Below you will find the number of minutes every Newcastle player has had on the pitch this pre season.
With the seventh and final game against Borussia Monchengladbach taking place on Saturday, we now have the complete breakdown of which players Steve McClaren has given valuable time to.
This is the first eleven and their totals of minutes, allowing for the fact we needed a goalkeeper and Lascelles, Gouffran and Obertan had somehow played more/same as Tim Krul:
333 De Jong
That team of eleven isn’t too bad, if a little unbalanced, with only one ‘centre-back’ in Mike Williamson. Though the fact that only Moussa Sissoko has had more time on the pitch than the hapless defender will be stoking up the pessimists amongst you.
When you get to the next seven who could make up the bench, this is where things start going very wrong – with the obvious exception of Wijnaldum I wouldn’t want any of them near the first team:
291 Lascelles, 282 Gouffran, 270 Obertan, 243 Bigirimana, 243 Ferguson, 229 Wijnaldum, 180 Darlow
Again an exception had to be made to put a goalkeeper (Karl Darlow) on the bench by leaving out Lubomir Satka. The fact that the 19 year old defender has ended up with two and a half matches worth on the pitch is a prime example of the problems affecting pre season and the lack of options, considering he wasn’t rated good enough initially to be included in the trip to America – getting called up later due to necessity and joining the rest of the players halfway through the trip.
Then we have the rest of the squad:
225 Satka, 204 Taylor, 165 Abeid, 135 Woodman, 118 Armstrong, 98 Mitrovic, 45 Good, 45 Tiote, 45 Riviere, 45 Elliot, 32 Kemen, 28 Mbemba, 20 Suddick, 0 Coloccini, 0 Vuckic
The amount of time that Gouffran, Obertan, Bigirimana, Ferguson and Satka have enjoyed is a major disappointment, as surely none of these players are in Steve McClaren’s plans this season. The same for Williamson and Taylor but I think we all fear the worst with those two and their continuing involvement in the first team.
A massive weakness that this time hasn’t been taken by new signings in order to ease them in, with only Gini Wijnaldum getting any kind of decent time with his new teammates.
Mbemba and Mitrovic are now in the difficult position of playing catch up, whilst other much needed new signings aren’t imminent according to Steve McClaren.