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How to replace Isaac Hayden – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

10 months ago

Just as we thought our season probably couldn’t get any worse, the extent of the injury to Isaac Hayden seems to dig that hole a little bit deeper.

The club have confirmed that at the very least, Isaac Hayden, will be out for the rest of this 2020/21 season.

As our most consistent midfielder, it’s another sickening blow to the Premier League survival hopes.

So where do we go from here?

I’m sure this injury will be used as yet another excuse to try and help cover up the absolute shambolic job the cabbage has been doing over his tenure at the club.

However, at the end of the day excuses are not helping anyone and who should slot in to replace Isaac Hayden?

Here’s two decent options, one bad (so probably most likely) and one left field choice.

Matty Longstaff

Probably the most ideal fit.

Matty Longstaff has the energy and dynamic ability to cover a lot of ground in the centre of the park, if not the experience of Hayden.

Also, as a local boy you’d think he’d be fired up to try and drag the club away from the drop zone by any means necessary, something sorely missed this season in others (Shelvey anyone?).

He’s been a hero for the club before, which did admittedly led to some massive over-hyping, but he certainly showed promise when given a chance. Surely this should be a no-brainer and Bruce has no choice but to bring him in from the cold?

Sean Longstaff

Another pretty decent fit.

Sean has played a little further up the pitch than his brother but the reasoning remains the same.

Local boy, point to prove, bringing energy to a tired and lacklustre midfield.

Also frozen out by Bruce, supposedly for not understanding the Head Coach’s “tactics” at the Sheffield United away game defeat. If Steve Bruce was so eager to drop players after one bad performance, there are some players far more deserving of it than Sean!

Honestly, I’d bring both Longstaffs in and drop Shelvey as well, for reasons I probably don’t need to explain at this point (lazy and ineffectual sums it up quite well though,), but fairly certain there’s more chance of Rafa coming back than that happening.

Jeff Hendrick

Definitely the worst option of the lot, so almost certainly the one we will see.

I’m not really sure why Hendrick would even be given a thought to be honest, when he’s on the pitch he seems to be attempting to win the world’s most anonymous player competition, avoiding the ball at all times. Then when he is accidentally given it, a two yard sideways / backwards pass is always on the menu.

It’s not like he’s any better off the ball either, always aimlessly wandering around like a child lost in the shops, 100% this is what we’ll see against Spurs.

Miguel Almiron

Bit of an unorthodox solution here, so it will not get into the tactical masterclass of our manager.

However, as we need more energy in the middle of the park, why not put our most energetic player there?

A caveat that we would need Wilson and ASM back for this to keep up some semblance of attack, and I’d probably bring in a Longstaff for Shelvey too to add some stability, but why not change things up?

It’s not as if Newcastle United have got a formation that’s doing well at the moment…

So there’s my thoughts, for what it’s worth.

Bring it on and no doubt the next match will be the Jeff and Jonjo show in the middle of the pitch, I can’t wait!


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