In the last several seasons going back at least 10 years, Newcastle have had injuries to key players that left us weakened in the sides we could put oon the field.
Our squad was never very deep and one reason for that was that we never had a very big squad, so that injuries to key players was always difficult for us.
If we had a very good player in one position we never really bothered bringing in a very good player in that same position – that was never the mind-set.
Rafa Benitez in deep thought in training session
But that all changed this summer with Rafa Benitez wanting two good players at least for each position in the side – and the competition for places got ramped up and is now huge at Newcastle.
It also means we are better equipped to handle injuries because with a number of players not playing, they will tend to remain injury free and fresher as the season progresses.
Rafa has also made some important changes – like laying state of the art 4G internal pitches – that will help to reduce injuries.
But Rafa doesn’t think we have the biggest squad in the Championship and disputes that claim.
He does say that Newcastle do give a lot of their players a game via his rotation policy and other Championship teams don’t always do that.
This is what the manager said:
“We don’t have a bigger squad than the others or the majority of the teams.”
“I don’t know how many players they have. I would not say we have a bigger squad in terms of strength or quality. I would say maybe – but it’s because we are using the players.”
“You can’t see one of our players who is not playing is better than a player in another team.” “It is because they are playing for us and we are using these players.”
“Our squad in terms of numbers is similar to others. In terms of quality it could be better but other teams have good players on the bench.”
“We use our players though – we make sure they are playing and competing with each other.”
“I say we have a good squad but we encourage them to give everything and stay to a good level.”
Rafa’s rotation policy should start to pay off as the season progresses and we shouldn’t see so many injuries in the squad.
They will tend to be fresher and motivated to make a difference when they do play, so maybe we can have a surge of good results in the second half of the season?
We are doing OK right now and every game is a game we can win and the more wins the better.
Rafa’s policy is to win every single game and so far in the 16 total games we have played this season we have won 12 of them.
Not too bad!
What do you think?