We noticed when Newcastle released their photographs of the team training a few days ago that four players who did not make the 25-man squad were involved. They were Rolando Aarons, Jack Colback, Henri Saivet, and Jamie Sterry. The other senior member who did not make the team was Achraf Lazaar who is trying to get a move to an Italian club in Serie A.
It was good to see that Steve Bruce had kept these players within the first-team when training. This will help them when they are moved out on loan. It also will help them deal with their disappointment at not making the squad.
This is one area where Steve Bruce is not as ruthless as Rafa Benitez. When Rafa had players who had not made the squad, he generally had them train with the reserves. Rafa Benitez is a world-class manager, and he knows what he is doing. However, Steve Bruce knows how to handle players, and both methods are legitimate. They are just polar opposites.
One player’s name, in particular, that has come up recently is Jack Colback. It was reported in the Chronicle yesterday that he was shocked at not being named in the Newcastle squad. Steve Bruce had given every player a clean slate when he arrived.
All of the players who ended up not making the final squad played featured in pre-season. That includes Jack Colback who played in the first three matches before missing the last two through injury. However, the final result of who made the team did not differ much from when Rafa was here.
Jack Colback– playing in pre-season
Scott Wilson in the Northern Echo is reporting that Jack Colback doesn’t want to go out on loan. He is instead hoping to stay at Newcastle in an effort to push for a place in the squad when it is again announced in January.
We know how Rafa Benitez would handle this situation as a similar one arose with Jack when Benitez was here. It did not end well for Jack Colback.
Bruce seems to be handling the situation differently as Jack is training with the first-team. It may be a case where Steve Bruce and Jack Colback have had an amicable conversation in which Jack just stated his preference of remaining at Newcastle.
He will be eligible for cup ties, and if there are some serious injuries to the first-team squad, he may even get a place in January. Situations like this show you the difference in the approach of both coaches. We understand and appreciate both styles of man-management but have noted with interest their differences.