive display on Saturday, there was nevertheless one Newcastle player who appeared to struggle against the Bees – in the form of Jacob Murphy.
Over his 64 minutes on the pitch, the right-winger – who was handed his second consecutive Premier League start as a result of the continued absence of Allan Saint-Maximin – failed to ever really get himself involved in the game, often appearing something of a passenger out wide for Howe’s side.
Indeed, the £3.6m-rated forward enjoyed just 35 touches of the ball – with only Chris Wood and Martin Dubravka having fewer of Newcastle’s starters – completed a mere 14 of his 21 attempted passes, had one – off-target – shot at the Brentford goal and ceded possession on 13 separate occasions – meaning he lost the ball with every 2.7 touches.
These returns saw the £35k-per-week attacker who Martin Keown once dubbed “annoying” receive a disappointing SofaScore match rating of just 6.8 – with no starting Newcastle player earning a lower score than the 27-year-old.
The Chronicle’s Lee Ryder also appeared unimpressed with the display of the former England U21 international, handing him a seven in his own player ratings, as well as stating of the winger’s performance: “Had a steady enough game and threatened but the standards are being raised so high at United that an exceptional performance is needed to hold on to a place.”
Indeed, it is difficult to argue with Ryder’s point, as, if this was Murphy’s big chance to stake a claim as a regular starter in Howe’s XI, it is undoubtedly an opportunity the forward did not take.