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Opinion

The worst Newcastle United international break ever?

1 week ago
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Two weeks with no football for Newcastle United.

An international break meaning two weeks between the Watford home and Liverpool away games.

It gets worse though because we then have another two week gap in October, then another in November.

This seems to be the norm now in the Premier League/international schedule, a few league games in August before three months in a row having a fortnight with no football.

It is funny how the football authorities gradually phase these things in and before they know it, football fans are left with no few matches.

After the Watford match, Newcastle United have 10 games in 83 days.

However, we then get the other extreme of nine in only 36 days from the end of November to early January.

I don’t know about you buy this particular international break seems to have hit an all-time low.

For starters I have zero interest anyway in any England qualifiers. I love the actual tournaments but qualifying has become such a joke, just loads of matches to make money against weak opposition, with progress all but guaranteed these days as tournament finals have expanded.

For Newcastle fans we obviously haven’t got any special England interest anyway in terms of players taking part. Indeed, we are really scraping the very bottom of the barrel to take any interest at all in any games.

Fabian Schar scored a canny goal the other day against Ireland and Martin Dubravka conceded four against Croatia, Almiron played in a 2-0 defeat to Japan…but you wouldn’t seriously have any interest in watching these games.

The thing is with this particular international break, whilst I am finding it incredibly tedious, unlike what is usually the case I can’t say I am exactly desperate for the Newcastle matches to kick off again.

That Watford match was a soulless experience and summed up what Mike Ashley has dragged us down to.

Sitting there surrounded by loads of empty seats with zero atmosphere, watching a really poor game against what looks the worst opposition in the division.

Apart from 10 minutes or so in the second-half Newcastle really struggled to create anything against a team that arrived with no confidence who then sacked their manager after he only managed a draw.

The club is in serious decline and Steve Bruce standing there clueless on the sidelines kind of summed the whole thing up.

It is of course Mike Ashley to blame for the state of the club but it is his latest patsy who is the public personification of it, with Ashley cowardly staying away from it all, no doubt not wanting to be photographed alongside so many empty seats at St James Park.

To have Liverpool away waiting at the end of this international break is the ultimate cruelty.

It isn’t impossible for Newcastle to get a result but very very unlikely.

I love my weekends in Liverpool so I’m going down to enjoy myself regardless, avoiding a hammering at Anfield would be simply a big bonus.

I just want to enjoy going to matches once again and it seems unbelievable that it is less than four months ago Rafa Benitez was leading us to that 4-0 win at Fulham, with so much optimism in the away (and neutral) section.

If Steve Bruce does prove us wrong then I will be the first to hold my hands up but with Mike Ashley still more interested in covering his back with PR stunts, rather than improving the team/club, it is an all but impossible job for a decent manager, never mind a Championship level one such as Steve Bruce.

Saturday would be the perfect starting point for Bruce to begin proving me wrong.

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