Future of Newcastle United duo in doubt after Australia snub as 2023 signing set for loan

Newcastle United winger Garang Kuol. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)Newcastle United winger Garang Kuol. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Newcastle United winger Garang Kuol. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Newcastle United suffered a 8-0 thrashing at the hands of the A-League All Stars.

Newcastle United were hammered 8-0 by the A-League All Stars on dismal night at the Marvel Stadium.

A young Magpies team found themselves 3-0 down before things got 10x worse after the break with five second-half goals. Here’s our writer Jordan Cronin’s five takeaways from the game:

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12 senior players not involved

Newcastle United goalkeeper Mark Gillespie. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)Newcastle United goalkeeper Mark Gillespie. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Newcastle United goalkeeper Mark Gillespie. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Following his penalty shootout heroics against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday, Mark Gillespie once again wore the captain’s armband and took his place in between the sticks behind an outfield 10 with a combined average age of 19.

Harrison Ashby, who spent the campaign on loan at Swansea City, started at right-back in a defensive four of Alex Murphy, Ciaran Thompson and Dylan Charlton. Travis Hernes, a summer signing from Shrewsbury Town, formed a midfield three alongside Jay Turner-Cooke and Joe White, while Garang Kuol was handed his first start, lining up on the left wing with Amadou Diallo on the opposite side and Ben Parkinson as the central striker.

Kieran Trippier, Lewis Hall and Elliot Anderson were the only senior players involved but didn’t make it off the bench. Nick Pope, Dan Burn, Jacob Murphy, Harvey Barnes and Callum Wilson were given the night off after long seasons. And as reported by NewcastleWorld on Tuesday, Bruno Guimaraes, Alexander Isak, Miguel Almiron, Emil Krafth and Joelinton had already left Australia due to international, or, in Joelinton’s case, wedding commitments.

A bad night for the club’s image

Newcastle United players react after another A-League All Stars goal during the exhibition match between A-League All Stars Men and Newcastle United FC at Marvel Stadium on May 24, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)Newcastle United players react after another A-League All Stars goal during the exhibition match between A-League All Stars Men and Newcastle United FC at Marvel Stadium on May 24, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Newcastle United players react after another A-League All Stars goal during the exhibition match between A-League All Stars Men and Newcastle United FC at Marvel Stadium on May 24, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images) | Getty Images

The whole point of going to Australia - beyond the immediate financial gain - was to promote the club’s image/ brand and inspire a new generation of fans but their 8-0 hammering will have done that zero favours.

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Had the trip stopped at Tottenham then it’d have probably gone down as a roaring success. The Australian fans got to witness the likes of Bruno and Isak in action, as well as an penalty shootout. But instead, the All Stars defeat will have tarnished that for many.

Was the extra game really necessary? It feels like there was little to be gained. Eddie Howe admitted there was no chance of him fielding his senior players due to the flight time and it being their second game in 48 hours, or their third match in five days, whatever way you want to look at it. And to be honest, who can argue with him?

Howe had little choice but to put his faith in the youngsters. And not only has the club’s image potentially been damaged Down Under, but so have the futures of those aiming to break into the first-team in the coming years.

A PR own goal but Newcastle kids must do better if they have a realistic chance of making it to the top.

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Paul Dummett & Matt Ritchie - what was the point?

One of Paul Dummett and Matt Ritchie’s last acts as Newcastle players might indeed have been to travel to other side of the world and not play a single minute.

The long-serving pair are out-of-contract next month and you have to wonder if Howe was protecting them from an injury that would impact their chances of finding a new club in the summer. But that raises the question, why allow them to make the trek in the first place?

Their visit involved nothing more than helping to put the flags out before the Tottenham match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Garang Kuol full debut

Newcastle United winger Garang Kuol. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)Newcastle United winger Garang Kuol. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Newcastle United winger Garang Kuol. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images) | Getty Images

A number of players made their full debuts but former Central Coast Mariners winger Garang Kuol was the star attraction, at least for the Australian public anyway.

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Lining up on the left-hand side of attack in the first-half, the 19-year-old was the liveliest Newcastle performer after seeing a shot saved before the offside flag spared his blushes as he fires over an effort from close-range. After the break, he moved into a central role and in truth, barely got a kick.

The next time we see Kuol is uncertain. After failed loan spells at Hearts and FC Volendam, his next one has to be right. If not, then we might not see him in Newcastle colours again.

All eyes on FA Cup final

Newcastle now won’t kick a ball again until July but their biggest game of the 2023-24 campaign is still to come.

Manchester City and Manchester United go head-to-head in the FA Cup final on Saturday. You know the drill by now, Man City must win for the Magpies to playing in Europe again next season.

And Howe & Co may be completely oblivious to result at first as they embark on the long journey back to Tyneside.

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