Callum Wilson and Kieran Trippier desperate for Newcastle start against Arsenal: Eddie Howe
NEWCASTLE: Eddie Howe has revealed Callum Wilson and Kieran Trippier are desperate to be given Newcastle United’s start against Arsenal on Monday night.
However, the Magpies head coach is giving no clues about his starting picks.
Both Wilson and Trippier returned to the fold last time out against Manchester City, earning 20-minute cameos to their credit after four and two and a half months out respectively.
Having suffered no ill effects from their efforts at the Etihad, the two are said to be chomping at the bit to be let loose against the Gunners, who are chasing the Champions League.
“I think both players would say they’re very keen to start,” Howe said. “My job is to make sure that I do my best, not only for the individual, but also for the team.
“We have to make sure they are fit enough to last a long time in the game because obviously I don’t want to make too many changes too early in the game which would unbalance the team.
“They are also slightly different; you can’t lump them together and say they’re at the same stage. Wilson did more practice work than Trippier, although of course he suffered a more serious injury.
“We will make a decision based on their training week whether they are ready to start the game on Monday.”
While the narrative at Newcastle United is currently about new starts, this summer will also bring an end to long associations with the football club as in-and-outs sweep through the off-season ranks.
The likes of Matt Ritchie, Ciaran Clark, Dwight Gayle and Isaac Hayden, all signed in the summer of 2016 when United were aiming for promotion from the Championship, are likely to be heading for the door.
The same can probably be said of Federico Fernandez, Jamal Lewis, Karl Darlow and others.
So will Monday be seen as a goodbye for many?
“It’s hard to talk about individuals, but I’m sure for some of my players it might just be an emotional experience,” Howe said. “I’m very much in the mindset that we have to be very grateful for everyone’s efforts for our success this season in terms of where we were at where we are now. Everyone played his role in it, whether he participated in the field or not.
“I look at Clark, Hayden and Lewis, who weren’t in the 25-man squad, but their attitude to that disappointment has been incredible,” Howe said. “They are still training with the group and they haven’t been negative or disappointed for a moment. It’s important that I point this out because we haven’t accomplished anything as individuals. It was the collective group that did it and all the credit goes to everyone.
Meanwhile, Howe has revealed an increase in injuries ahead of tomorrow night’s game with news that Ryan Fraser will likely be available for selection.
“Fraser is back in training which is great to see. He’s been training really well, so I’m crossing my fingers that he’s okay,” Howe said.
While the Scotland international’s fitness is on an upward trajectory, that’s not the case for everyone in the squad.
“Jonjo [Shelvey] has a pretty serious calf injury, similar to the one he suffered at the start of the season,” Howe said.
“He will be out for a while but we expect him to be back before pre-season without any problems. It will be the same for Joe Willock; he has had a tendon problem in his knee for a while. We We thought we’d sorted it out but he’s back so he needs a rest period, he’s had a few injections in his knee and we expect him to be fine for pre-season.
“Fernandez had a slight Achilles problem.”
Mikel Arteta is expected to welcome centre-backs Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes back to St. James’ Park but will continue to be without Thomas Partey through injury and the suspension of Rob Holding.