So with just one game of our pre-season campaign remaining(the final game is tomorrow at Cardiff) I pose the question of who has impressed you the most.
Now I know you generally can’t read too much into things during pre-season as teams look for fitness and tend to rotate players quite often and you rarely face a full strength outfit, or a real top level one for that matter, even though we’ve faced some tough opposition over the last few weeks, but there is most definitely one person who has impressed me during pre-season.
That man is Sylvain Marveaux who now looks (*touches wood*) to have finally found some fitness after a horrid campaign last time out. Having a full pre-season behind him will help him out no end and hopefully his lengthly injury lay-off will actually prove beneficial to himself and the club in the long run. Remember, we could have had him back sooner but it was decided at the time to get him fixed properly as opposed to just patching him up again.
Dare I say it, but Marveaux could be “just like a new signing” which is handy really considering we’ve not actually signed that many players over the summer. His direct running, trickery, pace and vision can be a real asset to us and we’ve seen, albeit only briefly, that he can do it in the Premier League. I’m looking forward to seeing it more often this time round.
I must give honourable mentions to Gael Bigirimana and Romain Amalfitano who have both played well throughout pre-season, especially “Bigi” as he’s known, who looks as though he could do a job now to be honest. Also Mehdi Abeid has looked sharp during his time on the pitch.
In other news I see that Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa have been left out of the France squad by their new coach Didier Deschamps. Great news for Magpies fans! Of course naturally people have been quick to jump on the bandwagon and look for deeper reasons for their exclusion, such as deep-seated problems between Deschamps and Ben Arfa from their days at Marseille together and, apparently, an injury to Yohan Cabaye which isn’t actually an injury at all.
The fact is that it is a meaningless friendly at the start of a new season. I can guarantee there will be more high profile who either aren’t picked or end up dropping out with mysterious knocks. Move along, nothing to see here…
In more other news the draw for the Europa League is made later on today, and it has been confirmed that Newcastle are seeded for the draw. However there could yet be a sting in the tail as there are some decent teams who are unseeded, most notably the likes of Feyenoord and moneybags FC Anzhi Makhachkala. Newcastle will be hoping to avoid them in the draw for sure.
Have a great day all!