The summer Newcastle United friendlies have been announced late this last week (see below).

An attractive trip to Porto, plus a short hop to Ireland and St Patrick’s if you fancy that, plus an even shorter trip down to Hull.

As for home Newcastle United friendlies…once again I find it a bit underwhelming.

Yes, I know the whole point of pre-season is to get the squad ready for the Premier League, but a little excitement wouldn’t do any harm.

Not so long ago we were playing Juventus, Bayern Munich and Barcelona at St James Park in pre-season, these days it is the continental equivalent of Bournemouth, Stoke, or even worse…Sunderland.

Yes these teams give Newcastle a run out but as a spectacle for the NUFC fans, honestly, why would you go and pay and watch this apart from if you have kids?

Could you name a single Augsburg player, or any from Vitesse Arnhem, Borussia Monchengladbach, Real Sociedad, Braga…

The only vaguely interesting pre-season friendly at St James Park since Mike Ashley took control, was Juventus in summer 2007, though no doubt this was arranged before he took over the club only a month or two earlier.

With pre-season friendlies it appears clear that you either pay for a decent attractive opposition,, or settle for any random club that will accept basic travel and accommodation expenses.

You just know what Mike Ashley will choose.

He has no interest in speculating at Newcastle United, even when it comes down to the friendlies.

He would rather have an anonymous club such as Augsburg, rather than speculating on say Bayern Munich, with an extra 20,000 on the gate paying for the extra cost.

The home Newcastle United friendlies of the last 20 years:

2017 – Hellas Verona

2016 -Vitesse Arnhem

2015 – Borussia Monchengladbach

2014 – Real Sociedad

2013 – Braga

2012 – No home friendly

2011 – Fiorentina

2010 – PSV

2009 – Leeds

2008 – PSV and Valencia

2007 – Sampdoria, Celtic and Juventus

2006 – PSV, Villarreal

2005 – Yeading

2004 – Rangers and Sporting Lisbon

2003 – Bayern Munich

2002 – Barcelona

2001 – Athletic Bilbao (Rob Lee testimonial)

2000 – No home friendly

1999 – No home friendly

1998 – Juventus

The Mag – Friday 1 June 2018:

Newcastle United friendlies revealed.

Four games announced with another to come.

Kicking off with a friendly away at St Patrick’s Athletic, then four others to come in total.

An away trip to Porto will be popular…

Newcastle United official announcement:

Newcastle United have confirmed four pre-season fixtures ahead of the upcoming 2018/19 Premier League campaign.

Rafa Benítez’s players will report back for training in early July before heading to Carton House in Co. Kildare, Ireland, for a week-long training camp on Wednesday, 11th July.

It will be third successive year that United have visited the complex, which boasts impressive training pitches allied with convenient gym facilities and on-site team-building activities and has been used by Real Madrid, AC Milan and the British & Irish Lions in recent years.

The Magpies will round off the week with a friendly against St. Patrick’s Athletic at their Richmond Park stadium on Tuesday, 17th July (kick-off 7.45pm BST).

United will then travel to Hull City’s KCOM Stadium on Tuesday, 24th July (kick-off 7.45pm BST). The Tigers – managed by Nigel Adkins – finished 18th in the Sky Bet Championship last season.

That will be followed by a friendly at FC Porto as part of the Portuguese giants’ 125th anniversary celebrations. Newcastle will play at the Estádio do Dragão on Saturday, 28th July (kick-off TBC).

The two sides have met twice competitively, with the Magpies winning 1-0 on aggregate in a two-legged Fairs Cup tie in 1969, while they are also linked by Sir Bobby Robson, who managed both clubs.

United will finish their pre-season campaign with a home friendly against German side FC Augsburg.

The Bavarian side will come to St. James’ Park for a 3pm (BST) kick-off on Saturday, 4th August. Das Fuggerstädter finished 12th in Bundesliga last term.

Newcastle are likely to announce one further pre-season friendly for Wednesday, 1st August.

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  • mentalman

    There’s an article out today saying its rafa blocking money spinning friendlies with big clubs all over europe and further a field.

    You can see why the club want to do it and why the manager doesn’t

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Doesn`t want to get hammered could be 1 reason

    • jack

      I don’t believe that for one moment , it’ll be Ashley blocking it for the expense

    • Jate Legend

      Aye it also doesn’t matter who we play pre season and if Rafa’s got limited cash I’d rather we played against gosforth 4 times and invested everything in the squad and infrastructure.

  • Leicester Mag

    A major reason is we are proverbial mile from the Entertainers under Keegan that made us box office, the team everyone wanted to watch. 11 years under Ashley we long since left even the dream of competing with the likes of the teams described. Amazing how little no ambition takes you.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Make that a 1,000,000 miles

  • Jate Legend

    Doesn’t seem that much of a story to me, Soz mate. We played Yeading in 2005 when we had a very decent side. 2004 we played rangers and sporting. Basically hull and Porto.

    • Ba ba.

      Correct

    • Benmagpie

      Good shout

  • porciestreet

    And the Fat B45t4rd strikes again…..
    Obviously the bigger the cub we invite to St James’s, the more fatty has to pay out. Theiving slug.

  • Hoping that St Patricks will be for fringe players, it seems sensible to me. Hull should be a week ahead in fitness, Porto were a Champions League last 16 side and national champions last season. As for Augsburg, it’s a chance to play a disciplined side who will be hard to break down and akin to mid-lower table side in approach.

    Part of the build up is confidence. A hammering from the likes of Real or Barcelona might make good viewing but is irrelevant to the season to come.

  • Ba ba.

    Means nothing who we play… Rafa knows his onions

  • Damon Horner

    Don’t most of Europe’s bigger sides go to America? Somewhat limits our opportunities unless we tour over there also.

    • Benmagpie

      Yeah that’s what I was going to say. They’re all chasing the dollar because NBC shows all the games.

      • Damon Horner

        Absolutely all about money and for some, the club’s US profile. Im sure it’s been dressed up as a named competition but once they get back they’ll probably only have one game domestically.

  • Big Hairy Man

    Whatever happened to playing Barca etc. ? …. Fatty happened.

    • Paul9

      Just because I’ve put a few extra pounds on I get the blame for everything…….diet starts tomorrow

  • Desree

    This article represents why Ashley will never need to sell the club.

    Instead of boycotting friendlies and making a stand, we are whining about the opposition and talking about a full house.

  • Wor Lass

    I hate the close season – the phony war!

    • TheNutJob

      Bonjour, you`re up early
      🐸

      • Wor Lass

        Unlike a lot of folk on here, I`m looking forward to the world cup. I reckon our lads could spring a bit of a surprise.

  • TheNutJob

    new Telly`s coming tomorrow for the WC, be watching every match with wor kid in glorious OLED.
    😂😂😂

    • Geordiegiants

      You probably won’t get your first payment made before Engulund are out. 😬

    • Taz

      Have I read that right? You and your kidda will be witching the games in the toilet…, that’s different :-)

    • Wor Lass

      The shoppies are cutting it a bit fine, aren`t they? Hope they got you a good one.

  • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

    Whine, whine, winge, moan…..what can we moan about today?

    Rafa did an interview about our pre-season last year. Look it up and stop whining, we’re beginning to sound like scousers.