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Opinion

All 23 Newcastle United players – Number of starts and minutes played since restart and what it tells us

4 months ago
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The Newcastle United players have had eight games (seven Premier League matches and one FA Cup game) spread over 25 days since football kicked off again, albeit behind closed doors.

Here I have drilled down into the stats.

Looking at how many minutes each of the Newcastle United players have been given, as well as the number of starts and sub appearances.

What clues does it give us on which players are most valued by Steve Bruce and set to be key next season, assuming he (Bruce) remains as head coach.

Also, which players obviously have no future at NUFC under Steve Bruce.

In addition, the injury situation is getting ever worse, just how much, if at all, is this down to a mismanagement of the NUFC squad?

So, the 23 Newcastle United players who have played since restart, in descending order according to minutes played:

Federico Fernandez (720 minutes, 8 starts, 0 sub appearances)

The only one to start all eight games and play every single minute. Those around him haven’t helped either but playing so many games in a short space of time may have possibly contributed to his form dropping in recent games.

Martin Dubravka (630 minutes, 7 starts, 0 sub appearances)

Played every game / minute apart from bizarrely left out of the most important game, the FA Cup quarter-final.

Jonjo Shelvey (601 minutes, 7 starts, 0 sub appearance)

Same as Dubravka, started all seven PL games but left out of the FA Cup one. Clearly a favourite of Bruce’s.

Miguel Almiron (563 minutes, 6 starts, 1 sub appearance)

Played a lot of football for an attacking player who does so much running. Put at risk of injury.

Allan Saint-Maximin (554 minutes, 7 starts, 0 sub appearances)

Same as Almiron, always great to see him play but last thing we need is an injury due to overplaying that could put him at risk for start of next season.

Javier Manquillo (547 minutes, 6 starts, 1 sub appearance)

Mr reliable, usually does a decent job wherever asked to play and a new contract signed.

Jamaal Lascelles (537 minutes, 6 starts, 0 sub appearances)

Played every minute of first five games before Steve Bruce said he had an ankle problem and left him out of Man City 5-0 defeat. Brought him back for Watford and lasted until 87th minute but has bringing him back so quickly led to the ankle operation the NUFC captain had on Tuesday?

Joelinton (426 minutes, 5 starts, 3 sub appearances)

Clearly he isn’t a £40m player but equally clear that Steve Bruce doesn’t have a clue on how / where to play somebody who did well in Bundesliga and Champions League last season.

Danny Rose (424 minutes, 5 starts, 0 sub appearances)

Has been really poor but no other options apart from playing Ritchie or Manquillo there. Bruce still taking about a permanent deal but Rose hasn’t shown anything to justify that.

Matt Ritchie (423 minutes, 5 starts, 1 sub appearance)

Back fully fit and now in form, one of few bright spots in these last three defeats.

Fabian Schar (365 minutes, 4 starts, 1 sub appearances)

Clearly not a favourite of Steve Bruce, had started once since new year’s day in the league until these last three games, Bruce only playing him because no alternatives and now knackered.

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Emil Krafth (365 minutes, 4 starts, 1 sub appearance)

Bruce has given him a run of games, four starts in last five. However, just like early on this season, doesn’t look anywhere near PL standard.

Dwight Gayle (352 minutes, 4 starts, 3 sub appearances)

Finally given a proper chance by Steve Bruce. After only four PL starts all season, Gayle has started four of the last five. Scoring three and getting an assist, has proved that against very weak / almost non-existent competition, that he is the best striker at the club.

Nabil Bentaleb (340 minutes, 3 starts, 4 sub appearances)

Woeful. Steve Bruce persisting in using him even when has other options, would rather even give him minutes as a sub than Matty Longstaff.

Isaac Hayden (316 minutes, 4 starts, 1 sub appearance)

Started all the first three games. sub in the fourth and then started and injured the fifth. Now out for the season and maybe victim of asked to play too much.

DeAndre Yedlin (179 minutes, 2 starts, 3 sub appearances)

Clearly on his way out this summer.

Valentino Lazaro (177 minutes, 1 starts, 7 sub appearances)

Only start was in weakened team at Man City in the 5-0 game. Clearly no intention of trying to sign him permanently but strange how not being used more to rest other players and has shown signs of promise in brief appearances.

Andy Carroll (138 minutes, 1 start, 4 sub appearances)

Made only start when Steve Bruce decided to play weakened team in FA Cup against Man City, minimal time on the pitch and now injured yet again. Absolute joke that Newcastle have given him another year.

Sean Longstaff (123 minutes, 2 starts, 0 sub appearances)

Back from injury only to score and get injured against Bournemouth, so unlucky.

Karl Darlow (90 minutes, 1 start, 0 sub appearances)

Second choice and interesting to see what happens with likes of him and Freddie Woodman this summer.

Matty Longstaff (39 minutes, 0 starts, 3 sub appearances)

Treated abysmally by Steve Bruce, both in terms of lack of time on the pitch and Bruce’s embarrassing public comments on the contract situation.

Yoshinori Muto (6 minutes, 0 starts, 1 sub appearance)

No future at NUFC no matter what happens with takeover and / or Bruce. However, with these being meaningless games, surely worth giving him more minutes to help try and flog him and protect other players from overplaying and possible injury.

Christian Atsu (6 minutes, 0 starts, 1 sub appearance)

Same as Muto.

(As for other players – Lejeune and Clark have been injured during this period, whilst Rob Elliot left at the end of June without playing)

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