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Opinion

The 11 Newcastle players that fans want on the pitch when everybody’s fit – Gives room for optimism?

3 weeks ago
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Earlier this month we asked fans who their 11 Newcastle players would be in the team, when/if everybody is fit and available, if that ever happens to be the case.

The resultsĀ  of the voting showed one thing very clearly.

Newcastle United have got a very unbalanced squad in terms of quality and strength in depth.

All of the percentage voting in The Mag poll is below but these were the 11 to get the biggest support:

99% Martin Dubravka, 98% Fabian Schar, 94% Joelinton, 90% Sean Longstaff, 88% Miguel Almiron, 84% Isaac Hayden, 80% Allan Saint-Maximin, 73% Jamaal Lascelles, 72% Florian Lejeune, 71% Matt Ritchie, 62% Paul Dummett

As you can see, four players (Lascelles, Lejeune, Schar, Dummett) who can only really play in the three centre-back positions in a three/five at the back system. Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez squeezed in the voting because of the other candidates but they are also very capable and I don’t hear concerns expressed by fans when they are selected.

However, no obvious choices for wing-backs apart from Matt Ritchie who is really a winger, whilst up front Joelinton, ASM and Almiron are seen as automatic choices.

Of the top 11 Newcastle players that the supporters chose, four of them are currently not available to start.

So the big question is: If Sean Longstaff, Florian Lejeune, Allan Saint-Maximin and Matt Ritchie are added to the team that struggled so badly against Brighton, would that produce a team more than capable of avoiding relegation and maybe better than that, despite having Steve Bruce in charge?

A bit like when Alan Pardew was here, when Newcastle finished fifth that season they did have Krul, Coloccini, Tiote, Jonas, Cabaye, Ba, Cisse and Ben Arfa in the team, who when they were all on top of their game that season were a match for pretty much anyone, regardless of the manager’s instructions.

The Mag – 4 September 2019:

This is the fans choice of Newcastle United team with everybody available, each player rounded up/down to nearest full percentage point:

99% Martin Dubravka

98% Fabian Schar

94% Joelinton

90%Sean Longstaff

88% Miguel Almiron

84% Isaac Hayden

80% Allan Saint-Maximin

73% Jamaal Lascelles

72% Florian Lejeune

71% Matt Ritchie

62% Paul Dummett

37% DeAndre Yedlin

30% Emil Krafth

28% Jetro Willems

26% Jonjo Shelvey

26% Andy Carroll

16% Javier Manquillo

15% Christian Atsu

8% Dwight Gayle

8%Federico Fernandez

3% Yoshinori Muto

3% Ki Sung-yeung

2% Ciaran Clark

1% Rob Elliot

1% Karl Darlow

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