Last season the international breaks were met with a mixed reaction but I think this extra time/space before the Everton match will give Alan Pardew and his players some breathing space and time to reflect on a chaotic opening to the season.

Not that he’ll have a great deal of time with them as a group with the likes of Coloccini, Cabaye, Krul, Anita, Tiote, Ba and Cisse all getting international call-ups, though with the match at Goodison moved to the Monday the extra two days could prove invaluable.

This two week opportunity should at least give the likes of Cabaye and others the chance to get match fit and throw off a bit of early season lethargy which no doubt the likes of the Euros and our less than perfect pre-season contributed to. Plus of course it should ensure that Cheick Tiote, whether he travels or not, is back from injury to face the likes of Fellaini.

Quite ironic looking at the list of players going off on international duty, arguably our three best outfield performers are missing from the list; Ben Arfa, Santon and Steven Taylor.

International breaks are usually viewed as unnecessary pains in the backside but this time I think we could well be feeling the benefits.

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