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

Newcastle United second eleven:

newcastle united

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!

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  • Paul Patterson

    There’s more depth in an empty bath . .

  • Kenny

    Out of all those players above how many are premiership standard.

  • wheyayeman

    I agree “it will be interesting to see what happiness.”

  • Tino o

    I predict a 0-0

    • Peaky

      😂🤣 With a bus at each end…

  • Leazes.

    Frighteningly average is an overstatement.

    • I’d take average anyday over 80% of our overpaid squad.

  • wheyayeman

    Two teams that wouldn’t make it out of the championship although the first team will be back there soon enough.

  • Peaky

    I know that first eleven isn’t brilliant but my god there’s some shyte in the second string…

  • robbersdog

    I don’t think there’s a great deal of difference between the two teams – the entire squad, with a few exceptions like Lascelles and Shelvey, is bang average.

    I just want us to score a goal or two, and perhaps win the occasional game. That’s now the extent of my ambition.

    • Apart from Dubravka, Shelvey, Kenedy, Fernandez and perhaps Muto/Rondon/Lascelles the rest are mid-table Championship players when on form!
      Sell everyone else. Bring the U23s and 5 decent players in January. That’s the only way I see we get a chance. Big problem is no Championship/L1 team can pay the wages we have these semi-amateurs on.

      • Rabid Dog

        Jury is still out on Kenedy for me this season. Right now I actually glad we didn’t spend 20 mil on him. That’s the imaginary 20 mil we never had to spend on him anyhow….

        • Yes, but you can see the quality on the ball and shooting. We have nobody in the team even close to that level. That for me warants a 20m purchase.

  • Mrkgw

    Major overhaul definitely needed at the club. Compare our side with that of our relegation season. We are considerably weaker now.

  • We replaced Merino with over-the-hill Ki and Diame still starting regularly in the Premier league just about tells it all. Muto may end up slightly better than Gayle but at this time it isn’t even like for like. Don’t even get me started on Manquillo who was 10 pounds overweight at the start of the season and best defending fullback Dummett who can’t overlap, pass, shoot, cut inside or take players on! We cannot win with these players against any half-decent side, so our only hope is picking up points from the 5-6 teams around us.

    • Chris-Chapple

      the same as last season then

    • BigHairyDog

      Merino wanted to go, had a release clause that was met and some idiots blame Rafa!!!

      We are £20million lighter this season, that’s not standing still, it’s deliberately downgrading.

  • Chris-Chapple

    A relegation squad if ever there was one.


    That 2nd choice team would struggle in the championship

    • Danimal

      Agreed. Just out of interest, what’s that username all about? What would you like to see more of on BBC news output?

    • Phil Yare

      that 1st choice team will struggle in the championship

  • I think the U23 side should be filling half the bench along with first team contenders. Rafa obviously believes, Manquillo, Joselu, Hayden, Ki, Atsu and Murphy aren’t first team players nor contenders, so, why keep ’em at all? I believe the problem to be the fat wages most are on and we simply can’t shift them.

  • Rabid Dog

    Cue Clarko detailing how many blah blah euros Rafa has spent and how many blah blah blah of his signings blah blah, blah blah blah ZZZZ…Zzz…..zzz zzz….

    • Kenny

      He`s banged up in his rubber room for the night, I hope

      • Rabid Dog

        I’m quite surprised he hasn’t emerged. This thread is right up his euro street….

        • Kenny


  • Danimal

    That Atsu-Ki-Hayden-Murphy midfield will have Pep, Klopp and co sweating over their chalk boards. Even if those four maestros have an off day we could always try a bit of route one bombardment with the fearsome Hoss-Perez battering ram to aim at.

    • Rabid Dog

      If we get a few injuries, that is EXACTLY what you are looking at

    • Phil Yare

      i think that side could beat the famous brazil team including pele. i can just imagine socrates looking in disbelief as murphy skins the whole team and joselu nearly tears off the net

  • Phil Yare

    strength and depth. minimal strength and unlimited depth of poop

  • Coach Clagnut

    The leek beds would be growing prize winners if most of that 2nd string was spread on em.