Alan Pardew has admitted that key midfielders, Siem De Jong and Cheick Tiote are struggling for the start of the season.
Cheick Tiote has only managed an hour of pre-season action against Sheffield Wednesday, whilst Siem De Jong has been missing ever since he limped off against Wellington Phoenix.
There had been total silence from the club on Tiote’s position but following the match at Huddersfield, Alan Pardew revealed that he’s likely to be missing the two players who would have been definite starters against Manchester City,
“We took all the senior players who were fit – no Cheick (Tiote), no Siem (De Jong).
“Whether they make the first game I don’t know, but they are going to have significant parts to play this season, of that there is no doubt. They are important players.”
Talking about having ‘significant parts to play this season’ suggests to me that it may not just be the opening Premier League match that they will miss…