I saw a comment from a Southampton fan that said one of the big problems they have, is if you look at their squad, they could field a second team that would be just as good as the first choice eleven.
The implication being that the Saints have got a lot of average players with little to choose between the first team that faced Newcastle United and the fringe players who didn’t start the game.
This got me thinking about Newcastle United.
How does Newcastle’s second eleven/fringe players compare to the first team?
Assuming everybody was fit, I think these are pretty much how our first and second elevens would look.
These are basically all of the players Newcastle have got, outside these 22 you only really have the likes of keepers Elliot and Woodman, Lazaar, then the younger/inexperienced players such as Sterry, Longstaff, Roberts etc.
Newcastle United first eleven:
Newcastle United second eleven:
Looking at the above, it really highlights just how desperate the situation is at St James Park.
Saturday strongly suggested that Newcastle’s first team is as bad as Southampton’s, if not worse.
However, as well as a lack of investment crippling the level of quality in the first choice eleven, when you look at the fringe players things get very desperate.
The only one of the eleven I would be happy to see coming into the team would be Florian Lejeune and indeed, once he is fit, it will be interesting to see what happiness. Centre-back is the only position with any depth an I would be happy with any two of Fernandez, Lejeune and Lascelles playing, or indeed all three if Rafa chose to do so.
Looking elsewhere, recent matches have seen the likes of Manquillo, Clark, Hayden, Ki, Murphy, Atsu and Joselu get some kind of chance, and without exception they all weaken the team when they are on the pitch.
That is serious when you consider just how bad our first choice team is at the minute.
People might think how can things get any worse after 10 Premier League matches without a win but if a few more key injuries happened, things could get a whole lot worse!