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Newcastle United players featuring most in pre-season – 450 minutes and only 90 more to go

1 month ago
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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:

345 Hayden

342 Murphy

307 Sean Longstaff

302 Hendrick

292 Lewis

287 Fernandez

278 Fraser

273 Ritchie

244 Gayle

243 Lascelles

193 Watts

181 Wilson

180 Langley

149 Matty Longstaff

148 Clark

136 Dummett

135 Woodman

135 Gillespie

134 Schar

134 Krafth

116 Joelinton

110 Saint-Maximin

95 White

79 Young

63 Allan

31 Shelvey

11 Muto

6 Bondswell

0 Dubravka

0 Darlow

0 Anderson

0 Almiron

0 Manquillo

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:

345 Hayden

342 Murphy

307 Sean Longstaff

302 Hendrick

292 Lewis

287 Fernandez

278 Fraser

273 Ritchie

244 Gayle

243 Lascelles

That could give a team looking like this:

Woodman

Murphy, Lascelles, Fernandez, Lewis, Ritchie

Sean Longstaff, Hayden, Hendrick

Gayle, Fraser

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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