The Newcastle players have been back almost two weeks now, and after the game at Darlington tomorrow night, they fly off to the US on Sunday to start their American tour.
Sylvain Marveaux – getting back to full fitness
Both Joey Barton and Nile Ranger have been refused Visas, so presumably they will now both join the Reserves, on their tour of Holland, while the first team is over here in America, although Joey will captain the side tomorrow night.
And Ben Arfa isn’t the only player to return in excellent shape and it seems the Newcastle manager says that with the exception of Sylvain Marveaux – who hasn’t played since last October and is still getting back his full fitness, and Spaniard Xisco, who Newcastle would just love to unload somewhere – anywhere – the rest of the squad is now in fine shape.
This is what Alan said today:
“We’re delighted to be back and I’m excited about the new season,” “I want to get the new season underway, I’m looking forward to it. The players all look in good shape.”
“One or two of them are below the level of the rest but everyone else is above the level we would expect from them and we’re just gearing up for the new season now.”
“Generally, everyone is above where I want them to be. Sylvain Marveaux hasn’t played for a while so he’s just slightly behind where we want him to be, and Xisco is a little bit behind.”
“But the main guys are looking good.
It will be good to get Sylvain back in shape, since he did have an injury ravaged season in his last year at Rennes, and it will be good to ensure he’s completely recovered from his injuries.
Xisco has been a problem for Newcastle since he joined from Deportivo in 2008 for an amazing £5.7M, and it’s now because of his £50K/week wages, and the fact he is nowhere near being a first team player at Newcastle.
But he still has two years left on his contract, and has every legal right to remain on Newcastle’s books during that time, even though he will not play in the first team.
Those types of transfer mistakes are things the Newcastle regime must rule out in the future, as Newcastle have had players like Xisco before, on huge wages but not good enough for the first team, and another Spaniard, Marcelino, comes to mind as one good example.
You would have thought that Xisco would at least turn up fit at the Newcastle training camp.
But on the positive side it seems most players are in very good shape, and the pre-season gets under way tomorrow night at Darlington, followed by three games in the US.