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Opinion

Steve Bruce in danger of wasting the essential contribution of Javier Manquillo

2 weeks ago
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Javier Manquillo was the go to man on Tuesday night. As usual.

Steve Bruce making 10 changes to look after the ones who had played only 72 hours earlier, with one exception.

The NUFC Head Coach was also taking the opportunity to give the rest of the squad a game.

However, Javier Manquillo was still included in the team against Blackburn.

Some people and no doubt Steve Bruce himself as well, would say that there was no alternative but to keep Javier Manquillo in the side against Blackburn, but is that really true?

Jamal Lewis had a very decent game on Saturday and having joined Newcastle only days earlier, I think 100% correct decision not to play him again only three days later, BUT that shouldn’t have seen the Spanish defender asked to go again.

The argument is that with Paul Dummett injured, Javier Manquillo was the obvious and only replacement to fill in on the left. However, it is a bogus argument.

For me, it should have been a totally different eleven with Matt Ritchie playing at left-back, which would then have allowed Jacob Murphy to start on one wing with Ryan Fraser on the other.

My guess is that to placate Matt Ritchie, Steve Bruce allowed him to play in his favoured wing position as Ritchie wouldn’t have fancied left-back.

That then triggering Murphy not able to start and Manquillo having to play out of position, all to placate Matt Ritchie. This is weak management, Matt Ritchie ended up being one of Newcastle’s worst players (against stiff competition) on the night and to be honest, I don’t think he is up to playing further up the pitch these days. He ended up going backwards the vast majority of time he had the ball against Blackburn and in my opinion, if he is going to be in the team these days, it should be as a wing-back or full-back.

Anyway, the upshot of it all is that Javier Manquillo ended up playing a second ninety minutes only 72 hours after the West Ham one.

I get the feeling that Newcastle / Steve Bruce just take Javier Manquillo for granted, seeing him as a steady player who does a job and will do so regardless.

However, whilst Jamal Lewis got all the full-back plaudits after West Ham, I thought Javier Manquillo was the stand out one. Excellent up and down the right side and his cross leading to the opening goal.

The Spaniard can do a job on the left but I don’t think he is great there and I think by chopping and changing where he plays, as well as overplaying him, it won’t do him any favours. Something that I think we saw at times last season when messed around and asked to make up for the fact that Newcastle weren’t properly strengthened in that left-back area.

I also think there is a false sense of security on the right.

People would think that as Dummett is injured, it would be a big problem if Jamal Lewis got injured BUT they don’t think the same on the right.

This is because fans think if Manquillo is injured then Newcastle have Krafth and Yedlin to fill in.

Which is all very well apart from the fact they are rubbish!

I am yet to see Emil Krafth show anything to suggest he is a Premier League player, whilst as last night showed, whatever positives DeAndre Yedlin used to give the team, they have long since sailed into the distance.

When Newcastle play Morecambe next week, I hope and trust that Javier Manquillo has his feet up at home, nibbling on tapas, not playing his fourth match within the space of a week and a half.

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