Newcastle Forced To Play On Artificial Turf – Enrique To Start

Newcastle held many discussions with Orlando officials yesterday, citing concerns with the  pitch at the Citrus Bowl.

Jose Enrique – will play tonight

When tonight’s  game was being set up back in April, Newcastle had agreed they would be playing on a temporary grass surface, and those temporary grass surfaces were used a lot to cover the synthetic pitches during the 1994 World Cup.

Artificial turf is sometimes difficult to play on, and there can be more injuries when football is played on these synthetic turf surfaces, which have less give in them than natural grass.

Orlando did  put in a temporary grass surface for tonight’s game but, after a lengthy inspection yesterday, both clubs agreed the surface was not good enough and too dangerous, and therefore they will not play on it now.

It was ripped up and the lads will play on the artificial surface tonight – ouch!

Of course the very last thing Newcastle need are even more injuries since Guthrie, Ferguson and Ben Arfa have been injured in the first two pre-season games, and the Newcastle squad is still paper-thin, as we all know.

Not playing on the newly laid grass surface cost Orlando quite a bit of money,  and specifically English owner Phil Rawlins,  but Phil was said to be in agreement with the Newcastle  request.

So  the game will now be played on the artificial turf,  which is giving Alan Pardew some second thoughts as to which players to play tonight.

Pardew was trying to give all three goalkeepers a game on the tour:

“We are trying to give all the keepers all an equal chance to show what they can do.

“Steve Harper should be playing. But it looks like we will be playing on Field Turf.”

“Harps might not be comfortable with that so we will see.”

So we’ll just have to hope there are no injuries caused by the turf tonight, but it seems the plans have unraveled with the unsuitability of the grass pitch,  what’s that saying again  about the plans of mice and men?

Pardew may give want-away Jose Enrique a game tonight, but the very worst thing that could  happen is that Jose gets injured, or aggravates the hamstring injury he picked up earlier on the tour.

However, Jose was back in training yesterday as Newcastle held a workout in Orlando, and there is no further news on his  long running soap opera, that has engulfed Enrique since Andy Carroll left in January.

Pardew talked about the left-back:

“Jose can probably start. It was only his first day back from a little hamstring injury in training yesterday.

“We have protected him because he is an important player for us. We don’t want to risk anybody, we’ve had two injuries, two games and two X-rays so far.”

We’ll be holding our breath a bit tonight that there are no more injuries.

And of course if Newcastle do suffer more injuries in this pre-season,  it may force Newcastle to sign more players this summer, so that the size of the squad is adequate enough for the Premier League.

You can hardly say that about the Magpies squad at the moment.

Comments welcome.

17 comments so far

  • Smooth moves Shola

    Jul 23, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #1

    Making a pigs’ ear of pre-season.

  • MacToon

    Jul 23, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #2

    Lol so it’s not confirmed that Jose will start?

    Will be interesting to see what happens but I’d guess he doesn’t play but will wait and see.

    This tour seems to have been a bit of a cock-up imo, the amount of flying time and number of flights, the heat, the visa’s and now the playing surface……..
    What’s next?

  • Tal_nufc4eva

    Jul 23, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #3

    ‘want away jose enrique
    come on ed FFS! :@’

  • ochytoon

    Jul 23, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #4

    This can only happen to Newcastle

  • ardenTOON

    Jul 23, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #5

    what time is the kickoff in GMT??

  • CynicalasEva

    Jul 23, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #6

    war aan absolute cock up – from visas to pitches!
    If the oictch is not what was agreed then dont play or is there some financail aspect to this game that we are not aware of?
    After all why would any team want to play preseason in those temp against match fit players that want to put one over a EPL team

  • ganiyu

    Jul 23, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #7

    This is bad…i hope we get a new full back to field against arsenal….

  • I came home from work at 04:15 and have slowly got drunker and drunker to Böhse Onkelz( want a link? Great German Band) And I have decided the world is CRAP!

  • kakaobi

    Jul 23, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #9

    kick off is at 00:30 gmt 7:30 in florida

  • Toon XI

    Jul 23, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #10

    ManU has been playing the northern cities (Seattle & Boston) in the States. At least that is giving them some respite from the heat. I wish our management would have considered the average summertime temps in the southern states before booking their matches. I hope tonight does not add to our injury list.


    Jul 23, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #11

    This is total mismanagement of the highest order. We are supposed to be a professional outfit not a bunch of novices although it doesn’t surprise me at all.This is not a very good way to prepare for a long hard prem season.

  • Lee Dodd

    Jul 23, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #12

    What A Joke How Many Injurys 4 Tonight then ?? what are the odds ?? 3 or 4 ?? May aswell be playing in Tescos car park !!!

  • ronjohno

    Jul 23, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #13

    Why does Pardew say “he is an important player for us” ??
    Chances are he will not be here and more importantly he obviously does not WANT to be.
    Also what the hell is Smith doing there – waste of air fare and hotel bills.At most he should have been with the reserves. At best he should be long gone.

  • soap

    Jul 23, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #14


    It would have been no better if we played up North. Been in boston for a few days now the weathers down right miserable, nothing below 39 and no rain for weeks from what I hear. At least they get that in the South.

  • Felipe

    Jul 23, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    Comment #15

    Hey, nice one Ed, you managed to get ‘paper thin
    squad’ into another article, and your last paragraph is just laughable, what you would do to get people on here bitching about squad size just to up your advertising income. Have you got no scruples?

  • Graeme

    Jul 23, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #16

    I don’t understand why a player who doesn’t want to play for us is even on the plane, let alone being given a game!!

    He should be told point blank – if you don’t want to play, don’t want to sign a new contract – Fine.

    You wont be given a game, you wont be named in the 25 man squad for the new season, wont have a squad number and you are transfer listed @ £10 million.

  • max

    Jul 23, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #17

    insua from liverpool

    gibbs or traore from arsenal


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