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Bad news on Allan Saint-Maximin and Karl Darlow with 2 weeks until season starts

2 months ago
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Allan Saint-Maximin played 45 minutes in the defeat to sixth tier York City, then stepped that up to 66 minutes in the 3-2 win over League One Doncaster Rovers.

The French attacking player a class above anybody else on the pitch and once he was subbed against Doncaster, pretty much zero creativity.

At Rotherham he was nowhere to be seen, Newcastle completely outplayed by the South Yorkshire side in the first half, a more even second half but still very poor in the absence of Allan Saint-Maximin from NUFC in terms of ideas going forward against another League One side. Very lucky to come away with a 1-1 draw.

After the match, Steve Bruce was quizzed on ASM’s absence and said it was due to ‘illness’ but wouldn’t elaborate. With such distrust of those running the club, fair to say that the majority of fans were split between this ‘illness’ being cover for Allan Saint-Maximin unhappy and set for a move, or a second bout of Covid for the player.

Now we have had a further update from the club, when releasing training images from Thursday’s session, the club stated that Allan Saint-Maximin was ‘still poorly’ to explain why he wasn’t seen. Quite clearly ASM is going to miss tonight’s game at Burton and with only Norwich at home next Saturday as the final friendly, Allan Saint-Maximin at best, not having the perfect pre-season preparation. A player who relies so much on pace, energy, as well as trickery, we really need him at 100% to be fully effective in matches.

Only two weeks until the season starts and no doubt many fans already worrying that he could be missing when Newcastle kick off against West Ham. A situation made all the more severe by Mike Ashley refusing to allow any signings so far, the failure to even make a bid for Joe Willock particularly crushing.

Another big negative from this latest club update was confirmation that Karl Darlow remains at home and is unable to train, due to still recovering from a bad bout of Covid that put him in hospital. Further confirmation seemingly that Newcastle will be without both of last season’s Premier League goalkeepers, with Martin Dubravka recovering from surgery. This means that against West Ham we are set to see either Freddie Woodman or Mark Gillespie play their first game in the Premier League.

On the other hand, Thursday’s club update did have the positive of confirming that Joelinton is back in ‘full training’ after injury…

Looking through the images from Thursday’s training, these are the first team squad members we spotted:

Ciaran Clark, Federico Fernandez, Ryan Fraser, Dwight Gayle, Mark Gillespie, Isaac Hayden, Jeff Hendrick, Joelinton, Emil Krafth, Jamaal Lascelles, Jamal Lewis, Matty Longstaff, Sean Longstaff, Jacob Murphy, Matt Ritchie, Fabian Schar, Callum Wilson, Freddie Woodman

Younger players Jack Young, Tom Allan and Joe White also continue to train with Steve Bruce’s squad, with Kell Watts also involved.

So when it comes to players missing from the training images and presumably from tonight’s Burton friendly, we have:

Martin Dubravka, Karl Darlow and Allan Saint-Maximin for starters.

Miguel Almiron is due to be back at the weekend according to Steve Bruce, though no clarification on whether he has fully recovered from his hamstring injury.

Elliot Anderson – Steve Bruce has confirmed his hip injury issue in recent days.

Javier Manquillo – Has been missing from the friendlies due to injury and no sign of him in training yesterday.

Yoshinori Muto – Clearly Newcastle trying to move him out and hopefully his absence from training suggesting something might be happening.

Jonjo Shelvey – Midfielder recovering from a shin injury and hasn’t featured in any friendlies, absence from training indicating little chance of making start of season.

Paul Dummett – Has been involved in all three friendlies so far but we couldn’t see him in Thursday’s training session. May of course just be us missing spotting him, or indeed the camera doing so, but you do worry with his injury record that he can be knocked out of action at any time.

Newcastle United pre-season friendlies:

Sunday 18 July – York City 1 Newcastle 0

Sunday 18 July Harrogate Town 2 Newcastle 1 (This was originally a first team fixture with some Under 23 added but it became solely a Under 23 NUFC players after Karl Darlow tested positive for Covid and first team and Under 23s had to be kept apart)

Friday 23 July – Doncaster 2 Newcastle 3

Tuesday 27 July – Rotherham 1 Newcastle 1

Friday 30 July – Burton Albion away (7.45pm)

Saturday 7 August – Norwich home (2pm)

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