Newcastle summer signing Sven Botman responded in style with an impressive displays against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Eddie Howe’s decision to leave Sven Botman on the bench have come as a surprise to some – but to the Newcastle United defender as well.
Following the 1-1 draw with Bournemouth last month, The Athletic revealed how Sven Botman was ‘surprised and frustrated’ to have been left out of Eddie Howe’s 11.
Speaking at the time about his decision to field January signing Dan Burn ahead of Botman, Howe said: “I just feel his leadership skills and his experience, we need that in our team at the moment.
“Sven’s going to be an outstanding player, and will play many, many games for this club. We love him to bits, but Dan just gets the nod at the moment.”
He reacted by withdrawing from the Netherlands’ U21 squad the following week, deciding to focus on club football and train on Tyneside over the international break.
After impressing Howe in training, The £35m man regained his place in the Newcastle defence at Craven Cottage, and backed that up with a practically faultless display in our 4-1 win at Fulham on Saturday.
Botman may not have not had a huge amount to do defensively on Saturday, after Fulham retreated following Nathaniel Chalobah’s early red card, but the Dutchman helped marshal Aleksandar Mitrovic alongside Fabian Schar before the in-form striker hobbled off.
🇳🇱 Sven Botman was 100% in his aerial duel battles (3/3), ground duel battles (1/1) and successful tackles (1/1) made for Newcastle against Fulham.
💪. #NUFC #NEW #FULNEW pic.twitter.com/v8ChCqG3sM
— Mozo Football (@MozoFootball) October 2, 2022
Mitrovic going off made Botman’s life a little easier, but you can be sure the Dutchman still wanted to see the game out and help his side record a fourth shutout of the campaign.
His reaction to Fulham’s late goal was also telling, as he turned away furiously and questioned why the cross came in unchallenged after losing his clean sheet in the 88th minute.
Botman did not hold back as he punched the air in frustration. Newcastle still won the game by a huge score line, but Botman’s fury shows the high standards at the club now. Indeed, even after such an impressive victory, Eddie Howe admitted that the ‘lads in the dressing room were disappointed not to get a clean sheet’. Botman will have been very much in Howe’s thoughts when the Newcastle boss said that.
Tougher tests are on the way, but Botman’s reaction to being dropped against Bournemouth and classy yet commanding display on Saturday sent the perfect message to Eddie Howe as we head into our final seven games before the World Cup.