Newcastle had the final game of their pre-season campaign cut short this afternoon as heavy rain ended a rather frustrating build up to the new season in a rather farcical way.
Not that there was anything that could be done about the rain or the resultant postponement of course, although to be fair it was very in-keeping with what has gone on over the summer.
The pre-season campaign is supposed to be there to build up fitness and togetherness steadily towards the start of the Premier League season. I think it’s fair to say that ours hasn’t quite worked out like that! First we had the crowd trouble at Darlington followed by the news that a number of our first team players would be staying in Holland for various reasons ranging from Visa issues to child birth meaning that we would effectively have two groups of players on either side of the Atlantic. Ongoing Twitter issues were highlighted during our US tour by Jose Enrique and then by Joey Barton with the latter ending up on the transfer list as a result.
Only at Newcastle….
The match itself was a pretty dire affair as the conditions played their part in proceedings. Yohan Cabaye looked good again as he sprayed the ball about the park but goalmouth action was most definitely at a premium. Cabaye had a shot saved in the first-half before Leon Best fired wide after good work from Haris Vuckic.
At the other end Tim Krul pulled off a couple of cracking saves to highlight the fact that he is likely to be our next No1 whilst Fraser Forster, who came on for the second half, showed his shot-stopping abilities on a number of occasions although in fairness it’s not Forster’s shot-stopping ability that is in question.
Demba Ba had the best chance of the game when he came on for the second half but his shot from a narrow angle rolled agonisingly along the goal line.
Action was cut short in the 64th minute when both managers and referee came to an agreement to end the match in what were rapidly deteriorating conditions. It’s probably not what either manager wanted but I guess they’d take an hour of a football match ahead of a nasty injury to one of their players.
Alan Pardew confirmed after the match (listen here) that a deal for Gabriel Obertan was almost done and that the player will be having his medical during the early part of next week. A positive end to what has been a tough week for the Newcastle boss. Speaking to The Chronicle, Alan Pardew had this to say:
“We wanted the game to go on but there wasn’t much we could do about it. It was the referee’s decision. There was a tackle on Cabaye in the first half from one of their lads and I don’t think he meant to hurt him but the rain played a part.”
So not ideal but at least we didn’t pick up any further injuries. We’re on the home straight now and the new season is in sight, thankfully. Arsenal next week at St James’ Park. I can’t wait! Hopefully preparations for that match can run that bit smoother than what they have run so far!
Howay the lads!
Newcastle: Tim Krul, Danny Simpson, Jose Enrique, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Dan Gosling, Yohan Cabaye, Haris Vuckic, Jonas Gutierrez, Peter Lovenkrands, Leon Best.
Subs: Fraser Forster, Ryan Taylor, Mike Williamson, Sylvain Marveaux, Nile Ranger, James Tavernier, Sammy Ameobi, Shola Ameobi, Demba Ba.