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Rafa Benitez leaves 8 Newcastle players out of public training session: Drafts in reserves to make up numbers

3 years ago
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Thursday morning saw the annual opportunity for fans to watch the Newcastle players go through their paces in a public training session.

Falling in the school holidays, no surprise that it was kids making up a large part of the crowd that gathered at St James Park. There were varying estimates of how many actually turned up, with the club claiming 12,000, whilst Sky Sports and The Mail went with around 5,000 in attendance.

A good (free!) morning/day out anyway, though a shame that those mad, mad, days of Kevin Keegan are well in the past, when fans went along any day they fancied to watch the likes of Cole, Beardsley and the rest in their training sessions down at Maiden Castle.

As the Newcastle supporters watched the likes of new signing Joselu impressing in the sunshine, attention was also drawn to both who was AND wasn’t involved in the public training exercise.

Altogether, eight senior players were missing on Thursday morning.

Two were easily explained, with Rafa not risking DeAndre Yedlin as he makes his way back from the injury sustained in pre-season, whilst Chancel Mbemba also was absent as he had a meeting regarding visa issues.

However, there is further evidence that Rafa Benitez is really tightening the screw when it comes to trying to push unwanted players out of the door.

Tim Krul, Achraf Lazaar and Emmanuel Riviere weren’t even given squad numbers last Friday, so no surprise to see them missing out yesterday.

However, the United boss preferred to bring in Curtis Good and Macauley Gillesphey from the reserve set-up to make up the numbers, rather than involving another trio of unwanted players.

Joining Krul, Lazaar and Riviere in being frozen out, were Massadio Haidara, Grant Hanley and Jack Colback.

The transfer window closes in only 13 days time and it will be a massive negative if these half dozen unwanted players (and others….?) aren’t found new homes and Rafa fails to bring in the other signings he desperately needs.

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