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Latest Injury Revelation Could Leave Bruce Short Of Options For Boxing Day

While Jetro Willems was not in any of the images released from Thursday’s training session, he was also not mentioned in Steve Bruce’s press conference on Friday as suffering from any problems. So it was a surprise not to see the Dutchman in the team for Saturday’s win against Crystal Palace.

We instead had Paul Dummett trying his best at left wing-back. However, Paul was forced off just before the final whistle with what’s being called a groin injury. It’s also been confirmed that Jetro missed the game with some sort of muscular injury.

That leaves the left wing-back position very much in doubt for the trip to Manchester United on Boxing Day. Once Matt Ritchie went down in August, we’ve been very vulnerable at the position. Jetro has done a stellar job holding down the position and now looks like one of the best left wing-backs in the Premier League.

However, he’s still coming to grips with the rigors of the Premier League and has missed two games since Matt Ritchie went down. Jetro didn’t travel to Leicester City in late September due to a slight knee problem. Bruce went to a back four with Dummett at left-back, but it was a game best forgotten.

Then yesterday, Willems was not involved through the unspecified muscle problem. Dummett again got the call in a more advanced role and did his best to fill Jetro’s shoes.

However, both are struggling with injuries, and it’s uncertain if either will be able to go on Thursday. If they are both ruled out, then Bruce will have to again cobble together a plan.

The head coach has a couple of options he could turn to. He could put Christian Atsu there even though the Ghanaian generally plays further forward. Christian is a willing runner and will do his best to track back and fulfill his defensive duties.

Another option is to move Manquillo from the right to the left where he has played before. Then DeAndre Yedlin can come back in on the right.

There’s Miguel Almiron who can play there as well though we really liked the Paraguayan in the role he played on Saturday and would prefer he remained in the middle behind the strikers.

The other glaring problem if Paul Dummett is out is that we’ll be down to just three center-backs with Ciaran Clark and Jamaal Lascelles injured. It also could be a risk to play Florian Lejeune only five days after his first game in over 8 months. But Bruce may have no other option unless he wants to draft in someone from the U23s like Lewis Cass or Oisin McEntee. Though both are right-footed we believe.

Of course, we may be jumping the gun a bit as Jetro and Paul could be ok and ready to go on Thursday. While both are muscle injuries and Bruce will want to tread carefully, Jonjo Shelvey and Miguel Almiron only missed the one game with their recent problems. So hopefully that will be the case with at least Jetro Willems.

Who Was The Man Of The Match In Win Against Crystal Palace?

  • Javier Manquillo (39%, 747 )
  • Miguel Almiron (36%, 672 )
  • Martin Dubravka (15%, 277 )
  • Andy Carroll (5%, 87 )
  • Florian Lejeune (2%, 42 )
  • Jonjo Shelvey (1%, 17 )
  • Joelinton (1%, 17 )
  • Paul Dummett (1%, 15 )
  • Fabian Schar (1%, 11 )
  • Federico Fernandez (0%, 5 )
  • Isaac Hayden (0%, 2 )

Total Voters: 1,892

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47 comments so far

  • RobLeenio

    Dec 22, 2019 at 1:49 AM

    Comment #1

    Neil, it looks like it’s just me and thee, matey, so at least the average blog quality is raised tonight.


    I wonder if Dummett, Jetro and Ritchie being out may give some opportunity for Adam Wilson? Having Lejeune back on the left of the defensive three would give the lad some security defensively and he’s very capable going forward.

    One door closes, another one opens as they say….

  • RobLeenio

    Dec 22, 2019 at 1:55 AM

    Comment #2

    Finally, before I disappear off to the land of Nod, here’s a prediction.

    One day, JonJo WILL score from the halfway line, and it will be hailed as the goal of the decade. Then everyone who wonders why he keeps on trying it will go ‘Oh, now I see….’


  • RobLeenio

    Dec 22, 2019 at 1:59 AM

    Comment #3

    Actually, I lie, one more – I know that players used to be booked for removing their shirts when they had nothing underneath and also when they had a political message written on their vests.

    I don’t understand why Miggy was booked for pulling his shirt off today after scoring.

    Explanations on a postcard to FREEPOST givetheladabreak

  • Neil Harrison

    Dec 22, 2019 at 2:00 AM

    Comment #4

    Hey Rob,

    Forgot all about Adam Wilson. Bruce does go to watch the youngsters so you never know.

    I agree about Jonjo. One day it will happen.

    Have a good night!

  • Tonyd3b54

    Dec 22, 2019 at 2:41 AM

    Comment #5

    Amazing how much better almiron looks when he’s played in the right position. Keep him on the left mid side of the attack. And watch the opportunities pile up. If Willems was healthy today there would’ve been even more chances as dummet is a great squad player defensively but he waste alot is attacks. I liked the set up better today. The real interesting thing will be when Max comes back. Will Bruce put al on the right again? Or do the sensible thing and put Max there? Also might be worth a look to put Max in Joel’s spot.

  • Unused Substitute

    Dec 22, 2019 at 2:54 AM

    Comment #6

    That we looked natural over the first half hour actually says a lot about the potential of our team when they are properly set up. Our problem is we don’t last more than 30 minutes. That was very surprising considering CP’s longer injury list. They also had a shorter rest before an away game.

  • Unused Substitute

    Dec 22, 2019 at 2:58 AM

    Comment #7

    I thought I would mention that Mbabu was excellent last night for Wolfsburg against Byern. Too bad we couldn’t get him to work for us.

  • mindcompressor

    Dec 22, 2019 at 7:30 AM

    Comment #9

    I think that Clark is also an option for left side.

  • Jib

    Dec 22, 2019 at 7:59 AM

    Comment #10

    The ref has no choice
    Removing the shirt after a goal is an obligatory yellow
    Firmino got one vs Flamengo also.

    Unless you have a squad of 25 top drawer players like
    Man City. In such a congested fixture list , a club’s best
    players are always susceptible to being injured , as they
    are (through necessity) over-played.

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 22, 2019 at 8:03 AM

    Comment #11

    I could not be more pleased for Miggy and am totally surprised by the win and league position. However, before the goal we were increasingly more desperate and finding it difficult to create scoring opportunities. I hope this is due to the change in formation and that will improve through use.

    Watching, just the second half, I was confused by the number of defenders but they did their job well. Then again Carroll was repeatedly dropping very deep into the midfield and in open play we missed his presence upfront. I do not like to see Shelvey attempting to play the metronome role, as the defenders are more than capable of playing the ball out and he has scored and played better further forwards. Whereas Hayden is better further back breaking up play and bursting through, rather than being a forward link.

    But as I say, the team should improve if the formation is continued with and it was flexible enough to deal with the oppositions moments of pressure, plus exploit space that opened up.

  • Ron Knee

    Dec 22, 2019 at 8:03 AM

    Comment #12

    “Magpie breaks duck.”

  • Sack Llambias

    Dec 22, 2019 at 8:06 AM

    Comment #13

    Over-rated Benitez being found out by massively under-rated Bruce.

  • Big Bruce Stars.

    Dec 22, 2019 at 8:15 AM

    Comment #14

    Robleenio your posts are mostly sensible so times when you post things like this really stand out:-

    “…Rafa was working wonders with what was essentially a Championship squad, yet are unwilling to recognise that Bruce is working with basically the same group of players plus some untested (in the Premiership) forwards. Does that not smack of double standards?”

    This is just after you said we must recognise Bruce is being pragmatic and we feed off scraps. You do realise the squad Bruce inherited was from Rafa’s work over three seasons in making the defensive setup Bruce is entirely relying on now? You don’t actually think Bruce set this team up this way do you? Those “untested” players cost millions Rafa never got. How’s Bruce doing with them?

    It’s great we have squeaked these wins but there’s no possible way Bruce can dine on these performances forever, eventually he has to get the right players in the right positions and tactically rearrange them so we are not relying on attrition week in week out. Anyone not seeing this is caught up in the euphoria of points safety in the league, something previously we were going to expect as given. Let’s see how much this manager is supported.

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 22, 2019 at 8:16 AM

    Comment #15

    Great weight lifted at Toon

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 22, 2019 at 8:23 AM

    Comment #16

    The amount of money spent in the summer is a head scrather for many reasons. It would appear Rafa was royally #@£! over and although perhaps the £40m is the going rate, but who scouted Joelinton?

  • Jib

    Dec 22, 2019 at 8:23 AM

    Comment #17

    NUFC is such an evil place isn’t it ?

  • Ron Knee

    Dec 22, 2019 at 8:24 AM

    Comment #18

    Fifteen points short of safety with half the season to go. Likelihood of Ashley buying a new player next month?

  • Big Bruce Stars.

    Dec 22, 2019 at 8:26 AM

    Comment #19

    No idea what you mean jib. I don’t get sucked into “everything’s rosy” because we’ve got unexpected points, relieved yes, because despite the situation we are looking safe. But the show goes on in the background.

  • Jib

    Dec 22, 2019 at 8:33 AM

    Comment #20

    I thought you never looked at my links ?

  • posada

    Dec 22, 2019 at 8:36 AM

    Comment #21

    Just catching up.
    We KO at 3pm.
    Win another game.
    It then takes until 10.30pm for the Doomsters to re emerge.

    Just a couple of them mind. The rest are still on the phone to the Samaritans.

  • posada

    Dec 22, 2019 at 8:38 AM

    Comment #22

    Walking along.

    Singing a song.

    Walking in the Brucey wonder land.

  • Unused Substitute

    Dec 22, 2019 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #23

    Bills Son Is Back

    Dec 20, 2019 at 9:12 PM

    Comment #29
    Someone said earlier that the animosity between the Hull owners and Bruce won’t affect Bowen’s transfer…

    I’ll tell you a true story…

    Really intriguing stuff. Considering the story of Bills Son is so in line with the crime novels of our head coach (www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-37877150), if our head coach comes across it he may even decide could to come out of his self imposed exile from literary circles.

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 22, 2019 at 8:47 AM

    Comment #24

    “good game, good game” Bruce Forsyth

  • Unused Substitute

    Dec 22, 2019 at 8:58 AM

    Comment #25

    Commentators on Sky telecast of our last match thought Dubravka is 3rd top this season in terms of number of saves shows we have so far been poor defensively. I don’t think one can dispute their viewpoint.

  • Mindshaft

    Dec 22, 2019 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #26

    Jib, the trouble us that nobody remembers the work the club do for people who have Alzheimer’s and dementia …

    Best moment of yesterday was when might ran to that young kid who got to hug him – great Xmas pressir for the kid who will talk about it for years 🙂

    Thought we played okay for 20 mins without producing much then palace took over for rest of game in what was a dour match ( not unsurprising given two very low scoring teams who don’t concede much)

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Dec 22, 2019 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #27

    Just checked the injury league.
    Bournemouth have the most with 10 out. Newcastle Watford & Arsenal have the next most current injuries.
    So while we are bad, we probably aren’t the worst as was often the case under Pardew/ McLaren/ Carver etc.

    We should stick to rotating players and giving them an extra game to come back. I doubt it was a coincidence that we had very few injuries the last 3 years using this policy.

  • posada

    Dec 22, 2019 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #28

    That was the first of five games in just over two weeks.
    The best way to rotate is probably a complicated thing.
    However, if you are a player and can stay free of injury I think it would be great.
    Play, recover, play, recover and repeat.

    No pain in the ass training.
    Recovery and preparation yes, but no hard graft.

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 22, 2019 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #29

    Unused Substitute

    I would argue that we invite teams on to us by having a defensively balanced team, hence the greater number of shots.

  • Jib

    Dec 22, 2019 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #30

    Newcastle United players will pick up a bumper bonus package if they manage to earn a top-six finish this season.
    United are playing for an incentivised bonus scheme this season which rises significantly for each Premier League place.

    The prize pot will be shared between the squad in May and was agreed at the start of the season soon after Steve Bruce was appointed.

    Despite talk of a lack of ambition at St James’ Park, it is understood that the club’s power men feel the players have been handed a massive enticement to earn the best finish since 2012.
    After being involved in relegation battles for the majority of the decade it is something Newcastle are keen to address.

    United will take a more positive approach to the FA Cup this season under Bruce though with the Toon boss eager to have a good run in the competition.
    Extra scouting missions to ensure that Rochdale are treated with the utmost respect have taken place.
    Bruce is aware of United’s poor record in the FA Cup with the club failing to get beyond the early rounds for the majority of Ashley’s tenure on Tyneside. Worryingly for United, Rochdale have made more fourth round appearances than Newcastle in the last six years.

  • Jib

    Dec 22, 2019 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #31

    From the Chronicle

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 22, 2019 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #32

    This is not a critisism, but in hindsight and looking at the stats perhaps Atsu would have been better playing in the place of Hayden. The later had a very poor game in terms of touches and tackles and the Nigerian is more technically proficient on the ball. Hayden would be more suited to playing where Shelvey sat, however the formation does forgo control of the midfield and against stronger teams the defence would be even more exploited.

    We have never really controlled the midfield for a long time, as Rafa chose to concentrate on the defence and consequently the standard of passing in the middle has not been great other than Shelveys hollywood passes. Yesterday we managed to win by giving away further control in the centre, in preference for a more attacking line up. The other positive was that C.Palace then tried to exploit the middle at the expence of their wings and found no way through the tight defence. However, the on other occassions like away to Norwich, giving up the midfield led to an embarrassing defeat.

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 22, 2019 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #33

    After Almiron scored and ran to the corner, the first player to reach him was fellow S.American Fernandez.

  • Ron Knee

    Dec 22, 2019 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #34

    He’s Ghanaian.

  • Unused Substitute

    Dec 22, 2019 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #35

    Hayden was terrible last evening. When he was being withdrawn, on his way out his body language was pretty negative as well. Wondered what could have been wrong. Shelvey was quite good though.

    However, our inability to command the midfield has been a huge problem. Perhaps lining up a replacement for Big Mo is more essential than getting a proven goal scorer.

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 22, 2019 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #36

    Brucey being bullish in his defence of Joelinton

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 22, 2019 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #37

    cheers ron

  • Munster Mag

    Dec 22, 2019 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #38

    Tarquin, I’ll keep it simple for you. Please don’t consider yourself a genius because you said we needed to get our fullbacks / wingbacks involved yesterday. My 9 year old knows that. I don’t think I predicted the game result, merely that it would be ugly. Didn’t realise that would upset you, diddums. Again I won’t be claiming a football PhD for that either. Clearly the result annoyed you and you resorted to anti Irish language which says more about you than it does about me. Don’t worry tarquin, hard games coming up soon so you can revert to cheering the opposition and abusing the Newcastle United manager.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Dec 22, 2019 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #39

    I wouldn’t say Rafa or Bruce have/ had a championship squad. That is massively unfair to our players.
    Dubravka Schaar Lejeune Lascelles Shelvey Almiron Maximin would get in most non big 6 teams.
    Willems Fede Hayden would all be far too good for the championship too. They’d all have takers in the EPL.
    And then last season Perez and Rondon were EPL level easily. Then there’s Ritchie and Yedlin who are lower EPL standard.
    Not only do they all have quality, they have amazing never say die attitudes and give 100%
    We just need a midfield passer type (should have got Maddison years ago) and a goalscorer (should have got Tammy after Swansea or kept Mitrovic). I still think Almiron & ASM will become big players although I think it’s unusual to play two of these types together. And then we need a proper manager, not a journeyman plodder.
    Then we could push the top 6 playing nice football.

  • Munster Mag

    Dec 22, 2019 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #40

    Lindisfarne interesting points. I still think the smart short term move is to get a mobile powerful striker who has the athleticism to drop into midfield to bolster things there and still allow us to counter at pace. Our other issues are lack of cover for our two speed merchants and the only answers lie in the cheque book and Ashley.


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