Newcastle United

Newcastle United: Sven Botman fuming after looking a ‘million miles off’ in Saudi Arabia

Image for Newcastle United: Sven Botman fuming after looking a ‘million miles off’ in Saudi Arabia

Journalist Craig Hope has said that Newcastle United’s Sven Botman was left outraged as he struggled in their recent friendly.

Despite emerging triumphant in the Diriyah Season Cup with a resounding 5-0 win over Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal, Hope has said that Botman looked a ‘million miles’ off it.

The towering central defender played the first hour and got a 6/10 match rating for his performance from Newcastle World’s Jordan Cronin.

He had started each of the Toon’s eight matches prior to the World Cup break, with Newcastle picking up 22 points from a possible 24 during that time, but it appears that he has had an unsettling return to action.

Speaking on the True Faith podcast, Hope said: “A few of them, honestly guys, looked a million miles off.

Sven Botman looked as if like he was going to explode in the first half, he was being given that much of a runaround.

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“This isn’t a criticism, it’s a compliment to say how finely tuned Eddie had them. For them to come off for two weeks – Sven Botman’s had a week in Dubai, others have been in New York [like] Joe Willock. They’ve been all around the globe, I think they’ve done nothing with their bodies, they’ve come back in and they were nowhere near it.”

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Considering the level the Dutchman was playing at before the hiatus, Eddie Howe will be hoping he can get regain his sharpness quickly.

The north-east club are yet to lose a game in which Botman has played and have kept a clean sheet in half of the 12 games he has started.

He has been hailed as one of the most ‘outstanding’ young centre-backs in Europe by Sky Sports presenter Joe Thomlinson, but it will be interesting to see if he can hit the ground running once the season resumes.

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