Whilst Steve McClaren bemoaned the international break for disrupting the development of his new squad, 19 other Premier League managers could have said exactly the same thing.
However, other factors have come into play that means Steve McClaren really can’t have any complaints in preparing his team after the international interruption.
The most obvious factor is that with the match at West Ham not until next Monday due to TV rescheduling, he has an extra two days to work with anyway.
However, the staggered nature of the international fixtures has also fallen perfectly, plus the fact that Newcastle don’t really have many players playing for their countries.
Holland completed their two September fixtures on Sunday, Georginio Wijnaldum starting against Iceland and then coming on at half-time in the defeat against Turkey yesterday.
Tim Krul and Vurnon Anita watched both games from the bench and all three should be back for Tuesday’s training at Newcastle United.
Aleksandar Mitrovic plays for Serbia in Paris tonight but he is suspended for Monday anyway. However, Moussa Sissoko could play a part in tonight’s match after playing the first 80 minutes of the 1-0 win over Portugal on Friday.
At worst he will surely be in training with Newcastle on Wednesday at the latest.
Chancel Mbemba played for DR Congo in their 2-0 defeat on Sunday by the Central African Republic and even though it isn’t as simple as getting from Paris to Newcastle, the defender shouldbe back by Tuesday/Wednesday at the very latest.
Whilst Mbemba and the Dutch contingent will be less than happy with their results, the players will have the benefit of at least the normal lead up time to a match.
With nobody heading off to South American, or making a journey like Aaron Hughes did from Australia, just to sit on the bench for Northern Ireland, Newcastle have everything in their favour in terms of fine tuning a team that has promised in glimpses what could be possible.
You feel that sometime soon everything could click but the sooner that happens the better, so United start picking up momentum and points.