With the Magpies 3-0 down at the break at Stamford Bridge, Steve McClaren would have been forgiven for making 11 changes if he was allowed to. However, the only change he did decide to make was to bring the Netherlands international off for Jack Colback. And when asked whether an injury or tactical reshuffle persuaded McClaren to bring him off, Wijnaldum issued a cagey response.
"I don't know. This is something you must ask the manager," he told the Chronicle.
"I think it's his job to answer this question and not mine."
With the game seemingly out of reach by the time the change was made, McClaren may have decided to throw Colback on as his desire to win the ball may have inspired his teammates to at least make the scoreline respectable.
Nevertheless, the decision to take Wijnaldum off is unlikely to have gone down well with the supporters that travelled a long way for the game.
The former PSV man is the club's top goalscorer this season, and while his performance against the Blues was extremely disappointing, there were several performances in the side that were just as poor from players who do not appear to have the same ability to do something special.
Bringing him off for a more defensively-minded midfielder could have been seen as throwing in the towel and accepting defeat, rather than looking for a goal that could have given the side the smallest glimmer of hope.