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Opinion

It is not a case of if Fabian Schar plays on Saturday…

7 months ago
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When we get to Saturday it will be a month since Fabian Schar played for Newcastle United.

The defender having played in the 3-2 win over Everton before a two match match suspension for 10 yellow cards in 18 Premier League games, saw him miss Bournemouth and Arsenal.

He then had an ‘interesting’ international break, making both goals as Switzerland beat Georgia 2-0 but only after having earlier been knocked unconscious early in the game. Subsequently banned from playing in the 3-3 draw aganst Denmark on medical advice.

Various media are now asking if Schar should come in against Crystal Palace and if so, who should he replace?

This surely, the first part, isn’t a question.

If Fabian Schar is fit to play then he should be automatically in the team.

Cracking goals from Rondon and especially the last second equaliser from Ritchie, papered over a lot of cracks, Newcastle were very poor defensively and in the end lucky to take a point.

The bare statistics tell us everything…

Fabian Schar has played in 18 Premier League games this season and Newcastle have won nine and drawn four of them, picking up 31 points. In his absence the team have won none of the 14 games, only picking up four from a possible 42 points.

On Monday night it was always going to be tough but the total inability to retain the ball was disappointing to see. It doesn’t mean all of our players are poor but it does remind us that we have very few quality technical players. On Monday there was plenty of effort but little composure.

Fabian Schar gives us that quality and composure, as well as being a very good defender.

At the Emirates, the team struggled to keep the ball for more than a few seconds/passes, the pressure was relentless as Newcastle simply gifted back possession.

Jonjo Shelvey is one of the few other players who is also very good technically but for whatever reason(s) Rafa Benitez appears to have decided that his time is up at the club. Preferring Diame, Hayden and Ki.

As to who Fabian Schar would/should replace on Saturday, I think that is the wrong way of looking at it.

He is our best defender and arguably best player this season, so simply a case of him playing and then you fit the others around him.

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