The eight humiliated subbed subs this season: Eddie Howe ‘error’ called out by Alan Shearer despite win

Matt Stead
Newcastle defender Emil Krafth, Zeki Amdouni and Vincent Kompany of Burnley, and Aston Villa player Morgan Rogers
No doms here, only subs

The biggest humiliation is to be the subbed sub. Vincent Kompany has been behind half of the eight times it has happened in 23/24; Eddie Howe is the latest.

Those who were subbed on and then taken off due to injury are not counted here. We want the properly shameful changes and awkward manager embraces.


Morgan Rogers (v Luton, March 2)

Subbed on: for Jacob Ramsey in the 29th minute

Subbed off: Tim Iroegbunam in the 79th minute

Signed from Middlesbrough in a £15m deal in January, it was not to be expected that former Manchester City prospect Rogers would make too telling a contribution to this excellent Aston Villa season. Having never played higher than the Championship, the forward was purchased more with a view to the future.

Yet a swift acclimatisation to Unai Emery’s demands meant Rogers was immediately considered a first-team option, given brief cameos in comfortable circumstances against Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest.

A foot injury suffered by Jacob Ramsey early against Luton gave Rogers an opportunity he did not waste, and although Luton had equalised by the time he was taken off for a fellow England youth international in Tim Iroegbunam, Emery was impressed.

What Emery said: “His adaptation is going ahead and today he had minutes, taking experiences with us. I decided this because he played more than 45 minutes and he did very good work. I decided tactically to change him, but this is normal. I did something similar in Liverpool. I changed Leon Bailey after he came on as a substitute. It is a tactical decision.”

What happened next: Rogers featured heavily in both legs of the Conference League victory over Ajax before making his first career Premier League start in the draw with West Ham. He has been a key part of the team since

READ MORE: Unai Emery 1st in latest Premier League manager rankings

Unai Emery, Aston Villa, February 2024
Unai Emery instructs his Aston Villa side


Leon Bailey (v Liverpool, September 3)

Subbed on: for Diego Carlos in the 19th minute

Subbed off: for Nicolo Zaniolo in the 65th minute

Emery had indeed done similar before, with Bailey his sacrificial lamb during an early-season Anfield mauling.

Aston Villa were hilariously poor against Liverpool in September, already a goal down when Diego Carlos succumbed to a hamstring injury through chasing Darwin Nunez. In his stead came Bailey but neither he nor a system shift could quell the Reds, who had trebled their lead through a Matty Cash own goal and Mo Salah finish long before the Jamaican forward came off.

What Emery said: “It was a tactical decision. He played 90 minutes on Thursday, he played more or less 45 minutes. I decided that after 3-0 that we need to continue being consistent and practice something, playing with John McGinn and Moussa Diaby like we did in pre-season, but after some injuries we didn’t do it again. I wanted as well to occupy inside with McGinn and try to be more higher than Diaby. I was as well trying to practice in the last 25 minutes, with Tielemans and Zaniolo.”

What happened next: Bailey has been bloody brilliant.


Mike Tresor (v Fulham, December 23)

Subbed on: for Jacob Bruun Larsen in the 46th minute

Subbed off: for Hannes Delcroix in the 89th minute

With the scores level at half-time and Burnley presumably reeling from the shock of not losing a game when visiting Craven Cottage just before Christmas, it was deemed by Vincent Kompany to be time that the wind had a dose of caution thrown at it.

Bruun Larsen had struggled against Antonee Robinson and was no more effective when moved to the other flank, so Tresor was called upon for his first meaningful minutes in about two months.

The Belgian forward rose to the challenge and helped unsettle Fulham, albeit playing peripheral roles at best in Wilson Odobert and Sander Berge’s goals en route to a 2-0 victory.

Tresor was himself taken off as Burnley shored up what remains their last clean sheet for the points.

What Kompany said: Nothing in particular. Bringing a defender on at 2-0 up away from home was not overly controversial.

What happened next: Tresor started the next game – a defeat to Liverpool – but has played 23 minutes in their last 11 Premier League matches and about as long in their FA Cup third-round exit.

READ MORETen times clubs barely avoided recent disastrous managerial appointments, including Chelsea and Spurs with Kompany


Emil Krafth (v West Ham, March 30)

Subbed on: for Jamaal Lascelles in the 17th minute

Subbed off: for Lewis Hall in the 57th minute

Alan Shearer summed up the general Newcastle fan sentiment with his assessment of Eddie Howe’s reaction to a season-ending Lascelles injury in an insipid first half against West Ham.

“I didn’t understand what Eddie did in terms of his substitution,” he said. “Lascelles came off injured, and he then changed the whole back four with one substitution, which I thought was a bit of an error.”

It was a curious decision to bring Krafth on and shift every part of his defence: Tino Livramento from right to left and Fabian Schar to the other side of a central-defensive partnership with Dan Burn, who moved in from the left. And about half an hour later, Newcastle’s one-goal lead had been turned by West Ham into a 3-1 deficit.

Howe corrected the mistake in the second half, bringing Hall on for Krafth to inspire a remarkable comeback win. Miguel Almiron was also subbed on and off but his 11-minute cameo was ended by injury.

What Howe said: “The first change is a difficult one because Dan’s played left-back for so long and we view him in that position but I felt he was the best one to go inside. I could have possibly brought Lewis on at that stage but I went for a little bit more height with Emil with West Ham’s set play threat knowing losing Jamaal was a big blow to us physically. But second half I wanted to give the subs a chance to get into the game and I felt we needed to because we just lost a bit of momentum at that time. When Lewis, Elliot and Miggy come on, I felt they all gave us a big lift.”

What happened next: Not sure yet but it will involve a Newcastle injury.


Alex Scott (v Nottingham Forest, December 23)

Subbed on: for Lewis Cook in the 29th minute

Subbed off: for Joe Rothwell in the 70th minute

Having joined Bournemouth while recovering from a knee injury, Scott made his long-awaited debut in October and played three games, during which the Cherries belatedly kicked off Andoni Iraola’s reign with the manager’s first win in victory over Burnley. He was quickly sidelined due to an issue with the other leg, finally overcoming his problems to make the bench against Nottingham Forest during the packed festive schedule.

Iraola would undoubtedly have preferred to ease in his £25m summer investment but when Lewis Cook needed replacing after half an hour at the City Ground, the sensible choice was Scott.

Within two minutes of his introduction, the midfielder received a yellow card which retrospectively cut his cameo short – although Iraola might have been relieved to have the perfect excuse not to risk Scott too much on his return.

What Iraola said: “Alex Scott and Antoine Semenyo, I decided to take them both off because of their yellow cards. Because with a yellow card, whenever you are playing against 10, sometimes there is a risk. We had to be cautious with these things. The main reason to take him off was the same as Ant, the yellow card.”

What happened next: Scott started Bournemouth’s next game and produced a sublime assist against Fulham, being successfully rotated in and out of the side ever since.


Zeki Amdouni (v Brentford, March 16)

Subbed: for Jacob Bruun Larsen in the 69th minute

Subbed off: for Josh Brownhill in the 94th minute

Without a win since before Christmas and sinking without trace, Burnley hosted one of few sides in worse form when Brentford came to visit the supposed “hell” of Turf Moor.

The Clarets eventually made the most of their opportunity, but it was hard work. Bruun Larsen was sacrificed for Amdouni after scoring an early penalty to grant Burnley a lead which David Datro Fofana had doubled by the time Kompany made the substitution. But Amdouni’s 81st-minute booking, Kristoffer Ajer’s 83rd-minute goal to halve the deficit or a combination of those two factors meant the striker was replaced in stoppage-time as Burnley looked to shore things up.

What Kompany said: “I told him he picked up a yellow and he makes a foul right in front of our box, so I’m thinking the last thing we need is to go down to 10 men and we’ve got Browny still there. It’s tough for him, but he’ll get on with it. He knows how much we love him and how much we appreciate his talent. It’s part of a career and he’ll have to dust himself off and go again.”

What happened next: He started the next game against Chelsea but was taken off at half-time, Lorenz Assignon’s red card offering mitigation.


Aaron Ramsey (v Luton, October 3)

Subbed on: for Zeki Amdouni in the 74th minute

Subbed off: for Hannes Delcroix in the 94th minute

Five wins and one draw represented a chastening start to the season for Burnley, back when it was assumed those were mere growing pains rather than proof that misery loves Kompany. But each of those defeats came to European qualifiers and the stalemate came at Nottingham Forest; a trip to Luton was a fine chance to get off the mark.

Lyle Foster’s goal in first-half stoppage-time gave Burnley an initiative they sought to pursue when, still leading with a quarter of an hour remaining, Ramsey and Bruun Larsen were introduced for Amdouni and Luca Koleosho.

It was Bruun Larsen who made the difference, scoring 65 seconds after an Elijah Adebayo equaliser to put the Clarets back ahead in the 85th minute. Soon after – and in response to a likely aerial onslaught – Ramsey came back off with his work done to be replaced by defender Delcroix.

What Kompany said: Again, not much. No-one dares ask about his obsession with Hannes Piterson Delcroix.

What happened next: In terms of Ramsey, he has been in and out of the side due to Kompany’s haphazard selection habits. As for Delcroix, well…


Jacob Bruun Larsen (v Brentford, October 21)

Subbed on: for Mike Tresor in the 66th minute

Subbed off: for Hannes Delcroix in the 80th minute

Really, though. There have been abundant reasons for Burnley to sack Kompany until this recent revival, but chief among them might be his sub fetish for summer signing Delcroix.

It worked to defend leads against Fulham and Luton; it did not when trying to overturn a deficit against Brentford. The Bees had established a two-goal lead through Yoane Wissa and Bryan Mbeumo shortly before Kompany took action, bringing Bruun Larsen and Josh Brownhill on for Tresor and Berge.

Twelve minutes later, Connor Roberts was sent off. Two minutes after that, Bruun Larsen came off for Delcroix in a damage limitation change. And seven minutes after that, Saman Ghoddos scored a stunning goal to put an already knackered game to bed.

What Kompany said: Nothing because the MSM doesn’t want you to know about this murky business.

What happened next: Bruun Larsen has been in and out of the side since, most recently scoring in the win over Brentford and being substituted for Amdouni, who would himself later be replaced.