Newcastle United win 3-0 in Crewe friendly but concerns as Dwight Gayle limps off with injury
Interviewed ahead of the first friendly of the season, Steve Bruce was asked whether Newcastle United were are last going to bring a new centre-forward in, after failing to do so in January.
Despite having said a number of times since that January window, that Newcastle would bring in a new striker this summer, the message changed when the NUFC Head Coach was asked again this time, less than three weeks before the start of the new Premier League season.
Steve Bruce indicating that a new forward was maybe not now a priority, saying he had been really impressed with Dwight Gayle at the end of last season, the 29 year old scoring four Premier League goals after Bruce had ignored him for most of the rest of the season (only four starts before the return of football in June 2020.
With no great expectations from fans on the new striker / transfer front, very worrying then to see Dwight Gayle last only 18 minutes in today’s friendly before being forced out of the action, Gayle limping off.
The match at the Newcastle training camp base near York, had seen United line up with: Gillespie, Krafth, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Murphy, Hayden, Barlaser, Saint-Maximin, Almiron, Carroll
A mediocre friendly first half coming to life late on, as in the 39th minute, a long ball from Jamaal Lascelles finding Andy Carroll, who then chested it, headed it, then flicked it with right foot and on the turn volleyed home with his left without the ball hitting the deck (Go HERE to watch it).
Paul Dummett then struck the bar from distance just before the break but Newcastle went in 1-0 up against Crewe at the break.
As he had indicated he would do in advance, for the second half Steve Bruce lined up with an entirely different 11: Darlow, Yedlin, Fernandez, Lejeune, Manquillo, Saivet, Matty Longstaff, Shelvey, Atsu, Sean Longstaff, Gayle.
Very quickly after the restart it became 2-0 to Newcastle in the 47th minute, Gayle setting Atsu up for a close range finish.
Then Jonjo Shelvey hit the crossbar twice in quick succession.
Both from free-kicks in the 49th and 55th minutes, a 30 yard strike and the second from 20 yards.
A worry though then when in the 63rd minute, after only 18 minutes on the pitch, Dwight Gayle limped off with his injury.
As was pointed out earlier today on The Mag, neither Muto or Joelinton have been spotted on the many images released by the club from the training camp this past week and when Gayle was forced off, still no sign of either of them. Instead, Steve Bruce was forced to send midfielder Dan Barlaser back on to replace the Newcastle striker.
Barlaser then creating a third for NUFC, his corner headed home by Federico Fernandez on 72 minutes.
Having recently signed a new contract, Matty Longstaff put a shot narrowly wide in the final minute.
Interesting to see if after the match Steve Bruce gives any explanation for the absence of Joelinton and Muto.
Whilst obviously fingers crossed that Dwight Gayle hasn’t picked up a bad injury with the new season only two and a half weeks away, considering the lack of goalscoring strikers elsewhere in the squad. Yes, it was a brilliant goal in this friendly by Andy Carroll and we all hope he can stay fit but you won’t get that kind of space to score in the Premier League very often.
Overall though a satisfactory start (so long as Dwight Gayle is ok), as it finished Newcastle United 3 Crewe Alexandra 0.
Assuming as well of course that there was nothing to worry about regarding Martin Dubravka not being involved, guessing this was just to give the two back-up keepers a half each, with two more friendlies to come in the next week – Barnsley on Saturday and Middlesbrough next Tuesday. Jeff Hendrick another absentee but he hasn’t played any first team football for almost six months, has had no part in pre-season and only signed yesterday.
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