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Opinion

Newcastle United team includes one Steve Bruce signing once everybody is fit

1 year ago
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The Newcastle United team against Manchester United was always going to be interesting.

Firstly, seeing how Steve Bruce would react after the 5-0 humiliation at Leicester, make changes or challenge the same players to show they could bounce back.

Secondly, with more players coming back to full fitness, would they get a chance.

As it happened, Steve Bruce went for five changes to that Leicester team and it paid off.

Matty Longstaff scoring the winner in a man of the match display on his Premier League debut.

Whilst Ciaran Clark, DeAndre Yedlin, Jetro Willems and Allan Saint-Maximin also played their part in the victory.

As we creep ever nearer towards it, the question could become what the Newcastle United team will be once everybody is available.

This two week international break giving extra time for the likes of Gayle, Lejeune and Ritchie to build towards potentially being back in the first team.

So who would you choose?

Martin Dubravka is obviously the goalkeeper, I don’t think anybody would dispute that.

Staying in the 3-4-3/5-2-3/3-4-2-1 system, picking three centre-backs is maybe the toughest competition.

Once fit, I think Lejeune and Schar are easily the best two we have and then Jamaal Lascelles edging out the likes of Fernandez, Clark and Dummett for the other spot.

At right wing-back I think DeAndre Yedlin is an easy choice. Played well against Man Utd and whilst he will never be a great footballer, his pace/mobility up and down the pitch puts him easily ahead of Manquillo with Krafth a poor third.

On the other side, Matt Ritchie is another easy choice. Dummett can’t play as a wing-back and Matt Ritchie has been excellent there since Rafa Benitez converted him last season. I’m guessing one or two of you would pick Willems but to be honest, I think his general play as been pretty poor, especially in defence. Obviously it was an excellent goal at Liverpool and he laid the ball off for Matty Longstaff on Sunday but those moments don’t make up for his overall play, Ritchie gives far far more to the team.

In the middle of the pitch, another easy choice.

The Longstaff double dream is of course an exciting one and Matty could have another two chances to show what he can do, before Hayden is free from suspension. However, Hayden and Sean Longstaff have shown more than enough when playing together to make them automatic first choices this season. Matty Longstaff though certainly putting himself forward as next choice cover once everybody is available. Ki and Shelvey not doing anything to trouble the judges.

As for the front three…

Allan Saint-Maximin is a real livewire and gives Newcastle that wildcard, prepared to run at the opposition with pace on a direct route to goal.

Miguel Almiron is also a straightforward choice, I think he will benefit the most from ASM’s presence and having two quick players prepared to carry the ball will make Newcastle a far better team.

Speaking of quick, maybe my most controversial selection is the final one. I think Dwight Gayle will be perfect to play with the other two, e is pacy as well and has shown he is prepared to do the unselfish running to open up space and chances for others. I think this trio could thrive and create plenty of chances and take them, plus they are all prepared to track back as well.

It doesn’t mean I am writing off Joelinton but at the moment, I think Gayle would stand far more chance of helping the team to score more goals than the Brazilian who has struggled so far.

Reflecting on this team above, I see I have picked only one Steve Bruce (Mike Ashley?) signing. Then you have one Alan Pardew signing in Jamaal Lascelles (although he was loaned straight back to to Forest and so never played until Steve McClaren was head coach), Sean Longstaff who came into the club as a kid, plus eight players Rafa Benitez signed.

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