Pundit Gabriel Agbonlahor has criticised Kieran Trippier for traveling to Brentford while injured.
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Fans will be all too aware that former Villa striker Agbonlahor has frequently taken swipes at the club, even suggesting a move to Brentford would be more appealing than Newcastle due to their location.
Trippier, whose influence on the team since joining cannot be understated, made the trip to West London on Saturday while on crutches following his foot injury in an effort to support the team. Indeed, the England international’s importance off the pitch even when injured has been praised by Eddie Howe, and is frankly refreshing to see.
Clearly, this is much more than a payday for him. Now, it would be naïve to suggest a lucrative move to Newcastle at this stage of his career wouldn’t be attractive from a financial perspective for the 31-year-old, but Trippier seems to have taken on a leadership role already.
The beating heart of the team at the start of this seven-game unbeaten streak, journalist Dean Jones claimed after Trippier’s signing that the club’s interest in signing him was not only for his quality. As a player of such high stature, the hope was that he would help set a new standard and, while not getting too carried away, Trippier certainly appears to have done exactly that.
What did Agbonlahor say about Trippier?
Talking to Football Insider, the pundit called his decision to travel to the Brentford Community Stadium as “strange.”
“I don’t understand that, to be honest, I think that’s strange,” he said.
“People will see that as amazing because he’s supporting the team but I see it as silly.
“You’ve got an injury, you’re on crutches, you should be at home with your feet up to rest the injury not struggling around on such a long trip to Brentford.
“I don’t see the point in that. If it’s an injury where you are not on crutches and are fine to walk that’s different.
“You’re on crutches, are you doing that for the cameras? Stay home, rest, with your foot up. It doesn’t make sense at all.”
What has Trippier said about his role at Newcastle?
To give more of an insight into just how Trippier sees his role at the club, it’s worth revisiting the discussion he had with Alan Shearer for The Athletic in January.
“Coming here is all about the football,” he said.
“I already had a great relationship with the manager and some of the players. For me, it’s all about football and what happens on the pitch and trying to help Newcastle survive, to reach our goal of staying in the Premier League. I’m not focused on anything else.”