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Opinion

Six year itch ends now for Newcastle United and England

2 weeks ago
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It is six years and eleven days since a Newcastle United player turned out for England. Andros Townsend on 27 May 2016 replacing Raheem Sterling at the Stadium of Light for the final 14 minutes of a 2-1 win for England over Australia and the Sunderland fans booing his every touch.

Having only joined Newcastle United in the January (2016), Andros Townsend actually produced arguably the form of his life in that doomed relegation fight. Only 12 Premier League starts for NUFC but four goals and two assists.

Andros Townsend didn’t play for Newcastle United ever again after those 14 minutes for England on Wearside. Yes, he had played well in most of those 12 games, but it was still shameful when he jumped ship after relegation with the other rats as he put himself first, having only started those dozen games before fleeing from St James Park.

The England drought has ended though at last for Newcastle United.

Tuesday night sees Germany take on England and Gareth Southgate has named Kieran Trippier in his starting eleven, which is as follows:

Pickford, Walker, Kieran Trippier, Stones, Maguire, Rice, Saka, Phillips, Kane, Sterling, Mount

June 2022 sees England with two more Nations League matches to play after tonight, in this upcoming England schedule:

7 June 2022 – Germany v England

11 June 2022 – England v Italy

14 June 2022 – England v Hungary

23 September 2022 – Italy v England

26 September 2022 – England v Germany

21 November 2022 – England v Iran

25 November 2022 – England v USA

29 November 2022 – England v Wales or Ukraine

As you can see, as things stand, following these England matches in the opening two weeks of June 2022, only two more games to play before Gareth Southgate picks his final squad for the World Cup finals in Qatar. This sums up just how important this current June get together is for the England hopefuls.

World Cup finals where England have been handed the easiest of draws, with Iran, USA and either Wales or Ukraine to face. If England don’t always get all the luck when it comes to key games further on in the World Cup and Euros, they certainly can’t complain about their luck of the draw(s)! Competition after competition they get such an easy ride.

Good luck to Kieran Trippier tonight at the Allianz Arena, as he breaks this six year absence of Newcastle United players in an England shirt.

Then moving on, the NUFC defender surely also a big favourite to be one of those in the final squad for Qatar, injuries permitting. Whether by that point Newcastle United might surprise us with any other contender(s) for that England World Cup squad, remains to be seen. Very unlikely probably but never say never…

Since Mike Ashley took over NUFC 2007, we haven’t had a single Newcastle United player in any England squad at a major tournament. Not a single one.

Michael Owen was actually the last ever Newcastle United player to feature in an England squad at a major tournament, you have to go back fully sixteen years and the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

So tonight sees NUFC’s Kieran Trippier out on the pitch, helping to reconnect at least to some extent, Newcastle fans with the national side.

(Many thanks to the excellent Billy Miller and his February 2022 article – ‘Next Newcastle United player in an England shirt?’ – which gave me a lot of inspiration and pointers to stats for my own article above)

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