Further evidence explains why Rafa is having a cull of young Newcastle stars
For the young Newcastle stars, Wednesday was just another day and another defeat.
An almost deserted Whitley Park watched Newcastle United Under 23s (reserves) lose 2-0 to Stoke City.
It is now 15 weeks since they last avoided defeat in the league.
The media recently revealed that there will be a major clearout in the summer below first team level and looking at both last night and the overall picture, it is difficult to argue with that.
Rafa Benitez is said to be desperate to see a major overhaul of the younger age groups and to be given the resources to make that happen.
What we are currently seeing is simply more of the same, with years of neglect and underfunding under Mike Ashley.
Stoke scored midway through the second-half and in the very final seconds but they should have won it far easier, as they dominated the match.
To make it worse, Stoke are third bottom and only one of two teams Newcastle were remotely close to, United being second bottom, as you can see from the league table.
West Brom are rock bottom and Newcastle have only won four league matches all season, two of those against the Baggies.
The league table looks bad enough but this isn’t even the top tier of the reserve team structure, this is the second division (Sunderland are in the top division) and as you can see, most of the reserve sides are from the Championship.
At the top of this reserve second tier you actually have League One Blackburn, who despite their other troubles do have a very decent record over the years of bringing players through into the first team, unlike Newcastle United.
For Rafa Benitez to stand a chance of properly turning around Newcastle, he needs the backing at every level, not just first team, as well as total freedom to do as he sees fit.
Hopefully this is a case of now having hit rock bottom, the summer and next season can see the levels under first team rebuild.
With five games left of this league season, hopefully the current set-up can find a spark to bring some improvement.
At the moment, it appears that if any young player does make it through to the first team, it will be despite NUFC’s young set-up, not because of it.
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