IT was once said that you can’t win anything with kids.
Manchester United did back in the day, but that’s another story.
There’s now a compelling case for head coach John Carver to field more of his fringe players and kids between now and the end of the season.
Could they do any worse than some of the senior professionals who were found wanting – again – against Sunderland on Easter Sunday?
Hopefully, we’ll see more of midfielder Mehdi Abeid over the coming weeks – and winger Rolando Aarons when he returns to fitness.
United need their energy and enthusiasm.
At least some fresh blood would give the club’s long-suffering supporters something to cling on to in the final two months of the campaign.
After all, there was far too little of both at the Stadium of Light
It’s too early for the likes of Adam Armstrong, Olivier Kemen, Jamie Sterry and Callum Roberts to be starting games week in, week out.
They might not be good enough, in the long-term, to play Premier League football.
We don’t know yet. But more minutes on the pitch would hasten their development.
Lubomir Satka, physically, doesn’t quite look ready for the rigours of the Premier League, but he’s a talented and composed defender.
He’s certainly got a chance of making the step up in the next year or two.
Ideally, they’d all have played more football on loan by now.
And Carver is right to be careful with them. He has a duty of care towards the club’s young players, and we want them to swim, not sink.
That said, why can’t we see a little bit more of Armstrong in the final seven games of another depressing season?
The club, arguably, has nothing to lose and everything to gain from giving the likes of Roberts, Kemen and Sterry some minutes off the bench.
Armstrong got just THREE minutes against Sunderland, while Emmanuel Riviere – yet to score a league goal since his big-money move from Monaco last summer – came off the bench in the 58th minute.
Riviere replaced forward Yoan Gouffran, who must surely pay the price for his performance with his place.
Newcastle might not be able to win with kids, but the team hasn’t won much with its senior professionals over the last few months.
And if the likes of Kemen, Sterry and Roberts can get some football before the last ball is kicked, it will stand them in good stead for next term.
Alan Pardew, Carver’s predecessor, often talked about “leaning on the experience” of his senior players.
The derby showed that the likes of Ryan Taylor and Jonas Gutierrez – two players who are likely to leave St James’s Park in the summer – CAN be relied upon.
They, along with two or three others, didn’t let the club down against Sunderland.
But Carver would be wrong to lean too much upon those experienced players who DID let the club down in the derby.
It’s a time for bold decisions from Carver, who brought many players through the youth system at United in his previous roles at the club.
And at least some fresh blood would give the club’s long-suffering supporters something to cling on to in the final two months of the campaign.