The Newcastle United decision that could have big implications for the future – Chronicle Live

Posted: July 27, 2021 at 1:54 am


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No doubt Steve Bruce will spend this coming season wondering if he will have a job at Newcastle United beyond it.

Because Bruce is entering the last year of his current contract and whether or not he remains here may well depend on whether Mike Ashley does.

Yet this is the man who will have to wrestle with another decision which will impact greatly on United.

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He has to sort out the futures of Karl Darlow and Freddie Woodman - one to go, one to stay.

I cannot see either goalkeeper being willing to remain on United's books beyond this coming season.

Darlow celebrates his 30th birthday during the upcoming campaign and having proved he can play at the top level when Martin Dubravka was injured last term he will be seeking regular football before it is too late as it became with Steve Harper.

On the other hand Woodman is 24, he has starred for the last two seasons in the Championship with Swansea, and he will be looking to push on towards a full England cap.

Having played international football with great success at every level from Under 16 upwards Woodman has every right to believe he can go all the way. But not as a No 2 or No 3 with his club or as a loanee.

Both Darlow and Woodman need first-team football and Dubravka is not the only one standing in their way. They are in each other's way.

So it is not just a matter of who keeps goal for Newcastle on the opening day against West Ham but long term who stays and who goes.

Maybe Woodman will have his final loan move to Bournemouth this season but that sort of temporary transfer cannot continue indefinitely.

What will also come into play will be Darlow's mental attitude. Having been sickened by not only being dropped to allow Dubravka back into the side but the way he found out through the Press his faith in Bruce might well be rocky.

I know that when I was a player I wanted to hear everything first-hand form the boss and I carried that philosophy into management.

I felt dreadfully sorry for Darlow when he was axed because I felt he had done exceptionally well and deserved his place in the side.

Dubravka is brilliant but Darlow was the man in possession and had a case to stay there.

The dilemma with Darlow and Woodman reminds me of the situation with England when I first joined the national squad.

Sir Alf Ramsey was manager and England possessed two keepers of supreme talent Peter Shilton and Ray Clemence. So what did Sir Alf do? Controversially he alternated them!

Shilton is England's record appearance holder but I believe without Clemence and Ramsey's policy he would have had 200 caps.

Me? I was always grateful to Shilts. After training Ray would shoot off home but Peter always wanted to stay with a winger and a couple of forwards to practice shot-stopping for at least an hour.

As someone who also liked to stay behind for shooting practice it suited me fine.

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The Newcastle United decision that could have big implications for the future - Chronicle Live

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July 27th, 2021 at 1:54 am

Posted in Mental Attitude