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Opinion

Newcastle United up against the benefit of experience in next challenge

3 weeks ago
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It is Watford up next for Newcastle United.

Steve Bruce hoping to climb out of the relegation zone, whilst Xisco Munoz could take his Watford side seven points clear of Newcastle at this early stage of the season.

The last time the two teams met it was 2-1 to Watford back on the 11 July 2020, Troy Deeney scoring both goals (Gayle got Newcastle’s) but he has now moved on to Birmingham at the age of 33.

To be honest though, would Deeney have actually stood out if he had stayed at Vicarage Road?

Watford have gone down a very definite route when it comes to their approach this season, the type of players they are relying on to keep them up.

Watford won 3-1 at Norwich on Saturday in what could prove to be a real relegation six pointer, this was their starting eleven and the age of each player.

38 Foster

31 Rose

32 Cathcart

30 Femenia

28 Troost-Ekong

32 Sissoko

34 Kucka

32 Cleverley

29 King

23 Dennis

23 Sarr

Safe to say, if Watford are still in the Premier League in a couple of years time, not many in this team are likely to be still starting for them!

This very much is looking like a team put together with the hope of keeping them up this time, then a major reconstruction next summer if still in the top tier.

That eleven above average over 30 years old and only the 23 year old attacking pair of Sarr and Dennis massively help bring the age down a bit. Seven of the starting eleven are 30+ and Josh King turns 30 in January, the youngest in the eleven apart from the two 23 year olds is 28 year old Troost-Ekong.

Interesting to look at their team and they have our old mate French international Moussa Sissoko, as well as Danny Rose and Josh King, the latter two are players who Steve Bruce allegedly was interesting in signing.

Then Watford also have three former England internationals in Foster, Rose and Cleverley.

Newcastle United have far too many 30+ year olds in their squad as well, although Friday’s team that lost to Leeds, was a fair bit younger than it could have been otherwise.

30 Darlow

27 Manquillo

27 Lascelles

26 Hayden

31 Clark

32 Ritchie

23 Sean Longstaff

22 Willock

24 ASM

27 Almiron

25 Joelinton

This Newcastle eleven with an average age less than 27, with the likes of Dubravka (32), Dummett (29), Schar (29), Shelvey (29), Wilson (29), Hendrick (29), Fernandez (32) and Gayle (31) not in the starting side against Leeds.

From what I saw of them on Saturday, I think Watford look very quick and lively in attack, with Josh King looking very good along with the 23 year olds Dennis and Sarr. It could be a tough afternoon for Newcastle’s not so quick / young defenders.

Hopefully though, if Steve Bruce is willing to go more on the attack and push key young / quick players such as ASM, Willock and Almiron high up the pitch, NUFC can get plenty joy out of playing against the likes of Danny Rose and the others who are the wrong side of 30.

A massive match and one Newcastle United surely need to do everything they can to win…and certainly can’t afford to lose.

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