Who will be in the Newcastle United squad that fly off to America this weekend that weren’t on the plane to New Zealand last summer?

A squad of 24 was announced this time last year, with Cheick Tiote amongst that 24 but on a separate flight, although he never did make it to New Zealand in the end (for reasons unknown as the club never said), so only these 23 went for the important pre season trip to prepare for the new season:

Goalkeepers: Rob Elliot, Freddie Woodman, Jak Alnwick,

Defenders: Fabricio Coloccini, Massadio Haidara, Lubo Satka, Ryan Taylor, Steven Taylor, Paul Dummett, Mike Williamson, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa

Midfielders: Rolando Aarons, Mehdi Abeid, Sammy Ameobi, Vurnon Anita, Jack Colback, Siem de Jong, Yoan Gouffran,

Strikers: Adam Armstrong, Adam Campbell, Ayoze Perez, Emmanuel Riviere, Haris Vuckic

As it stands, 18 of that New Zealand squad look available to travel, with the five in bold having either been sold (Mapou), loaned out (Ameobi), or released (Alnwick, R Taylor and Campbell).

What caught my attention this morning was the Chronicle saying that Shane (like a new signing) Ferguson would be on the plane to America, with Steve McClaren giving him another chance to ‘prove himself’.

That would make a potential 19 travellers and then another ‘like a new signing’ Sylvain Marveaux, will no doubt be included as well, to make up the numbers if nothing else.

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On top of those 20 you have Tim Krul, Cheick Tiote, Papiss Cisse (who was injured/recuperating last summer), then given extra leave after reaching the later stages of the World Cup last sumer – Moussa Sissoko, Remy Cabella, Daryl Janmaat, whilst Gabriel Obertan wasn’t even considered worth a spot on the plane to New Zealand, even though the just released Adam Campbell was.

Also, you have defender Jamaal Lascelles and keeper Karl Darlow now available after their year loan at Forest.

In addition you have Curtis Good and Gael Bigirimana who could now be possibles, whilst Olivier Kemen appears to be ruled out as he is involved in the Under 19 European Championships in Greece with France.

With no new signings and sifting through the squad, I am guessing that if Newcastle once again intended to take a 24 man squad on this pre season tour, then injuries permitting, this would be the most worthwhile/strongest squad available….

Goalkeepers: Tim Krul, Karl Darlow, Freddie Woodman,

Defenders: Fabricio Coloccini, Massadio Haidara, Jamaal Lascelles, Steven Taylor, Paul Dummett, Mike Williamson, Daryl Janmaat

Midfielders: Rolando Aarons, Mehdi Abeid,  Vurnon Anita, Jack Colback, Siem de Jong, Yoan Gouffran, Cheick Tiote, Moussa Sissoko, Remy Cabella, Sylvain Marveaux

Strikers: Adam Armstrong, Ayoze Perez, Emmanuel Riviere, Papiss Cisse

With time now all but having ran out for new signings to fly off with the current lot, the lingering hope is that signings will still be made belatedly to fly out and join the squad in America to get to know and train with the other players.

Otherwise we are faced with relying on the same old faces, for better or worse…

Not the most comforting of thoughts after last season’s shambles.

I have to say that every extra name (Elliot, Vuckic, Ferguson, Marveaux, Obertan etc) who is on the squad list for America, who realistically has no future at the club, is a massive black mark if Newcastle are going to seriously turn things around under Steve McClaren,