Before Rafa Benitez arrived at the club Newcastle we nearly always top of the injury league and we often had many players unavailable through injury.
When Rafa arrived on Friday 11th March three years ago, we had no fit left-back and 12 players out with different kinds of injuries.
This season it seems we have quickly taken a big step back in this area.
At the moment – 7 players out with injury and some of our players have only just returned.
In training yesterday, budding star Sean Longstaff twisted his ankle and as a precaution will not be risked tomorrow at Anfield.
The good news is that it’s only a slight injury.
Allan Saint-Maximin – injured last month
With 7 injuries on the board, only Manchester United (8), Chelsea (9) and AFC Bournemouth (10) have more players injured according to the Injury Table for the Premier League.
When Rafa arrived, he quickly had the 3G technology training pitches upgraded to 4G technology.
That helped to dramatically reduce our injuries (mainly hamstring strains) for the last three seasons.
But now we seem to have slipped back – but we hope this is only temporary.
One of the ways managers can get the very best out of the squad is to ensure there are minimal injuries and Rafa and his team were experts at that.
The good news today is that Matt Ritchie – who epitomizes the spirit of Newcastle players these days – is making an amazing recovery from his ankle ligament injury.
News today that he could even be on the bench in the home game against Brighton next Saturday in the late kickoff game – 5:30 pm.
Brighton will be one of the teams fighting Newcastle to stay in the Premier League this season.
The Seagulls are currently level on points with us – 4 points from 4 games – but we have a better goal difference.
A win in that game would be great, and we need to start beating those teams that will be around us near the bottom of the league this season.
It would be terrific if by the end of the year we are in fact not near relegation and somewhere near the middle of the table.
It’s up to Steve Bruce and his team to get all of Newcastle behind him as Rafa was able to do over the last three years.
That’s possible, but we need our best players like Sean Longstaff, Matt Ritchie, and Allan Saint-Maximin all fit.
What do you think?