Newcastle United players featuring most in pre-season – 450 minutes and only 90 more to go
With only just over a week to go until Newcastle host West Ham, interesting to see how many minutes on the pitch for each of the Newcastle United players in the pre-season friendlies.
So have the right players got the right number of minutes this summer?
Newcastle have played York, Doncaster, Rotherham, Burton and Burnley with a maximum of 450 minutes available for each player (ignoring injuries etc), with only the home friendly against Norwich still to come ahead of the serious stuff.
These are the highest to lowest:
307 Sean Longstaff
149 Matty Longstaff
In an ideal world, Newcastle United’s best players would be right up at the top of that list.
Instead, between them, the likes of Dubravka, ASM, Almiron and Wilson have only played a collective 281 minutes from a possible 1,800 minutes.
Dubravka and Almiron playing no part at all in the five friendlies, whilst Wilson hasn’t featured in the last two and ASM has missed the last three.
Miguel Almiron is back on Tyneside and was scheduled to join training on Wednesday but surely won’t be in any kind of condition to be considered for West Ham in 10 days time.
I feel the same with ASM and Wilson, even if they come back to training and maybe get some minutes against Norwich, it is a massive risk to throw them in from the start in the opening Premier League match.
Steve Bruce is so keen to say that pre-season friendlies are all about players getting as many minutes in their legs as possible. If they haven’t managed to get many of those minutes, how can they be seen as fully fit and ready to start the opening game?
If you are looking for who is most likely to start against West Ham, in the real world, I think you have to look at Freddie Woodman in goal and then the bulk of the outfield players coming from these 10 who have managed to get most minutes so far in pre-season:
307 Sean Longstaff
That could give a team looking like this:
Murphy, Lascelles, Fernandez, Lewis, Ritchie
Sean Longstaff, Hayden, Hendrick
This is where you end up with a few key injuries and a refusal to allow any of the essential strengthening of the first team that was desperately needed.
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