In three days time Steve McClaren will meet the Newcastle squad for the first time.
Wednesday 1 July is when pre season training begins and apart from a few such as Krul, Janmaat and Sissoko who played international football, the Newcastle Head Coach will get his first look at the players he has inherited.
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Whilst initially fitness work will take precedence, you would imagine that very quickly Steve McClaren will want them out on the pitch showing what they can do with a football.
When he meets the players on Wednesday he will then have only a week and a half before the squad flies off to America, so you would imagine he’ll want to take stock as soon as possible and see which players are good, bad and indifferent.
We all know Newcastle are desperate for a number of first team ready new signings and hopefully Steve McClaren will see in days what the vast majority of us have learnt over the course of months and years.
I have this horrible feeling that by next Friday or possibly the start of the following week, we’ll hear the dreaded words…
“I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by the depth and the quality in the squad of players I have inherited, I think I have plenty to work with here blah blah blah.”
Alan Pardew was guilty of this on a number of occasions before then later bemoaning the lack of numbers and quality when a few key injuries hit.
The same with John Carver who talked about what a great squad he’d been left with by Pardew and how he was targeting the top eight, only then to say later that no other manager in the world could have done better then him with the rubbish (not the word(s) he used but it amounted to the same) he had available.
If Steve McClaren comes out with this kind of chat about the team/squad, then I think we would all fear that this is just a predictable preamble to a fraction of the transfer activity happening that we need to see.
Like most of you I still cling to a hope, however faint, that the total lack of any visible activity from Newcastle United has masked frantic transfer actio behind the scenes, with a number of signings waiting to be announced.
The thought of the squad flying off to America in two weeks time with no new additions travelling with them, is a nightmare scenario that will leave a massive risk factor hanging over the club.
When Newcastle United arrive back from the States they have just over two weeks to prepare before they face Southampton in the first Premier League match of the season.
The margins are getting ever tighter and let’s hope Steve McClaren leaves his rose-tinted glasses at home when he turns up for traning on Wednesday.