Internal change Newcastle United can make ahead of January as fans call for Fernandez’s recall

Federico Fernandez did something on Sunday we were told it would never happen again – he traveled as part of the Newcastle United squad but didn’t come off the bench.

In fairness to Eddie Howe, he stayed with the team that beat Burnley 1-0 and kept their clean sheet, so there were few complaints when the team sheets were handed out in the press box. at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Less than 24 hours later, fans are calling for changes for the next game at Liverpool and Fernandez’s name is hot on fans’ lips.

It was Graeme Jones who suggested just six weeks ago that the former Argentina international would no longer be insulted by being asked to travel with the Toon squad and not play.

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But as we move into what appears to be a deadly December month for the Magpies, with Liverpool (a), Man City (h) and then Man United (h) on either side of Christmas it looks like Newcastle have no choice but to turn to the ex-defender of Naples.

United were extremely poor and disorganized at the second half’s back to Leicester in the 4-0 defeat and find themselves under pressure to enter their festive fixture list.

Howe opened up about Fernandez’s presence no later than December 1 when he described him as “an exceptional player”.

It seems like an obvious choice to start him alongside Fabian Schar if Newcastle go for a back four and even if they come back, like Rafa Benitez and Steve Bruce had to, at five behind he should still be one of the first defenders on the team sheet.

It was actually Benitez who signed Fernandez from Swansea City in 2018 because he was trying to refresh the team of the winners of the 2017 promotion who had served the club well but needed some guidance.

Incredibly, with 2022 just around the corner, this team STILL needs a refresh from the 2017 class winners, but Fernandez is one of the few senior options available for Howe to turn that around.

Whether the issue is to give up or not to give up skipper Jamaal Lascelles is debatable.

What impact would the relegation of Lascelles on the bench have on the current dynamics of the locker room?

This could be the problem for Howe given Lascelles’ long-term influence behind the scenes, but unbelievably after a very solid game against Burnley – in which he made 11 clearances – the performance of the former Nottingham Forest center-back slipped again.

The reality for Newcastle is this: When Fernandez is in the squad they usually do better and have collected six of their 10 points when he played.

United’s defense was underlined by Dion Dublin and Glenn Murray in today’s game, who laid bare their issues from a neutral standpoint.

Howe conceded after the game: “They scored four goals due to bad defensive moments.

“We need results.

“We are well aware of the position in which we find ourselves.

“Come to think of it, I think there were some good things today.

“There were obviously things that weren’t that good.

“We had a lot of good balls around their surface, we had a lot of opportunities to create, but our final ball and the final decision wasn’t quite fair to open them.

“It was the difference.

“Defensively Leicester didn’t have much concerted pressure in the game.

“I think that at 0-0 it was really there for us to win, but I think the penalty has a big impact on the game.”

Howe essentially has to get back to the drawing board before the clash at Liverpool.

It’s a place that has never been kind to Newcastle and after scoring a late equalizer in this game last season, you fear United’s chance quota at Anfield has already been used up for the next few years. .

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When Joe Willock scored to the death last season Liverpool were struggling for form but after 16 games they are in the title chase again and could even top the table on Thursday night if Man City don’t beat Leeds.

Having said that, you would like to think that Newcastle can’t be much worse than in the second half at Leicester.

As we sit here on Monday morning, avoiding another deflated defeat and keeping the score low would seem like a moral victory in Merseyside.

Either way, not making defensive changes seems like an almighty risk.

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