We can look forwards to top players Joey Barton and Yohan Cabaye being involved in the friendly at Leeds United on Sunday.
Joey Barton – top player back against Leeds United
Both players are likely to be very important for Newcastle next season, with Yohan providing the sublime skills and passing in central midfield, and hopefully Joey continuing where he left off last season, his best by far in the four seasons he’s been at the Newcastle club.
Newcastle were not at their best in the first two games of the American tour against Sporting Kansas and Orlando City, but the lads came back to put in an excellent performance at Columbus Crew, where they won 3-0 and it could have been even more.
Alan Pardew, who generally seems pleased with the American tour, talked about the two players today:
“We will have a lot of creative force back in the team in Cabaye and Joey Barton.”
“Some of Demba’s movement in the last game was encouraging because against Leeds I expect to see technicians like Joey and Yohan picking that out.”
“We are going to be really threatening the goal and both of them will enjoy playing with Demba Ba.”
Demba Ba looked very impressive on Tuesday evening and he worked well with local lad Shola Ameobi, who scored a good goal after just 8 minutes, and the two big physical players, gave the Columbus defense everything they could handle.
Barton and Cabaye were fully involved with the Reserve team tour of Holland last week, and the two tours timed to take place at the same time, seemed to work well, and it’s important the youngsters at Newcastle are fully involved in the pre-season as well.
We hope to see a Reserve team tour every summer from now on, and it sends a great message to our youngsters that they are important to the club’s future.
It seems that Pardew has a lot of very good players to choose from for the game at Leeds United on Sunday, and it will be interesting to see what his starting team turns out to be.
And of course we still have Ben Arfa to return from injury, which is what we were talking about ever since last October.
The Frenchman of course was taken off on a stretcher again in Kansas, but the good news was that the injury was not serious as first thought, although Ben Arfa will still be out almost four weeks.
This is what Alan said today about the French International:
“Don’t forget we still have Ben Arfa to come back from his injury, and that will be a really big bonus for the whole team.”
“There is a great chance that the creativity will bring out more from the whole team and encourage everybody.”
It’s going to be interesting to see what team Alan starts on Sunday, and we look for some more good performances from the Newcastle players, who showed great enthusiasm and energy on Tuesday evening.