Liam Kennedy has been speaking on NUFC Matters about Ryan Fraser not making it off the bench last Sunday for Newcastle United.
Eddie Howe watched on from the sidelines as Newcastle United conceded a very late goal on Sunday at Stamford Bridge after a flurry of controversial VAR decisions went against his side but it may not have been a surprise to see them lose considering a whole host of their best players didn’t make the pitch.
Is Fraser Newcastle's best winger at the club?
This included the likes of Joelinton, Jonjo Shelvey, Joe Willock, Kieran Trippier and Ryan Fraser, with the latter being the only one of those names to have made the bench due to injuries and illness.
However, despite Fraser seemingly being available and at Howe’s disposal, he was not thrust onto the pitch at any point, much to the confusion of Kennedy.
(35:09) “I said this is ideal for Fraser, get Fraser on and get at one of their full-backs who are both a shambles, Chalobah and Sarr on the other side was shambolic.
“I just kept thinking, imagine Fraser, going right, going left against either of those two they wouldn’t know what day it was. The fact he didn’t bring him on to me, again, I’m just reading between the lines, would suggest having played the other day, and probably will start again on Thursday, makes me think he was maybe giving him a break.”
TIF Thoughts on Fraser…
The Scotland international, who is valued at £7.2 million (as per Transfermarkt), experienced an almost disastrous first season on Tyneside starting just nine league games under former manager Steve Bruce while not registering a single goal and just two assists, however, under Howe he’s a winger reborn which was highlighted by the fact he was nominated for February’s Manager of the Month.
Prior to Sunday’s loss, Fraser had started 11 games in a row and became a crucial member of Howe’s squad during their impressive run of unbeaten games, registering two goals and two assists in that time and with him not playing at all last week, it would be expected that he’d come straight in and be very fresh tomorrow evening.