Jeff Hendrick enjoyed a dream debut for Newcastle United on Saturday night.
While he capped off his first outing as a Newcastle player with a screamer, it’s worth examining his entire performance against West Ham to fully appreciate what Jeff Hendrick accomplished.
When asked by NUFC TV whether his incredible strike from a standing start was the best of his career, Hendrick insisted he was no stranger to a wonder-goal.
“I don’t want to big myself but I’ve scored a few nice ones!” he said.
“But I’m happy to get the win in the first game with the lads, and get a goal. It’s a brilliant feeling. Getting three points on the first day of the season is massive and it’s something we can build on.”
The stats of Hendrick’s performance against the Hammers make for quite remarkable reading as the Irish midfielder enjoyed a 100 per cent take-on completion rate, as well as a perfect conversion rate.
Jeff Hendrick's game by numbers vs. West Ham:
100% take-ons completed
Unbelievable Jeff! 😳 pic.twitter.com/YRYol6wVEh
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 12, 2020
The 28-year-old also had 41 touches of the ball, made nine recoveries and two interceptions, not to mention his assist for fellow debutant, Callum Wilson.
Hendrick revealed that the build-up play for Newcastle’s opener was something that manager Steve Bruce identified at the break.
“We said at half time with me coming inside, Manqy’s on all day and it was a nice bit of work from him to get the cross away,” Hendrick explained.
“(It took) a little deflection, and for me it was just trying to help it into the danger area and Callum was alive and put it away.”
After signing as a free agent over the summer, Hendrick vowed to improve on his goalscoring upon his arrival at St. James’ Park.
And Newcastle fans watching from home didn’t have to wait long to see the Republic of Ireland international belting the ball into the back of the net.
Hendrick said: “I told you it’s something I’m working on and I want to keep doing. I was trying to get in the back post when I was on the other side, and get in and around the box, and I was calling Miggy for the ball.
“He heard me and picked me out, and it went in. On another day it maybe goes over the bar but I’m thankful it went in.”