One thing Steve Bruce did on Sunday that really impressed us was his bold team selection. After the Leicester performance, a statement needed to be made and Bruce did just that.
He brought in two players who had barely featured in Matty Longstaff and Ciaran Clark. He also handed Allan Saint-Maximin and DeAndre Yedlin their first starts since returning from injury. This proved to be a masterful decision by the head coach.
These players struck a perfect balance between experience and youthful exuberance, while adding the power and pace the team needed to threaten Manchester United.
Dropping Paul Dummett must have been a difficult one for Bruce. The local lad had a bit of a nightmare against Leicester filling in at left-back. However, he had put in some top performances this year including winning Man of the Match honors in the Tottenham win.
Jamaal Lascelles– hoping team have set the standard after Manchester United
Skipper Jamaal Lascelles spoke to nufc.co.uk about the team selection last weekend and what he expects going forward:
“The manager made a few changes; we know how hard a job it is for a manager to drop players and put players on the bench, but he’s put Matty Longstaff in there, added Ciaran to the team and obviously Allan (Saint-Maximin) was back in the team, so a few new faces who haven’t really featured this season and they did a great job.
“It was a fantastic debut for Matty – you couldn’t write it – and I was pleased for him and his brother that they were playing together. All over the team, we were enthusiastic, energetic, in their faces. We’ve set our standard now and that’s how we always need to play. Nothing less.
“We’ll enjoy this little international break and after that, we’ll start planning for another big game at Chelsea. I think momentum is a big thing in football but I think a little break won’t do us any harm and we can refresh but still knowing that we’ve just beaten Man U, and we’re still on a high from that, so hopefully we can go into the Chelsea game full of confidence.”
The team has shown little consistency this season so we’ll have to wait to see if last weekend will be the standard going forward. The match at Stamford Bridge on October 19th will be another against the so called top six.
While Chelsea have had a respectable start under Frank Lampard, only Liverpool have looked unbeatable this campaign. Chelsea are in 5th place but are in somewhat of a transition mode under their former midfielder.
We anticipate that Newcastle can come out and give it a real go at Chelsea in a couple of weeks. There should only be Florian Lejeune and Matt Ritchie unavailable for the game. The increased competition for places will be even more intense after Steve Bruce has shown his willingness to bring players in from the cold.