'Slap in the face for Hanley' - Newcastle fans react as Hayden lines up in defence
By Danny Wright
Newcastle fans have taken to Twitter to react to the club’s announcement that Isaac Hayden will line-up in the back four against Barnsley at St. James’ Park on Sunday.
Ciaran Clark has been left out of the side all together, which means that Rafa Benitez has been left with a defensive conundrum going into one of the biggest games of the season.
Hayden, 22, has spent most of the season playing in the Magpies midfield but will start alongside Chancel Mbemba in the back four, according to the club’s official Twitter account.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) May 7, 2017
Newcastle go into the tie knowing that they must better Brighton’s result in order to win the Championship title.
Chris Hughton’s men travel to Aston Villa in their final game of the campaign knowing that a win will assure them of their first second-tier title.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
The Toon Army have taken to Twitter to react to the team news, with some saying that it’s a slap in the face of Grant Hanley, who isn’t in the squad.
Here is a selection of their tweets:
Hayden to go on darting runs
— Joe Halliday (@halliday_9) May 7, 2017
What's wrong with Hayden at CB? Hes played there for Arsenal u23s and England u23s and done a good job too.
— Ricky Palfreman (@NothingMainly) May 7, 2017
Hayden at the back? My god! Tactics from Rafa! ???????????? #nufc
— Rob Nicholson (@rob_nicka) May 7, 2017
If Hayden is as good as a CB as he is as a CM then we have got a great player on the cheap, been solid throughout the season
— Damon Hogg (@Dhogg96) May 7, 2017
Hayden in defence. Interesting.
— Hayden Liddle (@liddle96) May 7, 2017
Hayden at centrehalf, eh?
Bit of a slap in the face for Hanley. Anyway, Rafa knows best, howay the lads #NUFC
— Gavin (@Gavoth) May 7, 2017
Hayden at CB. Has played RB for England U21 so as long as he doesn't decide to go on random adventures forward should be ok. #NUFC
— Scott (@ScottBarclay6) May 7, 2017
Hayden has made 37 appearances for Newcastle across all competitions this season, scoring two goals and supplying four assists.
He has not long returned from having surgery on his ankle, which kept him sidelined for 11 games.
Benitez’s side only won five of the games that Hayden was absent for, but since making a full return in mid-April they’ve picked up a crucial seven points which has seen them earn promotion.
In other Newcastle news, Rob Elliot has identified which Magpies players should be fearing their future.