His decision to drop Jordan Pickford dominated the pre match talk, but it will be his misfiring attackers that will be causing him sleepless nights as two goals for Callum Wilson secured three points for the hosts.
Neither side were able to create anything that resembled a goal scoring opportunity in a drab opening half hour on Tyneside.
The only real chance of the first half fell to Magpies talisman Allan Saint-Maximin, after he was sent clear by Wilson, but Toffees debutant Robin Olsen made a brave strop.
But, if the first half failed to catch fire, the second period kicked off with a huge moment of controversy.
Wilson was clipped by Andre Gomes inside the box, and despite any contact appearing accidental, the former Bournemouth man picked himself up and tucked home.
That breakthrough edged Newcastle into the ascendency at St. James’, as Sean Longstaff forced Olsen into another sprawling save.
And with the Blues unable to make any inroads in the closing minutes Bournemouth old boys Wilson and Ryan Fraser linked up inside the box as the England international slid home his eighth of the season.
Everton did conjour up a late consolation as Dominic Calvert-Lewin poked home past Karl Darlow but
Steve Bruce’s side had enough to hold on.
Full Time at St. James’ Park it’s Newcastle 2 Everton 1