As we have pointed out in an earlier article that Ciaran Clark must be the unluckiest player ion the Newcastle team to have lost his place.
It was due to Ciaran playing in the last International break for the Republic of Ireland.
For the subsequent game at Southampton Rafa preferred Florian Lejeune in central defense, who had been training with Rafa and the squad for those two weeks – so he was given his chance.
And Lejeune has been in the starting lineup ever since, with Ciaran on the bench.
Ciaran was signed last year from Aston Villa for only £5M, and he was one of our best players last season in the Championship.
He’s been a terrific signing for us.
Ciaran Clark – in action for Newcastle
While Ciaran must be frustrated at losing his place he remains a top-class professional, and he had this to say to the Irish Examiner:
“I felt I was playing well myself, but there was a league game against Southampton a couple of days after Ireland’s win over Wales, and that was the decision the manager made”
“Every player wants to play, and I was coming off the back of two good results, but it’s the manager’s decision.”
“He’s experienced enough – his CV and his record shows that.”
“If he says that, I’m happy to go with it. Obviously, it’s frustrating sitting on the bench, but I’ll keep working hard.”
Ciaran is likely to start for Ireland in their two playoff games against Denmark during this International break.
For Ciaran’s sake and for Rob Elliot too – we hope they can qualify for next year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.
And if captain Jamaal Lascelles is not available through injury then Ciaran will be drafted in to play alongside Florian Lejeune at Old Trafford in our next game – which will be a difficult one.
Ciaran can also play at left-back, so we’re a little surprised he hasn’t been given a chance in that position this season when he’s not playing in central defense.