First there was Joey Barton, then Nile Ranger, and now Yohan Cabaye. All three of them will be missing as Newcastle head to the States for a three game pre-season warm up due to problems acquiring a Visa.
At this rate we’ll be lucky to even have a team out there as, one by one, they fall foul of the US system for protecting itself against the most unsavoury of of characters. Not that the latter of the aforementioned three should be included in that description of course as apparently it was a minor technical hitch which meant that Yohan Cabaye had to miss out on the trip to the States. Instead they will fly to Holland and train with the reserves.
It’s all a bit crap to be honest though isn’t it? I mean I know some of you guys were really looking forward to seeing our full team in action on your side of the water so it must be disappointing to see two of our first team miss out? I’m not going to go all Joey Barton and start calling the USA a bunch of hypocrites. Quite simply they have their criteria, which three of our players have failed to meet. I do wonder just how much thought went into planning this tour though?
I mean it’s not hard to work out that Joey Barton was unlikely to be allowed into the USA, and consequently it wouldn’t have taken a genius to work out that Nile Ranger would fall foul of the rules for the exact same reason. Cabaye, well I’ll let them have that one, assuming that a “technical glitch” is not some soapy cover up for an axe murder or two in his past.
So what are we left with? A first team squad split by an ocean in essence with four of our first team squad playing in Europe and the rest of them over in the States. It’s hardly what you would call a seamless build up is it? It will mean that the lads have just two weeks and two games to get to know each other properly before the big kick-off against Arsenal. I hope they are quick learners!
I’m all for broadening our reach. I think it’s great that we have headed to what is largely an untapped market in terms of North-East teams, but I just wish it was thought out properly. Perhaps we should have just stayed in Europe this year? Maybe I’m making too much of it? I don’t know.
All I wanted was for the team to bond and get to know each other so we can get that sense of togetherness once again after the turbulence of the summer. Unfortunately I didn’t count on the US authorities having their say, but the shocking thing is that nether did those who planned the bloody trip in the first place!