Player of the Season out for Months as Internationals Prove Unfriendly

When I was growing up, the Easter Weekend fixtures were a traditional, enjoyable and crucial segment of the top division season where titles were won and lost and lowly teams fought to survive.

This period has been inexplicably replaced by a series of meaningless international friendlies where players are taken from their clubs at a pivotal point in the season.

Whilst the international break could prove to be useful for Benitez as it gives him much needed time to analyse his new side, this break has dealt Newcastle a cruel and potentially devastating blow as possibly our player of the season, Rob Elliot has been ruled out for several months.

Quite why some of our players are being dragged off to play non-competitive games at this stage of the season is frankly unfathomable. I’m sure Stoke City staff and fans would agree having seen star goalkeeper Jack Butland also ruled out for the rest of the season. At least they are not in the middle of a relegation scrap.

Now Roy Hodgson and his International manager peers will argue that these games are fundamental to their preparation for this summer’s tournament. Well…one could simply counter-argue that, if anything, England’s, and indeed, Ireland’s chances of success in the Euros have actually suffered with the loss of important players.

The trouble for Newcastle is, where England can call on the likes of Joe Hart and Fraser Forster, the Magpies now have to turn to their 3rd choice goalkeeper, untested at this level, to face up to a relegation battle.

Elliot himself, only found himself between Newcastle’s posts due to an injury sustained by Tim Krul whilst he was, you guessed it, on International duty. To lose one goalie long term is unlucky, to lose two is downright ridiculous. It’s a problem that has agitated Newcastle for seasons, with our previous owners attempting to charge the FA after record signing Michael Owen was seriously injured whilst ‘serving’ his country.

Alan Shearer had to retire from international duty in order to prolong his club career. If he hadn’t, then he would not be the club’s all-time record top goal scorer.

The loss of Elliot to the Newcastle line up could be catastrophic as he has been absolutely superb this season after stepping in for Krul. He has made crucial saves and been a vocal member of Newcastle’s otherwise fragile backline. All we can do now is hope that Darlow is able to rise to the occasion and show so real mettle.

We need to support him to the hilt as he could prove absolutely vital to this club’s future.

41 thoughts on “Player of the Season out for Months as Internationals Prove Unfriendly

  1. Difficult one, to lose Elliot. The back four will have to work even harder to protect Darlow. I wonder what Rafa is thinking? Can we finally produce some goals away from home? I hope so. I’ve been hugely disappointed with Doumbia. Why didn’t we bring Armstrong back when it was clear Doumbia wasn’t fit and didn’t seem bothered about it? Surely we didn’t sign a loan agreement with no call-back clause?


  2. Good read. Yes I was thinking the same thing regarding easter. It just wasn’t the same without the league games. I am beyond peed off with these pointless friendlies tbh, it has, as you say cost us dearly this season. It had to be us didn’t it, couldn’t happen to our rivals players, oh no. Actually Darlow is our second choice keeper, it’s just he was injured when Tim got injured so Robbie came in.
    Hoping he’s got balls of steel, he’s gonna need them with our back four.


  3. A much better looking and richer me after watching NUFC, Liverpool and El Clasico on Saturday:



  4. Anyone name a better and more experienced third choice keeper in the bottom half of the PL than Darlow?


  5. TAE has watched Darlow a lot and said he is ****e. I saw him for 1 game and he was ****e. I will post the link again and hopefully it will work.


  6. TAE isn’t right about much to be honest, so I will take that as a positive.

    Can’t judge him on one game.


  7. Actually: TAE does say some interesting stuff now and again. Only the opposite of Stuart.


  8. I’d like to place on record how impressed I’ve been with young Lascelles since he got into the team. He’s seems to have taken it in his stride and it showed when Rafa selected him instead of Taylor for the Derby.

    So far so good from him. Same for Darlow too I reckon.


  9. Stuart I would have to agree with you about Lascalles, he has been much better than Colocini imo. I really think Colocini is a useless defender and I would also like to see the back of Janmatt as well. I personally believe Danny Simpson was better than Debuchy and Janmatt combined. One step at a time and get rid of these over paid players in the summer.


  10. I mean Newcastle only seem to go after french gutless losers who don’t give a **** about the club. Carr’s doing, idiot.


  11. We need to support these lads because we could be starting next season in the championship with a spine of English players like Darlow, Lascelles, Colback and Armstrong. Elliott will be there and I include him in the spine of English players, as he is a Londoner, which makes him English in my book. If we’re lucky a few players like Shelvey might stick around. Sorry for the doom and gloom but this is the gravity of the situation. 😐


  12. DJG It would be nice to see some English players being given a chance. We are an English club after all and this french players just don’t have enough fight or even pride wearing a Newcastle shirt.


  13. The championship isn’t the end of the world. Yes it will get rid of the over paid players that got us into this mess in the first place. It also mean’s Mike Ashley loses his free advertising as well bonus.


  14. Terry we don’t actually have many French players anymore. There’s only really Sissoko who gets a start. We have more Dutch players now. A team that failed to qualify, when the likes of Northern Ireland and Romania did. Did you see how poor Wijnaldum looked against England? Another player who arrives as a world beater and turns to muck after 6 months at the toon. What we need is complete change, with the likes of Carr and Charnley replaced by competent people.


  15. DJG I Couldn’t agree with you more. We do need a clear out in the summer. I wasn’t impressed with Gini against England, he hardly did anything in that game. We need rid of Carr most of all for the club to move forward again. His filled the team with this dutch players but for some reason there not good enough for this league.


  16. Stuart: I am very pleasantly surprised by Lascelles as my first 2 sightings of him were him giving away penalties (one in Milwaukee in pre-season). Hopefully Darlow gets over the jitters as we are going to need him.

    I have no objection to French or Dutch players but they have to be good. Carr has done OK but has had as many misses as hits, but the fact we are in a relegation fight again means he should be fired. It is difficult to figure out who will fit in the PL though. Look at Kante at Leicester. He has the size and looks of a 12 year old and yet dominates games. Then we get a beast like Sissoko and he often goes missing.


  17. Hopefully I didn’t jinx Lascelles by complementing him 🙂 I suppose I am a typical NUFC fan, we never want to get too excited or hopeful as we have had our dreams dashed so often in the past.


  18. A Villa 0 – 3 Chelsea
    Arsenal 2 – 1 Watford
    B’mouth 1 – 2 Man City
    Norwich 1 – 1 Newcastle
    Stoke 2 – 0 Swansea
    S’land 2 – 0 W Brom
    West Ham 2 – 0 C Palace
    Liverpool 1 – 1 Tottenham


  19. this is another game where we have players talking about passion & belief.
    We’ll go there sit back and look vulnerable for 20 mins before clicking into gear.

    If we start Cisse up front we could have a chance at winning the game. start the same team v Sunderland we’ll struggle with goals.

    Nervy game that peters out 1-1

    Janmaat – Mbemba – Lascelles – Sissoko
    –Townsend- Shelvey – Wijnaldum
    – De Jong –
    Cisse — Mitrovic


  20. I have to agree, Gashley. Reckon a draw. In fact I reckon we will draw the next two games and that would leave us on 27 points with 6 to play but 4 of them 6 would be at home. 3 wins against Swansea, Palace and Villa would keep us up then with 36 points. Easy really. 🙂


  21. i admire your optimism Stu 😉

    I could see us drawing v swansea or Palace. we failed to beat villa at home so I could see another draw.

    Only thing that gives me hope that I’m wrong is Rafa’s is in charge. same players tho and lack of goals


  22. DJG I trust you noticed that our Englishman Elliot got injured playing for Ireland ?


  23. Swansea have nothing to pay for and Palace will either have nothing to play for or still be in a shocking run. Either way they should struggle. Surely we must beat Ville too…


  24. Just praying we can nick it tomorrow really, they’ll be after revenge for the drubbing we gave them and desperate to stay above us too. Hopefully Gini fills his boots again like last time. 😀 Very nervous though to be honest.

    RIP Ronnie Corbett, it was always the two Ronnies for me, never got the Morecombe and wise thing but loved the two Ronnies.


  25. Aston Villa 0

    Chelsea 3

    Norwich City 1

    Newcastle 2

    West Ham 3

    Crystal Palace 2

    Bournemouth 2

    Man. City 2

    Sunderland 1
    West Brom 1

    Arsenal 2

    Watford 1

    Stoke City 1

    Swansea City 0

    Liverpool 1

    Tottenham 2

    Sunday, 3 April

    Leicester City 2

    Southampton 0

    Man United 1

    Everton 0


  26. unfortunately raffa can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear.
    we’ll win maximum 2 games and go down with the makkems


  27. We could do, Kim but what I am saying is that if we are to drag them into it when we play them then it means they will still be on the really bad run which gives us a better chance of beating them. If, on the other hand they’re safe will they be that interested? Either way we should be beating Palace.


  28. Palace have got new Yank co-owners and I can’t see them being that happy with Pards at the moment (yes Troy, I mentioned Pards, is your Pard-O-Radar working?). Let’s put another nail in his coffin. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke, although he did make a good joke about Ronnie Corbett. He said Palace had lost their smallest fan.


  29. They have a show called “The Two Robbies” over here – Mustoe and Earle. I think the reference is lost on the Yanks though.


  30. They’re both complete pricks, Sham!

    Personally I feel the International break came at a perfect time for us and the worst possible time for Norwich and Sunderland for that matter.


  31. Sham: you wouldn’t have gone far wrong betting against us this season. However, I do feel a degree of comfort knowing Merson’s giant balloon of a head has picked us to lose. Also, there is a table of Lawro picks and a few weeks ago he would have had Leicester in relegation trouble if points had gone according to him.

    So 2-1 to Norwich it is then 🙂


  32. And Michael Owen picked us to zzzzz…. Sorry, I nodded off there as I was opening his prediction on the internet. I have heard he is even more boring as a TV pundit and tends to state the bleeding obvious. I haven’t seen him but he can’t be any worse than Lawro and Merse can he?


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