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This Could Be Bruce’s Toughest Selection Dilemma For Saturday



Steve Bruce has some tough decisions to make for his team on Saturday. With Newcastle now having two games under their belt in the new system while making six changes for West Brom, there could be some very disappointed Magpies come Saturday afternoon.

His most difficult selection could be between Matt Ritchie and Valentino Lazaro on the right wing. Ritchie got the nod at Burnley with Lazaro out due to suspension. The 30-year-old started the match rather chaotically but grew into the game, becoming our primary threat late.


Valentino got his first start in an advanced role in the FA Cup win on Tuesday. The 23-year-old put in a very composed display. His off the ball movement was excellent as he was able to bag his first Newcastle goal.

Both players offer different qualities in the role, so a lot will depend on what Bruce hopes to accomplish from the position. Ritchie, of course, has been with the club for years and is one of our vocal leaders. His passion on the pitch is unrivaled.

He’s also left-footed and offers a different type of threat up the pitch than the right-footed Austrian.


Valentino Lazaro is the more skillful of the two. The loanee is blessed with pace along with an ability to beat his man that Ritchie just doesn’t possess.

Lazaro has also shown in his short time on Tyneside some impressive leadership qualities. He’s been a constant presence in the media and seems to really be enjoying his time at Newcastle.

Here he is with the Newcastle fans after Tuesday’s win.

It will be interesting to see who Bruce goes with on Saturday. Ritchie is probably the safe bet. However, Bruce has recently gone less conservative, so he may opt for his new signing. After all, that’s what Lazaro was brought here for.

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36 comments so far

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Mar 5, 2020 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #1

    Valentino’s pace and movement where a joy to watch

    His run for his goal is exactly what we have been missing since Perez left us where someone sneaks in for a tap in when the other winger is looking to pass

    3
  • Jib

    Mar 5, 2020 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #2

    Quiz Q
    Which footy player born in Wallsend and
    played for WBay&Monkseaton ,The Toon
    and Ashington – has a connection to
    the Beatles ?

    1
  • Jib

    Mar 5, 2020 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #3

    Hint
    Same initials as the Toon’s top scorer

    1
  • lochinvar

    Mar 5, 2020 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #4

    Valentino seems to be play with movement and flair and is going the right way with the fans to become a favourite in the same way as legends such as Jonas were taken to our hearts.
    See no reason why he won’t end up scoring a few key goals for us as he’s adding mobility and speed alongside Miggy and others.
    Tempo is best way to think of this.
    More tempo.

    2
  • lochinvar

    Mar 5, 2020 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #5

    Alan Shearer
    na
    Alan Stubbins is the man

    2
  • lochinvar

    Mar 5, 2020 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #6

    typo
    na
    Albert

    0
  • RobLeenio

    Mar 5, 2020 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #7

    LCBP, totally agree. We’ve struggled to get players in the box all season long, Ritchie doesn’t have the legs for it these days. Lazaro and Miggy can keep up with ASM, it’s vital we keep them in the side to run the channels around Joelinton, who is capable of holding the ball up and laying it off.

    Ritchie’s days as a winger are numbered. He’s a good player to have around the squad, but should not be starting ahead of players with more talent and skill.

    It’s a constant frustration to me that we’ve assembled a squad which would have suited the ideals of Rafa’s counter-attacking style down to the ground, but we no longer have the best manager in place to take advantage.

    11
  • Jib

    Mar 5, 2020 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #8

    a night out with toon22

    3
  • Jib

    Mar 5, 2020 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #9

    for Lochinvar the winner

    2
  • RobLeenio

    Mar 5, 2020 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #10

    Interesting stat from The Other 14, which supports what I’ve often said about JonJo – there’s no need for him to drop deep, take the ball off the defence and launch it long when we have Central Defenders (in this case Fabian Schaer) who are equally adept at that skill.

    https://twitter.com/Other14The/status/1235524215517962241/photo/1

    I’d far rather see Shelvey up the pitch looking to play neat little balls around the box, something he was doing better in the run up to Christmas before he got injured.

    3
  • Jib

    Mar 5, 2020 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #11

    Albert Stubbins appeared on the cover of
    Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

    5
  • lochinvar

    Mar 5, 2020 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #12

    Paul McCartney wrote ” She Loves You” in Newcastle but in which hotel ?

    Winner – a night out with Jib

    2
  • lochinvar

    Mar 5, 2020 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #13

    Jib – if you’re quick you can take yerself out for a pint , toon22 is paying

    3
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Mar 5, 2020 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #14

    @Robleenio

    The annoying thing is Rafa would have killed to have the front 4 that we played against West Brom available to him and I imagine those players would have been mentioned when he was here a club of our stature should really have those 4 with Perez and Rondon on rotation…..

    If only Longstaff and Hayden could get back to the levels they were playing at before the injury that would have taken care of the midfield 2

    2
  • Aces-of-Eights

    Mar 5, 2020 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #15

    Erm, I thought Lazaro red card meant 3 game ban sure that’s what commentator said at the time

    2
  • Aces-of-Eights

    Mar 5, 2020 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #16

    People in love with miggy but I thought before he scored he was absolute crap vs west brom. He received ball couple of tims in final 3rd in great position where all he had to do was turn and run at west brom defense, he had no one near him when receiving ball but instead he one touch passes backwards to a nufc player. Few times he received ball slowed play down where we lost our momentum going forward and this made west brom get back in shape and we lost ball. Miggy needs to improve a lot in my eyes. Needs to keep running forward and facing forward no need to turn back all the time. ASM is finally starting to get assists he just needs more goals now.

    0
  • Jib

    Mar 5, 2020 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #17

    Torks Heed

    2
  • Jib

    Mar 5, 2020 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #18

    I get a night out with meself

    2
  • IrishRob

    Mar 5, 2020 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #19

    Lol Jib I was going to get tips off of do1dinosaur on how to make it more palatable, just on the off chance I have to. It is Bruce after all.

    1
  • TomaKaThor

    Mar 5, 2020 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #20

    No brainer to play Lazaro over Ritchie, Ritchie only quality is he can occasionally deliver decent balls into the box.. But with Joelinton it seems pretty pointless and on top of that Lazaro is said to have very good delivery.. So l Iike I said no brainer

    0
  • martoon

    Mar 5, 2020 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #21

    Aces-of-Eights @16 If it was a 3 match ban he could not have played in the cup game. FA cup, FA Premier League – can you see the connection?

    4
  • Australian Pie

    Mar 5, 2020 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #22

    Dubs
    Manq Lascelles Fernandez Rose
    Lazaro Shelvey Hayden ASM
    Miggy Joe

    2
  • Australian Pie

    Mar 5, 2020 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #23

    Joelinton impressed me so much on Tuesday, played a really good game, his defensive headers were incredible as well. Could tell it was one of very few games he was out there really enjoying himself

    I really liked his interchanging with Miggy as well, kept them guessing

    4
  • Australian Pie

    Mar 5, 2020 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #24

    Having the defense not knowing whether we will be looking for Joes head or feet with back to goal or its miggy looking for through balls really helps then our usual season of the same ball all game

    1
  • IrishRob

    Mar 5, 2020 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #25

    Ace you must be watching something different than me because Miggy was sensational all game, the runs the tracking back the passes, even when he wasnt on the ball his movement was soo good. It’s gotten soo much better in the last month or two.

    Also a thing I’ve noticed we do on here a lot is over criticize or compare them to other players. But when u actually watch other players like Aguero et.al they miss a lot of easy chances too, they make a lot of mistakes also.

    I’m guilty of it to, I was used to watching highlights and comparing our players to highlights but it if u watch matches u see that everyone misses easy chances and does the wrong thing from time to time.

    I remember a few weeks ago somone was comparing Joelinton to Pukki saying he would have buried that etc… but when you actually go check the stats I found out Pukki hadn’t scored from open play in something like 2 or 3 months. He had to penalties to his name in all that time.

    They arent robots, they are human. But Miggy was sensational last Tuesday I have to disagree with you there. Hope you dint mind my opinion.

    10
  • IrishRob

    Mar 5, 2020 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #26

    Two*

    0
  • Jib

    Mar 5, 2020 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #27

    In English we call it “unpredictability”
    I don’t know what they call it in Strine

    0
  • droppy in Wallsend

    Mar 5, 2020 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #28

    If we win the FA cup, I will get the sad little frog tattooed on my ar$e.

    I would’ve said Bruce but that might as well be a walnut.

    0
  • B&W blood

    Mar 5, 2020 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #29

    Loch – imperial in Jesmond, now holiday inn

    Would rather have cash than the night out though

    0
  • Jib

    Mar 5, 2020 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #30
  • lochinvar

    Mar 5, 2020 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #31

    BandW

    Jib was right, “She Loves You” by Paul McCartney was written in the Turks Head, but I think that the other “She” sung by Charles Aznavour but written by Charles Aznavour and Herbert Kretzmerwas was written in the Imperial but definitely both composed in Newcastle.

    Both classics, if they’d been written by Geordies the charts would have been filled with the sounds of

    “Wor lass loves ya”
    and
    “Her”

    4
  • geordie157

    Mar 5, 2020 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #32

    No brainer, Lazaro over Ritchie.

    Dubravka back in goal. Maybe Hayden and Shelvey start. Otherwise it’s the same side.

    2
  • IrishRob

    Mar 5, 2020 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #33

    I dont know why ppl dont rate Lacelles, hes our best back by a country mile. And literally the only one of our backs who would get into one of the top 8 teams.

    The difference he made when he came back was so unbelievably noticeable, especially for corners and headed clearances.

    Marvelous Nakamba, what an epic and ridiculous first name all in one.

    4
  • B&W blood

    Mar 5, 2020 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #34

    I knew something was written there from a quiz i was at, must do more listening and less drinking

    3
  • toon kk

    Mar 5, 2020 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #36

    Southampton will be a tough task for our team I suspect another defeat hopefully a draw.
    Playing West brom and winning was a welcome boost for everyone, we definitely found our level dropping down playing against a championship team. Hopefully we can take our first half performance into our next game, time for a boost the club needs it.

    2


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