Following Saturday’s dismal display in the 0-3 home defeat to Watford, we can expect changes to be made for tonight’s trip to West Brom. Weren’t nearly good enough, both individually and collectively, and something has to change tonight.
With this in mind, here’s FOUR players who could be dropped for tonight’s trip to The Hawthorns:
The Spaniard did ok in his first few games for us, but I’m not longer buying Rafa’s argument that, despite not scoring, he’s bringing a lot to the side. He looks woefully short on confidence in front of goal, isn’t winning his aerial battles like he did early on and is struggling to hold up the ball or link the play. He really isn’t offering enough, and after a string of poor displays, surely it’s sending out a bad message to the rest of the squad to continue playing someone who’s not performing?
Rafa’s number one has came under criticism in recent weeks, with several fans feeling he could’ve done much better with some of the goals we’ve conceded in recent weeks. His distribution has always been limited, but his recent displays have indicated a slump in form. He’s a great pro, and has generally done a very solid job for us in goal, however he’s looked quite slow in recent weeks.
The former Atletico Madrid full-back has been able to fill in at left-back, but he’s clearly quite right sided and hasn’t looked all that comfortable defensively either. He’s switched off a few too many times, and the bigger and more athletic Chancel Mbemba may be far more suited to playing a tall side like West Brom, whose attacking threat will come from set pieces as much as anything.
Replacement: Mbemba (Dummett not ready)
Diame tried to put himself about and get into Watford, but never really got close to them on Saturday. He didn’t get into the game and offered very little in another unproductive start for the Senegalese midfielder. If Merino is ready to start, he’d be a considerable upgrade on Diame and a welcome return to the side.
Yedlin, Ritchie and the two centre-backs took a fair share of criticism over the weekend too, but given our lack of options (Lascelles & Atsu out injured) and the fact they’re usually instrumental to the side, I don’t see any of those four being dropped just yet. They’ll need to be much much better tonight, mind.
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About Olly Hawkins
Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.