Unfortunately for Newcastle fans and Steve Bruce, the season didn’t get off to the best of starts on Sunday.
After a promising opening 45 minutes, a lapse in concentration by both Jetro Willems and Jamaal Lascelles allowed the Gunners to capitalise and go in front on the hour mark thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The pacey striker’s effort proved to be the difference between the two sides on a miserable day on Tyneside which left Magpies supporters deflated.
Plenty of new faces were on show for Bruce at St James’ Park, who admitted after the match that the squad will need time to gel over the coming weeks.
But who makes our inaugural Power Rankings of the season? This will be a list of five players who have impressed in the gameweek over the course of the campaign.
As this was the opening game of the season, it’s safe to say that these rankings will change a fair bit as the 2019/20 campaign progresses (stats provided by Whoscored.com).
5. Matt Ritchie
The returning Ritchie looked solid throughout on Sunday. The wing-back completed three key passes to teammates and also made three interceptions. A steady performance by the Scot.
4. Paul Dummett
Dummett, who played as a third centre-back, made more tackles than anyone on the park on Sunday. The Welshman was sometimes caught out by the Gunners’ lively attack, however, he did fairly well overall.
New signing Joelinton would have loved to have got off the mark in front of a home crowd on his debut, however, it wasn’t meant to be. The striker did impress with his strong hold-up play and completed 80% of his 36 passes. He’ll be looking to build on his opening performance against Norwich City.
2. Issac Hayden
The majority of Magpies fans weren’t expecting to see Hayden at St James’ Park this season. The 24-year-old started in a midfield three alongside Sean Longstaff and Jonjo Shelvey and completed more passes than the pair. He also impressed defensively, making four successful tackles and four interceptions.
1. Fabian Schar
Schar was the pick of the bunch for Newcastle on Sunday. The Swiss star made more interceptions and clearances than anyone on either side and it appears as if he’s started this campaign as he finished the last.
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