Newcastle played their second eleven last night, and now we are out of the Carling Cup, there will always be those who will second guess Chris’ team selection.
Walcott and Bendtner celebrate second goal – it was offside!
But we think he did exactly the right thing last night, in sticking with the fringe players and the youngsters, as he also has a job to keep those players getting some games at Newcastle. And part of our youth policy is to ensure our youngsters get their chances at the right time.
Far better start the side last night, even though we did lose the game, then playing the same side week in and week out like Martin O’Neill used to do at Aston Villa and have some players – like Habib Beye as just one example – never get a game. We are now hearing just how many players didn’t like Martin’s style at Villa.
And the other reason Chris was right to field a second eleven, is that the Premier League must be our top priority, and now we have no new injuries to our top players before the Tyne Wear Derby on Sunday.
When told that some supporters wanted a stronger team fielded last night, this is what Hughton told the Evening Chronicle:
“Any supporters that will say that, I understand.” “They support this club, and they want to see this club winning every game.” “I respect their thoughts, but I have to do the best job I can for this club, and I have to make very tough decisions.”
But the first teamers have been given a rest last night, and will be that much fresher for the vital league game on Sunday.
“That’s the plus – I don’t think we’ve picked up any injuries – but, at the moment, we’re very disappointed, because I didn’t think the scoreline was a reflection of the game.” “But, against their quality, it’s very difficult.”
It was never a 4-0 game and after Newcastle were 2-0 down to two rather strange goals, they were attacking Arsenal to try to get back into the game, and were twice caught short at the back in the final 10 minutes.
But hey, Arsenal are a top side, and we were beaten in the end, and we’ll only be unhappy if that happens on Sunday afternoon – in a game we must win.
Newcastle players must go all out on Sunday, and play this game as though their lives depended on winning it.
That should do the trick.