Rafa Benitez put out what looked a strong reserve side, including Henri Saivet, on Monday night against a young Wolves side.
Dwight Gayle was the biggest name included and it looked clear that the likes of Saivet, Jack Colback and Rolando Aarons had also been included to ensure Newcastle’s number nine got decent service, to help prepare Gayle for if he is recalled to play against Liverpool on Sunday.
However, in the hour that Dwight Gayle was on the pitch, he was forced to feed on scraps, as those from the NUFC first team squad put in some really poor performances.
Despite this, Henri Saivet said after the 1-0 defeat to the Wolves kids, that he hoped to impress Rafa Benitez with his displays for the second string and that ‘you have to give 100%, even for the reserves’.
Well if that was 100% on Monday night against a group of Wolves kids, there is really no hope for Saivet, the same with Aarons and Colback.
Two weeks earlier Jonjo Shelvey was head and shoulders above the opposition when getting a run out for the reserves and surely that has to be the same for any player who believes he is good enough for the first team.
Henri Saivet was clearly a player Rafa Benitez was desperate to offload in the summer but was yet another shocking signing brought in under the Mike Ashley/Graham Carr strategy, of recruiting cheaper ‘bargain’ players from abroad, putting them on far too long contracts and wages beyond their abilities, making it impossible to offload them back to the league they came from.
Henri Saivet talking to The Chronicle:
“I want to play for Newcastle United and whenever you pull on a Newcastle shirt it’s an honour.
“It’s a massive club and when you put the jersey on and get onto the pitch, you have to give 100%, even for the reserves.
“It’s always good to play, make runs and contribute overall, I feel better and better so it was really good for me to get out there.
“I have to show him (Rafa Benitez) I can play in his team – have to play very well in each training session or reserve game.
“He has told me to show what I can do and we need everybody in the squad, so I will keep going.
“Maybe one day I will get my chance and show what I can do. I know there will be a chance.
“You just never know but I am ready to play at any time. I have to stay fit. I will play for the reserves.
“You should never complain about not playing – the most important thing is the squad. We have to win and stay in the Premier League as we have just come back.
“It won’t be easy so individuals can’t complain about personal situations. It’s always easier of course when you are fit and can play. You run everywhere and try to do everything.
“Not playing isn’t easy for a footballer and you have to work hard to get back in contention.
“If I get my chance I will have to keep my place, I will try my best every time.
“We have to work hard and nobody should complain. Everybody is trying to do their best. The team is going to get better and better and that’s the most important thing for us.
“It’s a massive club. The city and its people are really nice, the weather is different but the city is really nice no matter what the weather.”