YohanCabaye47With his squad drastically weakened by injuries and Anita & Gutierrez the latest additions, Alan Pardew has brought us some good, and not so good, news on expected returns.

Effectively it is thumbs up for Steven Taylor and Yohan Cabaye but the opposite for Hatem Ben Arfa.

Alan Pardew speaking to The Journal;

“We hope to get Cabaye and Taylor back in mid-January. Cabaye is kicking balls around but isn’t training with us, Hatem (Ben Arfa) is a little bit further away”.

Yohan Cabaye is renowned as a dedicated, some would say obsessed, trainer and has his own personal trainer he works with on top of his usual Newcastle United training, so no surprise to see him ahead of schedule.

The same with Steven Taylor who showed great determination to battle back from injury last season…and the numerous others he’s had throughout his career.

As for Hatem Ben Arfa, it looks sadly as though we are paying the price for him coming back too early against Fulham. When he then missed the Manchester City match there was talk of a few weeks rest doing the trick but now it is looking like it could be nearer 6-8 weeks by Alan Pardew’s estimate.

As for which player(s) we need back the quickest, I think the answer is that we need as many of our first teamers back as soon as possible and all three definitely fall into that category.

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10 comments
DownUnderMag
DownUnderMag

Think it is taking longer than expected to iron out the kinks, specifically getting the players used to actually playing football again rather than Pardew's patented hoofball!

It's also worth noting that we are playing completely silly lineups.  The defence against York will be nothing like it will be against Southampton come opening day.  It definitely shows our lack of quality in depth,but when you look at it, we had no Colocini, Taylor, Krul, Sissoko, Gini, Colback or Cisse playing and i'm pretty sure De jong, Aarons and Mitrovic are all just playing to get fitness levels back to where they need to be.  

If we get Mbemba on board and perhaps another defender and a creative player (or another link up forward) I suspect we will have a reasonable first choice team for the season.  

The vast majority of fans also need to realise this is a rebuild season, and that three players aren't going to suddenly see us vying for the title. 

PhilYare
PhilYare

if people dont think this is alarming they are clueless. pre-season games are an excellent indicator of how you are going to start the season... at the moment we are arent better than lower league sides

Nic Mayer
Nic Mayer

I wouldn't risk our big names at York two weeks from the start of the season

mactoon
mactoon

He can use this fixture to see players he hasn't seen in a game situation. He is new to the club and doesn't know what his squad can do. I can't see any problem with playing fringe players and Mitrovic before the weekend game when he can play a stronger 11 close to the ones he will start with. What is the problem?

PhilYare
PhilYare

@mactoon but york city are in the same situation in their preperations yet they can still easily beat us. everyone is trying out new players, formations etc but we keep losing - problem

1957
1957

Another non story telling us things we already know, mainly Carver was an idiot.

But seriously clubs often play 3 games in a week at the end of pre season, it's about giving as many players as possible game time with the intention of sending as near to your best team out in the final one.

geordiedave53
geordiedave53

Its a good idea to play fringe players, especially in a friendly gives McClaren another chance to asses everybody

Hughie
Hughie

Stupid article once again. Mclaren and co are still assessing players, and particularly some of those underused or not tried by the previous managers/coaches. Some people want to latch onto the least glimmer of negativity!! Give up John and stick to the day job if you've got one!!

Artie Fufkin
Artie Fufkin

More whining, they are playing games to get match fitness for the whole squad. Man u & Chelsea are still in the US, still playing the whole squad over there. 


The people who write this have seemingly never seen a pre-season game not played any level of football

jimblag
jimblag

Why didn't SM just play reserves and a few sub appearances for first teamers against sheff United to rest them then play a stronger team tonight? It probably isn't ideal but there's no point in blaming what can't be changed. JC is an idiot but we should just be glad he can't inflict further damage upon us.