Newcastle United dealt Manchester United ‘problem’ as key man ‘mentally fatigued’ - five things v Wolves

Newcastle United's English striker #09 Callum Wilson (2L) shoots to score the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United. Newcastle United's English striker #09 Callum Wilson (2L) shoots to score the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United.
Newcastle United's English striker #09 Callum Wilson (2L) shoots to score the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United. | AFP via Getty Images
Newcastle United let a lead slip twice at Wolverhampton Wanderers in a 2-2 draw in the Premier League.

Another post-Champions League weekend, another 2-2 draw for Newcastle United - however, there can be few arguments this was not more hard-fought.

Depleted by injury and fatigued from a tough test against Dortmund on Wednesday, the Magpies left everything out on the park at Molineux. And while they let a lead slip twice, can probably be happy to walk away from the West Midlands with a share of the spoils.

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Here’s a look at the key takeaways for Eddie Howe - and the major talking points.

Newcastle United player ratings from the 2-2 draw against Wolves. (Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images)Newcastle United player ratings from the 2-2 draw against Wolves. (Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images)
Newcastle United player ratings from the 2-2 draw against Wolves. (Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Did Howe get his sub policy right?

OK, so Newcastle had the sum total of one Premier League substitute appearance on the bench. And it wasn’t exactly a substitute line up screaming to be brought on. However, you have to ask the question whether the head coach, after talking of managing player minutes, could not have freshened things up before he did?

My take, I think it was too little too late with Joe Willock coming on at 2-2. The momentum switch was obvious and any one of the front six could have been relieved of their duties, having thrown the kitchen sink at the game individually.

Manchester United a game too far?

This club is not in any position to be throwing away chances to win a cup competition. There is no doubt about that.

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However, another legitimate question is whether this group of players can cope with another competition, yet more gruelling minutes at high intensity, to be followed by the toughest of Premier League tests against Arsenal?

I think key men need to be rested on Wednesday, or the risk of worsening the injury crisis is massively increased. The Carabao Cup might well be sacrificed, albeit reluctantly.

 Dan Burn of Newcastle United looks dejected after Hwang Hee-Chan of Wolverhampton Wanderers scores the teams second goal during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United at Molineux on October 28, 2023 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images) Dan Burn of Newcastle United looks dejected after Hwang Hee-Chan of Wolverhampton Wanderers scores the teams second goal during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United at Molineux on October 28, 2023 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images)
Dan Burn of Newcastle United looks dejected after Hwang Hee-Chan of Wolverhampton Wanderers scores the teams second goal during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United at Molineux on October 28, 2023 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Nick Pope decision-making at question?

An amazing save in the first half from Matheus Cunha was up there with the best you’ll see at this level. But the decision to punch when a catch was on offer, probably cost United two points in the closing stages.

It was a harsh lesson for the Newcastle No.22.

Kieran lets things Trip

Kieran Trippier struggled against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Kieran Trippier struggled against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Kieran Trippier struggled against Wolverhampton Wanderers. | Getty Images

The Newcastle United leader has been one of the best Premier League performers this season, and without doubt the Magpies’ best this campaign, with maybe the exception of Fabian Schar.

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Saturday, however, was not his best day. Trippier was at fault for the first goal and his distribution, usually world class, left a lot to be desired in the opening 45.

There’s no concern there, however, with the England international’s standards likely to rise again, just like usual. But at the moment, Trippier looks mentally fatigued and understandably so after a lot of games with club and country.

No respite for Howe when it comes to injuries

The games come thick and fast for Newcastle, but those on the treatment table don’t look set to be Howe’s knights in shining armour.

Alexander Isak, Jacob Murphy, Elliot Anderson and Harvey Barnes don’t look like they’ll be available until around December, leaving Howe will a whole month, across three competitions to navigate. And that’s without mentioning Sandro Tonali’s ban.

This next few weeks could well define the Magpies’ season - and it looks set to test the squad, what’s left of it, to the max.

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