Rafa Benitez will rotate his players throughout this season and that’s been clearly communicated to both players and fans alike.
There are some good reasons for this – we have a big squad and it will give players some games and will also help cut down on injuries throughout the season since players will not be over-played.
It will keep our players fresh so the squad will not be depleted through injury or tired out towards the end of this tough season.
Rafa Benitez on the training pitch
It also keeps players on their toes and they are not guaranteed a starting place in every single game however badly they may have played in the previous game – which has happened far too much at Newcastle in the past.
Rafa has made it extra clear to his players there will be significant competition for places this season.
Nobody is guaranteed a place in the side – not even the captain Jamaal Lascelles – as we quickly found out this season after those initial two successive defeats.
Ciaran Clark has been interviewed today in the local press and he has talked about the policy and what the players think about it.
The Irish International also mentions the great 6-0 win a week ago at QPR:
“I think all the lads have bought into it. “That’s what the manager does. There’s a lot of competition for places.”
“I think we all know that if you haven’t been picked, it’s probably not for the reason you haven’t done well, it’s probably for the reason to get fresh legs in there and keep you fresh for the next game.”
“In the long term, that will help us in our bid for promotion. “It’s good to have a big squad and to have quality players fighting for spots in the team.”
“Everyone fully understands it.”
“It was nice to get the goal. First of all, as a defender, you try to make sure you keep goals out and keep clean sheets, but it’s always nice when you get on the end of one.”
“I think half the squad scored that night!” “It was fantastic to get on score sheet, but the result was the most important thing.”
“It was a fantastic performance from the lads. We need to try concentrate on the games coming up.”
“For the players, supporters and the staff, it’s always nice, and builds confidence, if you can get a good cup run going.”
We expect Ciaran to be in the starting eleven tonight after he played so well last Tuesday night in London.
We need a win.