Newcastle United defender DeAndre Yedlin was at fault for the Magpies’ defeat to Crystal Palace last weekend but despite conceding the penalty which led to their 1-0 defeat, manager Rafael Benitez has refused to criticise him.
It was a poor performance once again from the USA international, rashly bringing Wilfried Zaha down in the box and giving the Eagles the chance to score from the spot, Luka Milivojevic putting the ball past Martin Dubravka and into the back of the net.
However, Benitez seemed to suggest the former Tottenham man would be safe in the starting XI for another week, with a clash against Leicester City on Friday night, and it is a lucky escape for Yedlin.
What was said?
Speaking about the American, the Newcastle United boss insisted it was a team effort and the lesson had been learned by both Yedlin and his teammates, revealing that they had been analysing the Palace game closely behind-the-scenes.
He told the Chronicle: “He’s been fine. We have analysed the clips, what we did wrong and right, looking for solutions. Sometimes I make a mistake and go home and watch the game on my own. But we win together, and we lose together.”
Those are not the words of a manager preparing to swing the axe on his right back. Those are the words of a coach supporting his player and ensuring he is ready to take part in their next game.
It is good to hear that the American has not let his confidence drop, and he will no doubt be relieved to hear Benitez’s comments.
Just how lucky is Yedlin?
It is not like Benitez does not have other options to call upon at right back, even if they are not the most convincing of talents.
Javier Manquillo has kept Yedlin out of the side this season, while you can be sure Matt Ritchie would be willing to drop back if required.
It is not the first time Yedlin has made a rash decision on the pitch and if he is to escape the axe, as seems to be the case, he can consider himself very fortunate. However, if he keeps making such major errors, he can expect that luck to run out very quickly indeed.