Republic of Ireland defender Ciaran Clark had himself a day to remember in the Premier League as Newcastle picked up their first win of the season against a hapless West Ham United on Saturday afternoon.
Clark got himself on the scoresheet to make things more comfortable at 2-0, but also made a goal-saving clearance that many saw as the turning point in the game. Throw in a clean sheet, and that represents a fine day at the office for the former Aston Villa defender.
Last season Clark was impressive as Newcastle bounced back into the Premier League at the first time of asking, and the Newcastle fans watching the game were delighted by his performance judging by the reaction on social media.
? Ciaran Clark celebrates his first #PL goal since April 2016 #NEWWHU pic.twitter.com/knu4NBoxtZ
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 26, 2017
Fair play to Ciaran Clark, he's gone from being a bum at Villa to arguably being the best centre back in the world.
— Crom Dom (@Crom_Dom) August 26, 2017
I think @C___Clark goal line clearance was turning point in game. Took his goal well. Should have played irish rover at end on tannoy #nufc
— steve wraith (@stevewraith) August 26, 2017
Matt Ritchie and Ciaran Clark
Prem footy players. More than good enough. People desperate to write them off. Wrong. They're good enough.
— tf NUFC podcast (@tfweeklypod) August 26, 2017
Ciaran Clark has as many goals as Lacazette this season
— rOOOSS (@MIZEREEE) August 26, 2017
Tremendous performances all over today but @C___Clark clearance and goal were especially vital ??
— Marc Duffy (@MarcSDuffy) August 26, 2017
Ciaran Clark has been impressive since he joined Newcastle ???
— Adam Staniforth ?? (@adam_staniforth) August 26, 2017
Ciaran Clark, what a fucking performance, that clearance at 1-0 and then to grab the 2nd goal. Absolutely class. #NUFC
— Jay (@NUFC_JAY17) August 26, 2017
Very good result but more importantly performance by @NUFC ! Clark a rock, Merino outstanding, pleased for @the_dilsh and back4 #CleanSheets
— Peter Ramage (@peterramage83) August 26, 2017
Rob Elliot also had a fine game in goal, although there were a lot of fans complaining about the standard of his distribution with the ball on the ground.
Newcastle's lack of activity in the transfer market has been good for Clark's gametime, and as he is putting in good performances he will leave for international duty with Ireland feeling sharp and confident, which can only be a good thing for Martin O'Neill.
You would have to imagine that it's between himself, Shane Duffy, and Richard Keogh for the two starting centre-back spots against Georgia and Serbia, so Clark has put his hand up with the West Ham performance and seems like a certain starter barring any knocks or injuries.
Great to see him playing well in the Premier League, hopefully there's more to come.