3 back training including Schar and Joelinton but 6 Newcastle United players nowhere to be seen
Images have been released of the Newcastle United players training 48 hours before the final friendly of pre-season.
Newcastle play Stoke at St James Park on Saturday, seven days before the Premier League kicks off, that friendly becoming the final one due to NUFC announcing that the scheduled home friendly with Middlesbrough set for Monday has been cancelled. Cynics suggesting this is at the request of Steve Bruce after the 5-1 hammering Boro gave Newcastle on Tuesday at the Middlesbrough training ground.
Meanwhile , Jamaal Lascelles will be suspended for this Stoke friendly after his red card on Tuesday, meaning he will now start the season with only 90 minutes of time on the pitch in pre-season friendlies.
That is all though in terms of direct communication from the club in words, with their main means of communication now through the medium of releasing photos. It being nine days since Steve Bruce even spoke on camera to the club’s own NUFC TV and longer that since the NUFC Head Coach could be seen /heard talking to any outside media – Sky Sports at the club’s pre-season training camp.
There have been no opportunities at all for the written media as a group to quiz Steve Bruce before or after any of these pre-season matches.
From the images released by club today, we could confirm that Steve Bruce is indeed still at the club despite his silence.
Whilst it was also a first sighting in pre-season of Joelinton and Muto with nine days until West Ham away. The club had refused to comment on why they had played no part in pre-season, though media claims were that Joelinton was quarantined / self-isolating and Muto had been told to stay away and find a new club.
No comment from the club today either, so we are left musing whether the club have stopped any chance of a move elsewhere for Muto and told him to get to training, due to Gayle’s injury and still no new striker(s) recruited…
We also learnt that Fabian Schar is back on the training pitch, although whether that he is back training with the group or just on his own is impossible to tell.
Dubravka and Gayle are both now out for a good while, still no comment by the club on the striker’s situation but it was claimed in the media that he was meeting a specialist yesterday, ahead of an operation on his medial collateral ligaments (MCL), with then a recovery time of between eight and twelve weeks after the operation.
Tuesday’s game at Middlesbrough on Tuesday saw Matty Longstaff still out with a thigh injury, he was still missing from the training images today and looks unlikely to be available on Saturday for that Stoke friendly.
Of even more concern is that Jonjo Shelvey was nowhere to be seen today in the training shots, he was also missing at Middlesbrough and no comment by the club (as is the case with pretty much everything else) on why. Looks like he is also on the injured list now and here’s hoping nothing serious. Shelvey has only had 118 minutes in the friendlies but you would imagine won’t be risked on Saturday unless absolutely fine.
Lazaar and Aarons were missing as usual, having been told to look for new clubs, though despite being told the same, Henri Saivet featured in training today as has been the case throughout pre-season and he has played in all three friendlies so far…
Meanwhile Krafth and Hendrick are both away on international duty and are missing most of these final two weeks of pre-season with NUFC, with only 45 and 60 minutes respectively in the friendlies, very difficult to see either in consideration to start against the Hammers.
Two other players who couldn’t be seen in today’s club images were Paul Dummett and Ciaran Clark. It is eight months since Dummett last played competitively and seven months since Clark did, both long-term injured. The pair have both taken part in all three friendlies so far, so hopefully it was just a case of being missed out of the (49) official training images released today, rather than missing training due to any new / recurring injury issues.
On the transfer front, still not a penny spent on transfer fees and whilst there has been increased talk in the media of signings set to made, none of that has become reality so far.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]