The Athletic’s George Caulkin has blasted Alexander Isak while speaking on Pod on the Tyne about his costly miss for Newcastle United on Saturday.
It was far from a dream home debut for Isak at the weekend as he was presented with a golden first-half opportunity which saw him with only the goalkeeper to beat, only to chip it straight at him.
His misery was further compounded as the game went on, having touched the ball just 19 times and completed just 50% of his passes (FBRef) – the lowest out of any Newcastle player to have played on Saturday in a game which was overshadowed by a controversial VAR decision which has seen Lee Mason removed from officiating duties this weekend.
Despite that VAR call, Caulkin believes that the ‘biggest’ error on Saturday afternoon came from the club’s most expensive signing.
He said: “Offside, theoretically, is a fact, because it just is, whereas fouls, they’re matters of interpretation. Most of football is interpretation. And I don’t care about referees making mistakes, I expect it; some of the time, I welcome it, because it adds to the gaiety of the match.
Will Isak be a success at Newcastle?
“Alexander Isak arguably made the biggest mistake of the game on Saturday. I make a mistake in absolutely every single thing that I write and do, managers make mistakes in terms of selection – I don’t mind mistakes. I expect referees to make mistakes when the game is so free-flowing and quick.”
TIF Thoughts on Isak’s miss and home debut…
While the majority of the focus has been on the VAR call that may have cost Newcastle a win on Saturday, if Isak had buried his first-half chance, the Magpies would have already been in the lead when the own goal was ruled out, and thus, it wouldn’t have caused such a commotion.
While Isak did have bright moments during the game – including the build-up to his goal, which came from his own pressing and the outside-of-the-foot pass which almost saw Joe Willock find the bottom corner – they were few and far between.
Substitute Elliot Anderson registered more touches and dribbles than the centre-forward (as per FBref) despite only being handed 21 minutes of football in the second half, so Isak will know that more is required from himself and his teammates to ensure they get him involved in the game more often.