I saw a slightly bizarre question posed in the local press this week, the basis of it was whether it was necessarily a bad thing that Newcastle United had so few international players heading off this week.

The question though in reality is really…is it a bad thing that Newcastle don’t have many players good enough to play for their countries?

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This week United have Moussa Sissoko away with France and Tim Krul & Daryl Janmaat on duty with Holland, that is it.

Sissoko is first choice for France and played against Brazil last night, not looking out of place at all amongst the great players on both sides.

Daryl Janmaat has of course been arguably Newcastle’s best player this season and little surprise Gus Hiddink felt obliged to recall him, having dropped him after a match losing error against the Czech Republic last autumn.

Holland play Turkey on Saturday night and Janmaat will almost certainly be on the bench, as will Tim Krul who is in the squad as back-up.

This is reality, we have three players currently good (and fit) enough for international football, one as a starter and two as squad players.

Cheick Tiote and Papiss Cisse would also have featured for their countries if it hadn’t been for injury, though neither Senegal (36th in World rankings) or Ivory Coast (20th) have the profile of Holland (5th) and France (8th).

Outside of that we are really grasping at straws in the Newcastle squad; Jack Colback is a canny player but not international quality – though he may sneak in the odd squad in the future, as he did earlier this season for England.

The likes of Dummett and Ferguson have featured for lowly ranked Wales and Northern Ireland.

Looking to the future, Cabella and Perez have the potential to play international football.

Sometimes we need to look outside ourselves and see where others judge the Newcastle players.

The lack of international quality in the United squad is there for all to see, the managers of the national teams aren’t picking Newcastle players for a reason.

If the quality isn’t ramped up in the summer and the nightmare becomes reality where United potentially lose Janmaat and Sissoko, then we may no longer have to worry about injuries on international duty but it will be a pretty grim picture.



  • LeazesEnder

    What it means is that your squad comprises of second and third draw players.

  • Paul Patterson

    Can’t see the point of this really.

  • newcastle7

    Even in the great days of Keegan did not had have that many great international players.
    Cannot remember the likes of Peacock,Beresford,Scott Sellars,Rual Fox and Robert Lee being stars of the world cup.

  • Gillo81

    All it means is that the top 5 teams in each of the big leagues stock pile internationals from top 10 world teams as they can pay wages and fees and the rest are scattered around in 1’s and 2’s. You could draw this comparison for almost any team in the league outside of top 6.

  • DownUnderMag

    Sadly the top players are snaffled up by the top teams, partly because they can stop other teams getting them due to finances and partly because they have no financial implications to do so.  Our own crop of players are full of internationals, they are just sadly underperforming due to managerial constraints, team selection, injury or just plain lack of competition (or maybe just lack of good players around them enough of the time).  So many factors, take your pick.  When we went on a good run early this season everyone was happy with our players.  The problem lies in the lack of adequate backup, not the players themselves.  Competition for places increases effort, aiming for success increases energy levels and commitment (rather than our tailing off season) and having players to come in when form dips helps keep the season going. But as long as we are safe then who cares about players, fans, silverware or the end of the season…it’s the tv money we need to protect!

  • Toonbadger

    Lets hope they come back injury free