Newcastle United facing international incident as player trains after withdrawing from internationals – Report
Ryan Fraser was an unused sub on Saturday night as Newcastle United came away with a 1-1 draw against Brighton.
The following day, it was surprisingly announced that he had pulled out of the Scotland squad.
Former NUFC central defender Grant Hanley also pulled out, with a groin injury, but no reason made public as to why the Newcastle winger had withdrawn.
The thing is as well, these aren’t just any old games, Scotland have their final Qatar 2022 group qualifiers against Moldova and Denmark to play, with three points guaranteeing them a World Cup play-off place. Israel can still overtake them into second place and they have their final two games against countries with nothing to play for, neither Austria or the Faroe Islands can now qualify.
Ryan Fraser started Scotland’s last game, a 1-0 win against Faroe Islands, and it was expected that he would be involved in this key game against Moldova on Friday (Denmark have won all eight group games so it is unlikely Scotland will get anything from that one).
Now though The Mail have reported that Ryan Fraser told Scotland that he had a calf injury, as the reason for his surprise withdrawal, having been named in the Newcastle matchday squad at Brighton only the previous day.
The Mail say that Scotland are far from happy, as Ryan Fraser then trained with the rest of the Newcastle United squad (that aren’t on international duty…) on Tuesday, Eddie Howe taking his first NUFC training session.
The newspaper reporting that ‘Ryan Fraser will be asked to explain why he pulled out of Scotland’s crucial World Cup qualifiers this week – only to then train with Newcastle.’
The Mail do add that ‘Club sources say he [Ryan Fraser] did not take part in the full session and wanted to test his calf muscle.’
The alternative view of course, being that those in Scotland will think he is prioritising his club / Newcastle career at the expense of his country, wanting to make the best possible impression on his old Bournemouth boss, Eddie Howe.
Ryan Fraser became public enemy number one at Bournemouth, when he ran his contract down so he could leave for nothing so he could get the highest possible wages at his next club AND then refused to sign a short-term contract in the summer of 2020, so that he could be available for the remainder of that Covid affected elongated season.
Bournemouth ended up relegated by a single point and Ryan Fraser even admitted earlier during that season, he hadn’t been giving it 100% but pledged to do so for the rest of the campaign…
Ryan Fraser then got his very lucrative contract at Newcastle United as a free agent, whilst Eddie Howe resigned after the relegation, only for then 15 months later the pair to find themselves reunited. Small world.
The Mail say though that Eddie Howe and Ryan Fraser have had clear the air talks since they both left Bournemouth.
Only Ryan Fraser will really know whether he could / should be still with his Scotland teammates…
However, certainly based on the way he acted at Bournemouth, it is difficult to get away from an impression of Ryan Fraser very much looking after number one.
Fraser may have cleared the air with Eddie Howe but convincing the new NUFC boss that he deserves a place in the team, may be far tougher.
Ryan Fraser has been pretty woeful since arriving at St James Park and certainly unrecognisable as the player who in 2018/19 managed 7 goals and 14 assists in the Premier League for Bournemouth, with Callum Wilson a big beneficiary, the striker scoring 14 and also getting 9 assists.
It remains to be seen how far Scotland go with this, as they could potentially prevent Ryan Fraser being involved in the game against Brentford in 10 days time.
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