Newcastle United have a second round League Cup match against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night.

On the surface it isn’t the most exciting of games but I am looking forward to it more than I did for Huddersfield on Sunday.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a right laugh – as you always do on an away match, a few drinks and all the patter, but the actual game I had very little expectation for.

Sadly I was proved right, not having a go at Rafa Benitez but with the injuries and Shelvey suspension I guessed the United boss wasn’t going to go crazy with his team selection and try something new.

Tomorrow night he can do though and I’m really looking forward to it.

I thought the last 10 minutes Jacob Murphy looked to have a bit about him and he is bound  to start against Forest, so great to see what he can do.

Same with Rolando Aarons. He has had any number of injuries and when given the odd chances in the last year or two hasn’t threatened – but pre-season he looked decent and I think he could be ready to take his chance this time.

This is perfect for Rafa to experiment and one thing I would love to see is Matt Ritchie given a chance in the number 10 role.

Ayoze Perez is way off what is needed in the Premier League and Diame & de Jong don’t bear thinking about. Ritchie is the one player who has the quality and commitment to make that role a success and he can create as well as shoot from both inside and outside the box.

As for the main striker, Joselu can get a proper run out or even Mitrovic if Rafa chooses to give him the chance to prove him wrong.

In defence, with such a shortage of fit and available bodies, maybe time for the manager to have a look at playing three/five at the back, to see it might have potential for the Premier League.

Also, possibly organise the midfield based around Mikel Merino and what he can offer. Though at fault for Mooy’s goal, on only his third start in the top tier of any country I thought he looked a cool customer for much of the game. His composure was at odds with that of many of his teammates.

If I’m honest, I don’t think Rafa Benitez would be too upset if we did get knocked out, so why not try out some of what I’ve suggested above.

Nothing to lose and everything to potentially gain.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])



  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Club policy, stay in the Prem on the least expenditure possible,
    go out of the cups as soon as possible, but it down to experimenting, slight knocks, or the lads just aren`t interested

  • Leazes Ender

    Its a reserve game Ryan, there will be a small crowd. The rafalution faded away.

    • Blackburn1066

      Spot on Leazes, plus the little fat man don’t give a F–k

  • Alreet

    If we get a few fresh faces on the pitch and have a right go. If we win by a few that mentality grows and all of a sudden ur 3 games down the line and in mid table. Only takes a few lads to have a right go.

    Murphy has to start this one. I can right see a ben arfa or a kieron dyer in him. Gove aarons and Joselu a run out. Hopefully this will kickstart the season.

    • Jezza

      Win by a few? We are not playing Hartlepool or York City you know. Notts Forest are no mugs. They are joint third in the Championship and turned over big spending Middlesborough at the weekend. I’m also struggling to see where our toothless attack and midfield bereft of any creativity are going to conjure a few goals from.

    • Wor Lass

      It`s not a league game tonight.

  • Wor Lass

    Does Rafa ring the changes and look at alternatives or does he stick with the “first team” and try to boost confidence? Considering how hard it`s been to predict his starting line-ups in the past, this is a real poser. The club`s targeted cup success this season but we need to protect certain key positions for the PL so presumably he will rest a few. My complete guess at his starting 11 is: Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Lascelles, Mbemba, Ritchie, Merino, Diame, Aarons, de Jong, Joselu.

    • mentalman

      i could see changes in the defense if one of them gets injured we are screwed, perhaps its time to bring in sterry.

      It’d be the perfect time to use some of the squad but when you look at players to bring in most of them are up for sale so it’s hard to see them being used

      de jong is reportedly on the verge of leaving so they won’t risk injuring him, if they play him tonight then it probably means he’s staying.

    • Leazes Ender

      There is no way that he will risk injury to key players (whoever they are in this sorry squad).

  • Michael Hopewell

    Let’s not forget Forest are unlikely to pick a full strength side either, so it’s going to be a case of who’s got the better back up players. It’s a shame nobody respects the cups any more, but I guess it’s a chance to see the fringe players in action