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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

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #41

    Leicester City may only accept a £70million bid from Newcastle United for James Maddison, according to Gabby Agbonlahor.

    Yet read somewhere he only wants to go The Spuds or Arse-nil

  • cleveleysbob

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #42

    Just to clarify a couple of points from last nights little rant.

    As a few others have pointed out while defending my stance (thanks to all) the morons remark was not directed at anyone on here but to people responding to the Chronics article.

    However, I didn’t and will never advocate not respecting others opinions. This is a blog of a few thousand members who have opinions that differ far and wide on many subjects and I respect them all.

    What I did object to was the fact that some posters were using press rumours regarding prices, etc. as facts to “have a go” at the regime.

    No one is saying that anyone from players, coaching staff or management cannot be criticised. Just that they shouldn’t be criticised based on press speculation. We don’t know the truth, we don’t know how much has been offered (or not) for any particular players, so it’s unfair to criticise the ownership based on rumour. Irrespective of how reliable you believe the source to be, it’s still speculation and guesswork.

    When we know the facts, if we think they’ve messed up, jump in with both feet, and I’ll probably be right behind you, if not a few jumps ahead. 🙂


    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #43


    I don’t you have to defend yourself mate.
    It’s pretty self explanatory, imv.
    If one gets uppity about it, it’s probably for good reason?

  • RUNAWAY777

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #44

    It’s getting really boring now with all these players names just pay the going rate,looks like West ham got the Burnley player we where after that about 5 they have signed well where nearly at the bottom of the barrel.

  • Tyran21

    Aug 3, 2022 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #45

    Arteta: “I had it once at Anfield. The game was going there and suddenly I could only see red shirts flying around, the game is passing all over me and I cannot react. And people think, ‘what is he doing’, and I am like, ‘I cannot do it, I cannot do it emotionally, physically I cannot cope’. Everything goes too fast and I only had that feeling in my career once, and it was at Anfield.”

    Well, Newcastle reminded him that feeling. This time in the dugout, he had no answer.


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