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These two Newcastle United teams to face Crewe in first friendly look very familiar

1 month ago
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Newcastle United will play their first pre-season friendly on Tuesday.

At 2pm tomorrow they will face Crewe Alexandra, the match at the end of their week long training camp near York.

Last Thursday, Steve Bruce revealed in an interview (see below) that it would be a little different to your average match: ‘We will play 11 for the best part of an hour and then another 11 for another hour.’

Interesting as well in that interview to hear Steve Bruce say: ‘This is an important week for us because lets be honest. When we go into the next week we are playing three [friendly] games and then the season is upon us.’

The NUFC Head Coach making clear how little time there is to play with, how important it is to get these pre-season preparations right.

When the friendly kicks off tomorrow, there will be only 18 days until the Premier League season starts and as Steve Bruce says, the plans have been a week’s training camp away – which ends tomorrow, then three friendlies in a week (Crewe on Tuesday, Barnsley on Saturday, then Middlesbrough the following Tuesday). Then as Bruce declares: ‘the season is upon us.’

Quite incredible then that we are now at day 29 of the transfer window and not a single bit of first team strengthening has happened, only new third choice keeper Mark Gillespie added a few weeks before the transfer window opened. He was a free agent and so could be signed then to replace Rob Elliot.

Even if Newcastle surprise us and make some credible signings this week, they will have next to no pre-season with their new teammates and almost certainly no involvement in any of these three pre-season friendlies.

So what will we see on Tuesday when Newcastle United line up, in the two different teams?

Well they will certainly look very familiar, with not a single new player set to feature.

These are my two suggested Newcastle United teams for the Crewe friendly:

Newcastle United:

Dubravka

Krafth, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett

Hayden, Shelvey

Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Ritchie

Gayle

Newcastle United:

Darlow

Yedlin, Fernandez, Lejeune, Manquillo

Sean Longstaff, Saivet

Murphy, Muto, Joelinton

Carroll

That leaves the following as the other Newcastle players still under contract:

Fabian Schar is still out injured, whilst Mark Gillespie is third choice keeper.

Whilst Christian Atsu is still there and Matty Longstaff joined up with the squad at the weekend after signing his contract but is unlikely to be ready to play.

You then have Achraf Lazaar and Rolando Aarons who are looking for new clubs.

What can you say?

The two teams outlined above, we know all about them because they are players who we have watched year on year, we know what they can…and what they can’t do.

Most of them aren’t terrible players but very few of them have real quality.

Especially when it comes to creating and scoring goals, the most important positions on the pitch.

This was a summer when we needed to have a serious turnover of players, instead we are looking at pretty much nothing next to nothing changing.

Mike Ashley rolling the dice yet again with a failure to do what was needed.

Steve Bruce talking to NUFC TV – Thursday 20 August:

“This is an important week for us because lets be honest. When we go into the next week we are playing three [friendly] games and then the season is upon us.”

“We tossed and turned with do we play 11 v 11 at the training ground.

“But then we decided to play and give every player at least 50 to 55 minutes [in next Tuesday’s friendly against Crewe].

“I’m just going to phone the Crewe manager in the next couple of days to see if he is alright with it, I’m sure he will be.

“So we will play 11 for the best part of an hour and then another 11 for another hour, so a good start.

“It is never easy managing this great club of ours, as I have said many times.

“I have enjoyed the last year and lets hope we can have some good fortune along the way in the next season as well.”

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