Some good news today that MLS officials have agreed to relax their own rules on friendly substitutions.
Alan Pardew – taking training yesterday in the heat
They were going to limit the substitutions to just five but it looks like Kansas manager Peter Vermes has been successful in persuading them to relax the rules for tonight’s friendly game.
And since there have been at least 13 heat related deaths in the mid-west this last week, the players tonight will be allowed to take regular fluid breaks, and they’ll need to.
The very last thing the authorities want, when the temperatures hit 100 degrees F is to do any type of stressful exercises, which is what our boys have been doing over the last couple of days.
Pardew told The Evening Chronicle today about what he sees as the team that will play Arsenal:
“I think there’s certainly three or four places that are undecided. The bulk of the team, in my mind, is there, but they’ve still got to stay fit and show form for that to come to fruition.”
Newcastle have brought in four good players this summer, but they have also lost Kevin Nolan, a huge influence during his time at Newcastle, and Sol Campbell and Shefki Kuqi have also moved on.
But there is still some anxiety that Newcastle need to bring more players in, and many fans wonder how the team will perform without the driving influence of Nolan still in the ranks.
As far as losing influential captain Kevin Nolan, Pardew said today:
“I don’t think that’s a problem. You take a leader like Kevin out, and somebody else emerges.
“That’s how it is – other people take on different personalities. I think that’s something which will be resolved as we go.”
And it seems unfortunately that Slovenian U21 star Haris Vuckic has picked up a knock in training and will not play in tonight’s game.
But Pardew said that Haris was the only one doubtful for tonight’s game:
“Haris looks like he’s got a little knock, and he’s the only one that probably won’t be involved.”
“Everyone else will get a piece of the action. Sylvain Marveaux’s taking a little bit longer than we envisaged, but he’s likely to be involved.”
We really hope Haris is not going to become too injury prone – fingers crossed.
And we hope Sylvain can regain his full fitness soon, because of course he didn’t play at Rennes since last October after picking up his groin injury, which has been a problem for him for a couple of years now.
Now as far as the side Alan will pick against Arsenal, here’s out best shot at that:
Simpson Coloccini (c) Williamson Enrique
Barton Tiote Cabaye Gutierrez
That’s at the moment what we think the team will be on August 13th, and it assumes Enrique is still at the club – although the news is that Liverpool are readying a bid for him, but we’ve heard that for the last couple of months too!
What’s your team for Arsenal?