Newcastle United suffered the gut-wrenching fate of conceding a last minute goal on Sunday afternoon as Matt Doherty headed home at the back post to steal all three points at St James’ Park.
It looked like the Magpies had managed to hold on for a valuable point with ten men before Doherty scored the late winner yesterday, with Ayoze Perez’s first-half strike cancelling out Diogo Jota’s opener.
The little Spaniard popped up to score his second Premier League goal of the season, but his strike did not make him immune from criticism in the British media.
Indeed, the former Newcastle winger, Chris Waddle, spoke to the BBC in the aftermath of proceedings and delivered a few choice words about Perez’s unconvincing record in front of goal.
‘Ayoze Perez got the Magpies’ equaliser but he scores about one goal every 20 chances, which at this level is not good enough.’
Perez’s record in the Premier League stands at 23 goals from 122 appearances, which is just shy of one in five. On paper, that is a relatively respectable record considering Newcastle’s ambitions and the position in which he plays but, as Waddle has alluded to, he could be boasting a markedly improved return if he was more decisive in the penalty area.
The 25-year-old often uses his slight frame to his advantage, ghosting elusively into promising pockets of space, but he appears to be lacking the confidence to take full advantage of the situations he regularly finds himself in.
In the transition from midfield to attack Perez is typically neat and tidy, utilising his tight ball control and agility to manoeuvre out of danger and keep the attack ticking over, however, his final ball often lets him down.
If Perez could establish greater consistency when faced with a goal scoring opportunity there is no doubt he would fully merit his standing at St James’ Park, but if he fails to add the finishing touches to his performances in the coming weeks he may well find himself surplus to requirements following a potential takeover.
The scathing criticism which seems to follow Perez is often blown out of proportion, but Waddle is certainly well within his rights to suggest that he needs to improve his proficiency to warrant his place at this level.
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