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Howe Has A Few Selection Dilemmas With No Assurances Provided To New Signing

From my reckoning, Eddie Howe has three glaring selection dilemmas for Nottingham Forest on Saturday. It’s between Martin Dubravka and Nick Pope at goalkeeper, Dan Burn and Sven Botman at center-back, and Sean Longstaff and Joe Willock in midfield.

The other eight seem to pick themselves, at least to start the season. I suspect Kieran Trippier, Fabian Schar, Matt Targett, Joelinton, Bruno Guimaraes, Allan Saint-Maximin, Callum Wilson, and Miguel Almiron will find their names in the starting eleven come Saturday morning.

One question is has new boys Pope and Botman done enough to unseat Dubravka and Burn? It’s not an easy question to answer as Howe hasn’t given any indication of his thoughts based on his team selection in pre-season, where he’s given most of the squad equal time to impress.

Pope has given an interview with The Athletic where he was asked about assurances that he’ll be the number one on Tyneside. This was his response:

“There are already top goalkeepers here and, no, there’s no specific assurances I’ll be No 1.

“The manager wants competition in every position so we improve individually and as a team. We always push each other. The problem as a goalkeeper is there’s only one starting spot.

“But, yes, no assurances, though I feel this is the perfect place to push myself to the next level.

“If I can say after my career that I’ve been No 1 at Newcastle for a sustained period, when the club’s at a really ambitious stage, that’s something I’ll look back on with great pride.”

Pope and Botman will have to fight for their place like every other member of the squad. They have impressed in preseason with Botman particularly catching the eye. However, Dubravka and Burn have not done anything to lead me to believe Howe has an easy decision to make.

It’s a similar situation with Sean Longstaff and Joe Willock. However, Sean has been especially lively in pre-season and probably deserves a start in light of Jonjo Shelvey’s absence. He was outstanding playing the deeper role against Atalanta which freed Bruno to pull the strings.

Saturday is just a few more days away and the mysteries surrounding the starting eleven will be solved soon. In the meantime, the squad will continue to make Howe’s decisions that much more difficult.

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45 comments so far

  • Mund

    Aug 3, 2022 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #1


    Football Daily

    “It’s no secret we’ve been looking at a couple of attacking players.”

    Eddie Howe confirms that Newcastle’s pool of targets is small and that’s why doing a deal has been difficult


  • ToonDarnSarf

    Aug 3, 2022 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #2

    Magic – check out these two holes at Old Thorns golf course if you want to get a record distance for a particular club. The first one (hole 5) is a 320 yard par 4 but is so downhill that you wouldn’t take a driver even if you normally hit that 250.

    https://youtu.be/uLFP9cny9PA and https://youtu.be/9yfADrSbld0

  • The Mighty Quinn

    Aug 3, 2022 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #3

    Team for Saturday factoring no new signings.
    …………….. Pope…………………
    … Schar.. Botman… Burn……
    ……… Bruno. Joelinton……….
    ……. Almiron….. ASM………….
    ……………. Wilson……………….

    I know we haven’t played a 3 man centreback but think it’s something Eddie should consider. It would allow Trippier and Targett more freedom and give protection to Trippier who has looked slow at getting back in the England games and our friendlies.
    Apologies in advance if this bothers anyone.

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Aug 3, 2022 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #4

    TMQ – “bothers anyone”? 😉 that a joke? 🙂

  • Mund

    Aug 3, 2022 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #5

    Newcastle Fans TV
    #NUFC skipper, Jamaal Lascelles on the amazing job Eddie Howe has done so far


  • welshgeordie9

    Aug 3, 2022 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #6

    Have we signed any attacking players yet.

  • Mund

    Aug 3, 2022 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #7

    PL clubs have decided not to take a knee before every match following talks led by the captains of all 20 Premier League clubs. Instead, teams will only perform the act on specific occasions during the forthcoming campaign. #NUFC #PL

    [Via Daily Mail]

  • DrGloom

    Aug 3, 2022 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #8

    Nice words from Lascelles on EH.
    I know some on here slate Lascelles but he’s a decent pro and a good squad player , especially for where we are at the moment

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Aug 3, 2022 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #9

    DrGloom – I don’t understand why anyone would slate Lascelles. I could understand the owners being criticised if we still had our best centre half options of Lascelles, Schar, Clark, and Fernandez but that isn’t the case any more. Lascelles always works hard and comes across really well when you hear him speak.

    As you say, he’s a good squad player and he won’t let us down or shy away when he plays.

  • welshgeordie9

    Aug 3, 2022 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #10


    I like your photo.

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Aug 3, 2022 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #11

    Mighty Quinn

    I like the look of that side.

  • scott

    Aug 3, 2022 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #12


    Iv been wondering if Eddie would go to a 5 at the back for some of the tougher games,as we are still some way off being able to go toe to toe yet!

    Personally I don’t think it would happen first home game against a newly promoted team but I do think the team you put up looks solid!

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 3, 2022 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #13

    Tmq, I don’t think he’s ready to depart from 4 at the back? Forest will be tough. I’m hearing they have signed some gems in the 10-18mill range and that they generally choose well. Have a feeling the striker isn’t that good though.

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 3, 2022 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #14

    I think taking the knee had lost impact so no issue about dropping it.

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 3, 2022 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #15
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Aug 3, 2022 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #16


    I think Forrest will sit deep and look to hit us on the counter and they will probably target Trippier’s side for when he makes a sloppy pass which he has done it quite a lot one of which led to a goal in pre season but he has been caught out quite a few games

    If we get an early goal I think we will steamroll them but I see it being a tough game 1 nil or 2 – 1 to us

    Be interesting to see Lingard and Henderson in the flesh seeing as they could have joined us

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Aug 3, 2022 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #17

    Munster – I think some people, with good intentions, overstep the line in the battle for equality. There are genuine sexist comments that demean women and there’s a clever play on words that is actually empowering towards women.

    It’s sad when people overstep that line. Lineker’s comment was perfectly fine in my book and I’m someone that some folks on here have called “woke” before…

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Aug 3, 2022 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #18

    As for taking the knee, looks like they’re going to do that on special occasions only, so that it has the desired impact and people don’t forget that there are still problems out there. It’s a bit like buying flowers for your missus, if you buy them every Friday evening then they lose their impact, but if you buy them on a few occasions a year then they’re more meaningful.

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Aug 3, 2022 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #19

    And I’d be surprised if Howe moves away from 4 at the back. Not quite sure why he’d do that unless there’s a significant tactical reason for doing so. I think he’s always favoured a back 4.

  • carltoon

    Aug 3, 2022 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #20

    I’m sure most posters agreed to a steady progression, mind I wasn’t one of them, but I did come to realize this was the sensible route to take, like ManC.
    Even the owners said within five years, they’ve tried to get players to sign, but if they don’t want to there’s little they can do. We’ve still got a few weeks to go, and they have a great team behind them, it’s still early days for the backroom staff.
    And no one could disagree we’ve taken giant strides to get where we are now.
    Bruno, Botman, Pope, Target, Tripier, all the things they’re trying to upgrade, coaching staff, Legal team, the infrastructure. We still need attackers, but if we can’t get who we want, we’ll just have to wait awhile longer, there’s always January. And we’ve still got a few weeks left in this transfer window.
    Sorry for the geet lang post.

  • IrishRob

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #21

    I’m getting so excited about Saturday already. I have a feeling we’re going to hit them hard and get a few early goals.

  • Mund

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #22

    Lee Ryder

    We’re looking to get #nufc fans’ views on the summer so far and the season ahead for a big survey. Please do get involved if you can via the link below. Takes about 30-60 seconds depending on how deeply you think about the six questions.


  • IrishRob

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #23

    Lee Trippier and sloppy passes is not something you’re going to read very often this season let alone see it happen on the pitch. It was preseason rustiness pal, he’s one of our best passers really.

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #24

    Geet lang but fair Carltoon. We are night and day compared to the bad old days. But I’d defend Ruddys right to call into question anything the owners do, from maddison to tickets to moving away from St James, whatever. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t respect them etc.

    When it comes to a Maddison or a Paqueta, i think it’s a case of get serious money on the table fast. He’s a game changer for us as a club, and I want to see Amanda lob a grenade into the Premier league asap.

  • Romford mag

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #25

    I thought his name was Kieran ? 😉

  • IrishRob

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #26


  • cyprus

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #27

    New signing!

    Wait a minute…

  • DjMickyg

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #28

    west ham doing a bit business again guess we will end up behind them anyway now. struggling to stump up the proper fees while happy to fire it at golfers that have gone well past it.

  • geordie157

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #29

    Seems to be a small group of players being linked now, with Howe eluding to wanting two more attacking players.

    Hudson-Odoi for me, would be a loan with option to buy, given his recent injury record.

    If we want Cornet, we need to trump West Ham, maybe by paying 10mill up front with the remaining next summer.

    Can’t see Werner coming to us, return to Leipzig feels like where he’ll end up.

    Maddison, go in with 55mill final offer.

    Still think any of the Watford front 3 could come into play, Sarr, Dennis and Joao Pedro would all add depth.

  • FUBARsteve

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #30

    Question for everyone.

    When accessing the NUFC Blog on my iPhone I am constantly forwarded to another website called luckypapa.tom.
    I’ve blocked the website yet I am still being forced to it even though it just comes up with a blank screen saying it’s blocked.
    I had this problem a few months ago but then it just stopped, and it is only on the nufc blog that it happens.
    I am forever having to either back up to the previous page, or just reload the blog, but it’s becoming more and more frustrating. After about 8 or 9 attempts and reloading etc it finally lets me browse the page normally again.
    Has anyone else had the same problem, and any suggestions on how to fix it? I’ve tried all of the standard security browser things.

  • IrishRob

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #31

    I dont care who we get tbh, we’re going to be fine like. But I desperately want the attacker or attackers were looking to get in soon so they can get integrated into the team before we play City.

    We have a huge chance of beating them with a strong 11. All everyone is talking about lately with them is how they always start rusty and slow because Peop doesn’t like giving them much of a preseason.

    An under performing or rusty City is definitely there for the taking if we play to our best and have one or two attacking improvements integrated before we play them.

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #32

    Intrigued why people spell Forest with 2 r’s.

  • geordie157

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #33

    I have Pope down to start but I think it’ll be a very close call.

    Same with Botman, got a feeling Schar will start with Burn but personally I’d put Botman straight in, think him and Schar would be a good pairing and both can play out from the back.

    Almiron based on form gets the nod on the right, Fraser, Murphy decent options from the bench.

    Anderson just misses out but 5 subs rule, means he should get decent minutes off the bench and could force his way into the starting line up.

    I’d still like to see Saint-Maximin, Wilson and Anderson as a 3 at some point.

  • IrishRob

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #34

    Christ I forgot Lingard is playing for Forest now. What’s the bets his best game of the whole season will be against us. A kinda look what you missed out on type of game.

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #35

    Rotonda – the only Forrest I know is Craig Forrest, the ex goalkeeper. Maybe that’s why?

  • Davas

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #36

    Forrest Gump and Forrest Tucker (F Troop)


  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #37


    Don’t think the golfers have to adhere to FFP.

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #38

    Specifically Nottingham Forest. My mate is a NFFC fan and it drives him mad.

  • Davas

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #39

    I’m really looking forward to this new season and it’s going to be intriguing how much of an effect the world cup is going to have.
    I’m wondering, as the WC gets closer, whether some of the players in the national squads might not be 100% committed in tackles etc in case they get injured and miss out.

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #40

    Rotonda – you can also drive him mad by calling it Notts Forest. They hate that! 🙂

    It’s Notts County but Nottingham Forest.


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