The Newcastle players regrouped on Friday, or at least most of them did.

Yesterday was the start of pre-season preparations as Rafa Benitez welcomed his squad back to the training ground.

It is only five weeks today that the Premier League season kicks off at 12.30pm on Saturday 11 August and indeed only four days now until the NUFC squad flies off to Ireland for their training /bonding camp.

Interesting to see which Newcastle players were spotted at the training ground…and indeed those who weren’t.

These senior players were all there on the first day:

Rolando Aarons, Christian Atsu, Ciaran Clark, Karl Darlow, Mohamed Diame, Martin Dubravka, Paul Dummett, Rob Elliot, Dwight Gayle, Isaac Hayden, Jamaal Lascelles, Florian Lejeune, Javier Manquillo, Jacob Murphy, Ayoze Perez, Matt Ritchie, Matz Sels, Jonjo Shelvey, DeAndre Yedlin

As for those there was no sign of:

Aleksandar Mitrovic

Ki Sung-Yueng

Mikel Merino

Chancel Mbemba

Jack Colback

Achraf Lazaar

Henri Saivet

Both Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ki Sung-Yueng have been given an extended holiday after their World Cup involvement.

As for Mikel Merino, his departure is imminent, Rafa Benitez admitting when interviewed yesterday that Ki Sung-Yueng has been brought in to replace him.

As for the other four…

All four are obviously surplus to requirements and hopefully some or all of them, as well as others, have got transfers imminent – explaining possibly why they were missing.

Alternatively, Rafa Benitez could have sent them to train with the kids, as he did last summer with a number of senior players, to help ‘encourage’ them to find new clubs.

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  • Wor Lass

    I suppose you`ll be getting back with the Swedish House Mafia for tonight`s game John – it would be more constructive use of your time, to be honest.

    • TheNutJob

      Bonjour wor lass, you wearing your England / France reversible shirt today

      • Wor Lass

        Had a tricolor up at the bottom of the garden on Friday but a massive St George`s flag yesterday – that`s staying there now. The locals all want France v England as the final.

    • Rich Lawson

      Interesting semi coming up for your adopted land.How do they view Belgium there,any respect or is it like us and the mackems ?

      • Wor Lass

        Just seen this – the Belgians seem to be the butt-end of jokes, a bit like the old Irish jokes that we used to do. The French think all they ever eat are mussels and chips and make lots of comments about that. They`re respectful of the team, though. I think they`re more worried about this match than any of the others. My son was at the Euros two years ago and reckoned the Belgian fans were the best bunch he`s ever met.

  • TheNutJob

    Is that Pedro with his new lawn mower

    • Kneebotherm8


    • Rich Lawson

      He is so skillful now he prefers to do it by hand (helps to fill the time as well !) Monty Don needs to check his contract with the Beeb !

  • SuperDesHamilton

    Forgot all about Lazaar & wearside jack