There were only 13 senior players at the Benton training ground yesterday, which was the first official day back for the Newcastle first team squad.
Jonas Gutierrez – another 2 weeks rest for Argentine International
There are a number of players being given extra time away, such as African stars Faye and Geremi, having played in world cup qualifying games, which is also true of our new Argentine star Jonas Gutierrez, who is due back in a couple of weeks.
Keegan also has four players who start the season with injuries â€“ which is hardly a good sign.
Andy Carroll (heel), Tamas Kadar (knee), Mark Viduka (Achilles) and Wesley Ngo Baheng, who is recovering from ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) damage.
Andy has only just suffered his heel injury, but that will cause him to miss the Euro Under-19 Championships in Sweden, which begins next Monday, and it looks like Tamas will also miss that tournament for Hungary, which is unfortunate for both youngsters, because it would have been a great experience for them.Â Spain has won 4 of the last 6 tournaments, but England have an excellent side and could well win it!
Weâ€™d also like to see Mark Viduka recover quickly from his Achilles tendon problems, so he can get a good start to the season and play a lot more game this season, than he did last season. Mark started 21 games, made 7 substitute appearances, and scored 7 goals for the club last season, but was often out with niggly little injuries.
And with Peter Ramage, Emre, Stephen Carr, David Rozehnal, Lamine Diatta and James Troisi all having moved on, that left just 13 senior players there yesterday.
Another one missing was Joey Barton, who looks to be spending another month in jail as his agent Willie McKay said yesterday:
â€œHeâ€™s not back yet. It could be at least another three to four weeks.â€
We hope that newcastle don;t wait until he gets out in 4 weeks, but should go to meet with himÂ in Liverpool, and thrash out his future with his Scottish agent Willie McKay.
This Barton business has gone on too long, and the club must get off the fence, and announce their decision, the sooner the better in our view.