The Rafa Benitez plan for the rest of the season has been revealed.
Newcastle United’s media partner, The Mirror, have reported that Benitez has had a series of one on one interviews to explain to certain players why they are unlikely to be selected in the coming weeks, though may still have a longer term future at St James Park.
Amongst those told they will only play in an emergency is Rolando Aarons, with the young winger sidelined by Rafa Benitez as he goes with older and more experienced players.
This is also said to be behind the much changed team selection seen against Norwich City, when Lascelles (22), Mitrovic (21) and Perez (22) were sat on the bench.
While Steven Taylor (30), Cheick Tiote (29) and Papiss Cisse (30) were all recalled.
With Tiote only lasting to half-time and Perez and Mitrovic brought on, it remains to be seen whether Rafa Benitez perseveres with an experience first policy.
Taylor and Cisse might have lasted the 9o minutes but neither did anything to suggest they deserve a place in the team.
Interesting to look at the results of our player ratings voted by Newcastle fans.
Those with the better marks were Mitrovic, Darlow, Townsend, Perez, Mbemba and Shelvey (the five outfield players 24 or under and Darlow 25 but only making his second PL start).
Whilst the other seven players, who had the lower marks: Tiote, Cisse, Wijnaldum, Janmaat, Taylor, Anita and Sissoko are all 25 or older.
Food for thought for Rafa Benitez.