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Only 2 Newcastle players can feel hard done by with Rafa Benitez

5 years ago

In the city centre pubs post-match, supporters had plenty of names when it came to Newcastle players who didn’t deserve to play.

The abject performance against Fulham seeing supporters despair at the performance of many of our team.

Predictably, Jack Colback and Paul Dummett were ‘popular’ choices.

Yes, they were pretty rubbish, but were in good company as none of the starting eleven enhanced their reputation.

It has been the same today, reading what many fans have to say, some reasoned arguments and other just pure vitriol.

Regardless of how badly any Newcastle players did or didn’t play on Saturday, there is one minor problem when it comes to what punters are saying.

It is easy to say this or that player should be dropped but who would take their pace?

Looking at the bench yesterday, who really deserved to start against Fulham, rather than what Rafa Benitez selected?

Rob Elliot hasn’t played a first team game for a year so a massive risk to brink him in at this point.

Jesus Gamez – We have only seen on a handful of occasions and hasn’t looked comfortable.

Grant Hanley – Looks like another Jamaal Lascelles, commanding in the air but struggles with lack of pace and ability on the ball.

Ayoze Perez – Diame’s double in a football-sense, always sounds a more credible choice when he isn’t playing.

Yoan Gouffran – You know what you get with him but what you get is a very average player. Runs around a lot and has done an ok job this season holding down the left hand side – but gives nothing really going forward in terms of creativity.

Aleksandar Mitrovic – Just not up to the job, had one or two good performances this season but even when he comes off the bench he struggles for pace and still hard to work out what are his strengths.

Daryl Murphy – The exception to the rule, four goals in only 400 minutes of Championship football, he was a class above when he came on against Fulham and must surely get a start at Birmingham, hopefully with Dwight Gale rather than instead of him.

Other than Murphy, there is only one other NUFC player who can in any way feel hard done by and that is Chancel Mbemba.

He seemed to become a bit of a scapegoat after the home defeat to Wolves and has made only one Championship start since, when Rafa made wholesale changes against Blackburn at home, days before the cup game at Hull.

He went off and played in the DR Congo matches in the African Cup of Nations so it isn’t injury that’s the problem, not even getting on the bench surely points to something having happened behind the scenes with the Manager.

He was by some distance Newcastle’s best defender in the Premier League last season and nobody can tell me he isn’t more talented than Lascelles, never mind being behind Hanley when it comes to a place amongst the subs.

Still, if he has issues with Rafa then who am I to argue?

Apart from Mbemba and Murphy what of the rest?

Lazaar has looked not up to it on his rare appearances, obviously Yedlin and Hayden are injured at the moment, Matz Sels is now in no-man’s land after wasting his early season chances. Haidara and Sammy Ameobi clearly not good enough..

A bit like booing, calling for Newcastle players to be dropped is pretty unproductive if there is no plan B.

Mind you, I wouldn’t mind seeing Daryl Murphy and Chancel Mbemba starting next Saturday at Birmingham…

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