YOHAN_CABAYE_POPPY_SHIRT_NUFCWhen Alan Pardew talks so regularly about our better players coming back to fitness, am I the only one whose heart sinks?

We are now getting almost daily updates and some days players are very likely to be back for Norwich (or whatever the next game is) and then the next day they might need a bit longer but such and such could be ready for Norwich…

I can’t help but feel that these public utterances are largely to do with trying to put a positive spin on Newcastle’s dire situation and each time Alan Pardew says ‘When I have all my big players back…’ it makes the likelihood of new signings look more and more unlikely.

(Send in your letters/articles to contribute@themag.co.uk)

Every manager could talk about if only he had his best eleven available but in the real world it is rare for everybody to be fit at the same time and so it is down you deal with it and what you put in place to deal with it.

You can’t predict who will get injured and when, it is beyond your control, what isn’t beyond your control though is to have players in place who can come inn and do a decent job when those injuries come along.

Newcastle do not have those players with very very few exceptions, so it is a total red herring to suggest that players becoming available again makes one bit of difference to the obvious, we need more players who are capable of playing in the first team, now.

Unfortunately, I can hear all too well in May something along the lines of ‘If only I’d had my big players available…’.

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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.