Quoted by the Sunderland Echo, Magpies boss John Carver has praised Dutch international Vurnon Anita for his courage in the face of adversity, and his willingness to not hide after a bad performance.
“I’ve said to Vurnon Anita that he didn’t have a great day – but he never went missing,” the temporary head coach said. “He didn’t go hiding, and that’s important for me.
“It’s easy when there’s 52,000 people out there to go missing, but he showed great courage to continue to try and get on the ball.”
Anita had spent the previous three games on the substitutes' bench, being recalled into Newcastle’s injury-hit squad for the tie with Arsenal.
A dreadful first-half performance by the entire Magpies’ squad was revitalised in the second half, as the Tyneside club were unlucky to come away without at least a point.
Anita played for 72 minutes of that tie, and proved a vital cog in the middle of the park as Newcastle started pressing high and worrying the Gunners. He won two tackles for his team, and was frequently getting stuck into the opposition.
Having been out of action for a number of games previously, the thrice-capped international did well to last as long as he did.
The performance may not have been top class, but he showed his talents and character to Carver, and that could be enough to see him retain his place in the starting XI until the end of the campaign.