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Two out of three near return – Eddie Howe on Newcastle United injury situation set to improve

1 year ago
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Eddie Howe has been talking about those on the injured list at Newcastle United.

Whilst Emil Krafth and Jonjo Shelvey are long-term absentees, we have recently seen Callum Wilson, Bruno Guimaraes and Allan Saint-Maximin join them, that trio hopefully set to be short-term absentees.

All that latter three having ‘minor’ hamstring issues and now the delicate balance of when exactly to bring each of them back.

With Eddie Howe, I think we have already seen in his ten month at the club, that the same as Rafa Benitez, he will look after his players. Unlike certain other former Newcastle United bosses…Howe won’t take unnecessary risks with his players, by gambling on bringing them back before they are properly ready.

With hamstring problems this is particularly delicate, as a player with a ‘minor’ issue can easily become a far longer-term casualty.

The message from Eddie Howe has been all three of ASM, Wilson and Bruno will not be out long.

Now he has revealed that he hopes to have a ‘couple’ of them back soon, with West Ham away on Sunday and then Bournemouth at home in 12 days time.

Eddie Howe after the draw with Crystal Palace, talking about the fitness / availability situation regarding Bruno Guimaraes, Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin:

“Hopefully, they will (all) be back soon.

“Hopefully, they are not going to be too far away.

“Maybe not all three together, but certainly, we hope to get a couple back soon.

“I think if you take these players out of any team, the real attacking players who can make a difference, you are going to notice it.

“We have noticed it. 

“We have missed them.

“However, in saying that, I have to give a big compliment to the players that have played these three games (Wolves, Liverpool, Crystal Palace) in a week.

“I think they have been incredible.”

The the head coach has previously said that Callum Wilson is slightly behind both ASM and Bruno in terms of the order they are likely to come back. However, I am guessing it is going to come down to a combination of what the medical staff are saying and how each of the Newcastle players are feeling.

This past week has seen three matches where any of the results could have been possible based on what we saw, against Wolves, Liverpool and Palace, Newcastle could have potentially won, lost, or drew all three.

Bruno and Callum Wilson have missed all three matches, whilst ASM rescued a point with that wonder goal against Wolves and then has missed Liverpool and Palace.

Personally, I thought we were easily the better team at Wolves and deserved to win, whilst against Palace I believe Newcastle also were the better side and should have won, though Palace were better / tougher opponents than Wolves. Against Liverpool, an excellent performance and the team defended really well, the scouser taking an hour to have their first shot on target. Whilst at the other end, Eddie Howe’s players always presented a goal threat as the brave tactics saw them press high. Newcastle certainly deserved a point on their display and of course that very harsh VAR decision prevented a 2-0 lead which I think almost certainly would have led to a first NUFC Premier League win at Anfield since 1994.

As Eddie Howe says, the players who have played these past three games do deserve a lot of credit because the displays have been very decent, certainly they deserve to have picked up more than the two points from nine. That latest and probably worst of all VAR / referee shambles on Saturday at St James’ Park was very tough to take, almost certainly costing Newcastle two points.

For me, there is zero doubt that adding Wilson and Bruno to the team would have made Newcastle more likely to pick up more points this past week. Whilst as for ASM, it still baffles me how little credit some Newcastle fans give him, as for me he is the same as that other pair in terms of no brainers when it comes to strengthening this current NUFC team.

Some fans / journalists talk of it being an either / or when it comes to Isak and Wilson, but for me, I think in most games Eddie Howe will most definitely want to play both of them and the thought of that pair as well as ASM and Bruno in the side…I can’t wait.

When it comes to delicate balance on when to bring these players back, Eddie Howe will also be looking at the fact that after the Bournemouth match in 12 days time, there is then a two week international break before the away trip to Fulham on Saturday 1 October.

However, Bruno Guimaraes certainly won’t be having any ‘break’ as this is the last Brazil get together before the World Cup squad will be announced, so unless injury absolutely prevents him, he will be with his international teammates. They have friendlies against Ghana and Tunisia but one saving grace is that this Brazil get together and matches are to be played in France and not South America, so minimal travel for the majority of the Brazil squad who play in Europe. No availability issues for Bruno against Fulham hopefully then, especially as the second and final friendly is played in Paris on Tuesday 27 September, fully four days before that Newcastle match at Craven Cottage.

Callum Wilson of course is desperately hoping for a return to international duty. Two goals in three matches was a great start and he will be desperate to say to Gareth Southgate he is fit and available if getting the call for this key England get together, they play Italy and Germany in Nations League matches.

Allan Saint-Maximin still retains dreams of making this World Cup and the goal against Wolves and brilliant display against Man City, when making all three NUFC goals, will certainly have grabbed attention in France. With squads of 26 instead of 23 allowed this time at the World Cup, can France afford to not include a potential game changer such as ASM? France play Denmark and Austria in Nations League games this month and have had some dismal form these past four games, losing to both Croatia and Denmark, as well as drawing with Croatia and Austria. With Deschamps be considering giving other players a try?

This was always going to be a manic season due to the World Cup in the middle of it and managing injuries / fitness of players is a big challenge. After the international break it is another nine (eight PL and one League Cup game) Newcastle games in six weeks before the national squads head off to Qatar. Hopefully Newcastle United have as many key players as possible available and start picking up more of the points that performances have deserved so far.

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