It’s proving time, in a week…..

Hatem Ben Arfa.

Hatem Ben Arfa.
Benny's back next week.
The pre-season campaign gets underway this time next week. It’s traditionally a time of year which players hate, although they do mostly admit that there is a benefit to it.

It’s hard graft getting these football players into shape. I don’t mean that they will have all let themselves get fat over the summer, and to be fair all of them will have had pre-designed fitness calendars prepared for them to follow over the summer months to ensure that they don’t fall too far out of shape, but being ‘fit’ and being Premier League ‘fit’ are two different things entirely.

However there are several people at Newcastle who will be relying on this pre-season. It will be vitally important to them both in terms of fitness and in terms of gauging how they have recovered from their respective injuries. Hatem Ben Arfa being the first, and probably most anticipated, name on the list.

It emerged yesterday that Hatem has been given a clean bill of health after his eight month injury lay-off. Good news, great news in fact. That means that when he gets back he can get his head down in pre-season and really work on getting back to match fitness in preparation for the new season.

This period is vitally important to him. His injury may have healed but the psychological scars will linger no doubt. That is why this pre-season will also be important in terms of confidence for the player. He may feel alright running and training, but what about when he is on the end of his first tackle? Coming through that is imperative, and once he does he can start to get his confidence back fully.

Dan Gosling is another one who will be looking to use this pre-season for exactly the same reasons as Ben Arfa. Both have been out of action for a long time, although Gosling has been out for much longer – 15 months in fact.

This is the first time we’ll really be able to see Gosling in action. At the moment he is a bit of unknown quantity to us although he was highly-rated at Everton, until they lost him on a free and now he is suddenly over-rated. Go figure…..

That’s two “old boys” that need this pre-season desperately, both for fitness and confidence, but it’s not just the old guard that need it as some of our new boys, one in particular, will require a good pre-season for much the same reason.

Sylvain Marveaux has been out of action since November. Now I know he’s passed medicals and that he was fit to play for Rennes (who wouldn’t play him as he’d already said that he would be leaving at the end of the season), but there is still a question mark over him in the eyes of some.

Understandable given our history with injuries, but if he can come through a gruelling pre-season unscathed it should ease some concerns.

My only concern with all three of these is not the fact that they have been injured. My concern is that if they get another injury it will immediately be linked with their old injuries and we’ll have signed crocks/done thing on the cheap/whatever fans can think of to have a bash at the club. Injuries happen to the best of them!

Take it is read that they will have had better medical treatment than you or I will ever have so it would be a pretty safe bet to suggest that they have all recovered enough to resume full training again. However the human body is a funny old thing when it wants to be so don’t be surprised if it takes any of them a while to get back up to speed.

Hopefuly all three can come through pre-season fit, raring, and ready to go!

38 thoughts on “It’s proving time, in a week…..

  1. Same applies to Ba I think, I know he’s been playing regularly for a while with seemingly know problems, but I think at first every time he goes down under a heavy tackle we’ll all be a bit concerned as we will be with Benny πŸ˜•


  2. Its going to be funny next seaon we will be more concerned with our players being tackled than the opposing team getting a chance πŸ˜€

    Pre season will be good for team building aswell. Hope to have a few more players through the door before we jet of to the states though


  3. Jay – was gonna say I might take mrs toonsy aswell so you can all tell me how I’m punching above my level by having her as a wife πŸ™„


  4. It’s all too far away though, don’t want to miss a match next season, although I know I’ll have to miss the match against the mackems πŸ™


  5. No jobey07 because I’m 28 πŸ™„
    Toonsy you’d be punching above your weight if you married Rose West πŸ˜†


  6. Toonsy…to be fair, if you were married to Bella Emberg you’d be punching above your weight πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜†


  7. @10. I’ve already done that, in polite terms πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜†
    And at least you know πŸ˜‰


  8. We should get Hitzlperger, I know he’s 29 but he still has quality and one hell of a shot, wouldn’t be bad for a free in my opinion.


  9. Emana – no thanks

    Stephane Mbia – I would take. He would be great cover for Tiote and can also play right back (he would probably be our first choice).

    But as I’ve seen. We need a right winger and a striker.


  10. Jonathan Mensah (DC) aged 20
    Anthony Annan (MC) aged 24
    AndrΓ© Ayew (MR) aged 21
    Salomon Kalou (MR) aged 25

    These are four African players I wouldn’t mind at all.


  11. JJ, I’d like Mbia but Marseille would want a canny bit for him.

    We should of got him when he left Rennes for Marseille we Kinnear said he wanted him πŸ™„


  12. Jay…we can’t have a much bigger squad than we already have, it’s the quality of it we need to improve not the size πŸ˜‰


  13. Batty, that link just says Rennes have bid 8m euros for Erding apparently, same as us, according to the French lass I work with.


  14. “Bella Emberg” – showing your age there Richie! Quality. πŸ˜†

    Agree on the Africans thing – it really can knacker a season.

    How old is Adam?


  15. I’m going to continue to bite nails until we’ve:

    1. Sorted Jose one way or another; replaced him if necessary
    2. Got another LB anyway – Taylor would be fine
    3. Sorted the crap out with Joey – hopefully to stay on
    4. Bought a striker

    The rest – things like moving on Smith – I’m less bothered about. The press seem to insist on linking us with yet more midfielders, when I don’t really think we need one, especially if Joey stays.


  16. 15th months is a long time to be out for Gosling I just hope he can come back from that an reach a high standard because that seems a LONG time to be out for a footballer, especially at his age.

    Can’t wait for Darlo, I wanted to go the last time but couldn’t on the day.


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