Newcastle United’s hidden strength and how they can exploit this to be successful next season

More than in any other year, next season will be a squad game in the top-flight.

By Joe Buck
Sunday, 19th June 2022, 2:00 pm

The demands of modern football mean squads are becoming more and more important with every passing season.

A high-pressing game favoured by many coaches means a lot of emphasis is placed on the whole squad to work hard and together.

Newcastle under Eddie Howe are no different with a cursory glance over their pressing and running statistics showing they are vastly improved than under his predecessor.

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Newcastle United’s hidden strength and how they can exploit this to be successful next season (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The mid-season World Cup offers clubs a unique challenge this year - and it will be the sides that best manage their squads throughout the season that find more success.

Fixtures either side of the World Cup offer a very condensed schedule, add to that a cup run or two and teams will be playing a lot of games in not a lot of time.

For Newcastle, they will be hoping they can continue their great successes at the end of last season and carry this momentum into next campaign.

One way they successfully did this, to the surprise of many, was by benefiting from improved performances from some of their ‘squad players’.

Emil Krafth was named as Newcastle United's 'unsung hero' last season (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Miguel Almiron really came to the fore following Ryan Fraser’s injury, whilst players like Sean Longstaff and Jamaal Lascelles were able to seamlessly slot in when required.

However, arguably the biggest success story came in the form of Emil Krafth who deputised for an injured Kieran Trippier.

Krafth’s performances meant the team barely felt the impact of the England international’s absence, allowing Trippier to fully recover and not being rushed back too early.

The Swede garnered great praise from supporters for his displays at the end of the season and his work at right-back didn’t go unnoticed by his team mates either, with a fair few of them describing him as the team’s ‘unsung hero’.

Kieran Trippier's injury meant Emil Krafth had to deputise in his place (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

In a video released by the club, Krafth’s impact was discussed by various members of the team, namely Longstaff and Trippier who were hugely complimentary of the 27-year-old.

“Emil Krafth is the main one.” Longstaff said. “What he’s been able to do, everyone inside knew how good he was, but changing people’s views on the outside and how well he has done in the second-half of the season, he’s been one of our top-three players every single game.

“For me, I don’t think Emil gets enough credit for how good he is and how good he has been, especially when Tripps got injured.”

“I’ve been injured but Krafthy has done unbelievable in that right-back place.” Said Trippier.

“He’s defended well, attacked well and results speak for themselves. I feel like he deserves huge credit for what he has done this season.”

Krafth’s impact on the side is a good omen for next season and Newcastle will need every single member of the squad to follow this lead if they are to improve on the 11th place finish they secured last term.

Squad depth will become even more pertinent if and when Newcastle realise their European ambitions and building that depth starts right now.

United’s squad is in a good place at the moment and they will need to keep that spirit if they are to be a successful team next season.