My big worry with international breaks is regarding the players we have to sacrifice for the sake of their country.
Of course it’s great advertising for us when players go away and play around the world, but at the moment we are still in a dangerous position and can’t afford to risk key players picking up injury for their respective countries.
So on that score we’ve not done too badly this international break as all players who departed for their respective international duty will return injury free. Of course it’s only fair that we see how they got on, how long they played, and what impact their international inclusion could have on the weekend fixture against Tottenham.
France: Obviously we can now expect the French national side to feature heavily during international breaks, and it was no different this time as Moussa Sissoko, Yohan Cabaye, Mathieu Debuchy and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa all received the call to face Germany in Paris.
Yohan Cabaye played the full 90 minutes whilst Moussa Sissoko, who was described as “awful” by one French journalist, was withdrawn with ten minutes to play. Mathieu Debuchy and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa both featured on the substitutes bench but neither was called into action.
Holland and Italy: These two can be combined as they played each other, and each team featured one of our squad. Tim Krul and Davide Santon both played the full 90 minutes for Holland and Italy respectively. It was Krul’s fifth international cap and Santon’s eighth, and his first senior cap since his arrival at Newcastle.
Argentina: Fabricio Coloccini started on the bench for Argentina who beat Sweden 3-2 in Stockholm. Colo came off the bench with three minutes remaining to make his 37th international appearance.
Senegal: Papiss Cisse started for Senegal in a 1-1 draw against Guinea in Paris.
Northern Ireland: Shane Ferguson notched up cap number seven for Northern Ireland by starting the 0-0 draw with Malta. He was withdrawn just after the hour mark.
Good news that all of our players will travel back to Tyneside injury free, and with Cheik Tote also returning home after Ivory Coast’s elimination from the African Cup of Nations it leaves in good shape for the time being at least.
Now, back to domestic matters…