Monday night’s 5-2 by the Newcastle United u-23’s over Aston Villa u-23 in the Premier League 2 should’ve added the pressure on first-team manager Rafa Benitez to change his opinion about the timing of introducing some of the younger players to the big stage.
What’s the situation?
With Newcastle still without a win this season, leaving them at the foot of the Premier League table, Benitez has emphasised that he doesn’t feel the time is right to call on some of the youth teams’ players in order to get back to winning ways.
According to the Chronicle, the boss is focused on getting his current group of players to click and let them grow in experience through the tough start. But following Monday night’s win by the u-23 team, some of the club’s fans feel it might not be a bad idea to give a few of the youngsters a taste of first-team football.
The names of Sean Longstaff and Elias Sorensen have particularly been doing the rounds after shining for Ben Dawson’s team so far this season. Sorensen scored his second hat-trick in four matches against Villa and given the lacking threat in front of goal, one can understand the fans’ frustrating plea to the manager.
Why the fans are right
In terms of Benitez’s belief that the time isn’t right to explore some of the younger attacking options available, the matter of the fact is that it is difficult to see things improving for his current team. A trip to Southampton on Saturday is followed by home games against Watford and Bournemouth.
At this stage, the manager shouldn’t have anything to lose in giving the likes of Longstaff and Sorensen an opportunity to try and bolster his attack. The duo’s strike-rate at the moment would give them the necessary confidence if they were to feature in any of the upcoming matches.
The encounters with Watford and Bournemouth could especially be prime opportunities for Benitez to make use of them. With the Hornets and the Cherries expected to pile on the pressure, Newcastle will need to be sharper up front and Longstaff and Sorensen could be the difference in getting possible positive results.