It was the tour of America last year at this time that set the tone for the season, and created that tremendous team spirit that won Newcastle so many points last season in the Premier League, when our lads simply refused to give up, when things got tough.
John Carver and Alan Pardew last season
At this time last year, players like Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa, who was coming back from his terrible double leg fracture, were largely an unknown quantity, but all three went on to have magnificent seasons for Newcastle.
And the rest is history with Newcastle finishing in 5th place, qualifying for the Europa League and amazingly, only narrowly missing out on a Champions League position.
We’re sure Alan Pardew will be hoping for the same kind of tour this summer, although the American experience turned out to be a little tiring for the players, with long plane journeys from the central plains to the East coast – well it’s a big country after all.
This is what Alan said today to the local press corps:
“It’s a completely different environment, of course, but a good environment.” “I’ve been to Germany before on a pre-season. It’s hot, and a bit stuffy, but the facilities are fantastic.”
“It’s top-quality European opposition, and gives us a little taste of Europe, which I think is important.” “It’s no good going to America or Asia, we needed to get some European experience, which we haven’t had for three or four years.”
“Portugal – two European teams, and again a hot climate. Really, the Cardiff game is going to be about the Premier League.” “Cardiff away is a Premier League game, to a degree. It’s the closest we can get.” “It’ll be about getting back to what we know.”
This is what we think the pre-season schedule is for Newcastle this summer, although not all these games have been announced by Newcastle - yet – but it will give the lads some good games in preparation for what is a vital first week of the season.
Newcastle play Tottenham and Chelsea in the league, and in between we have the first leg of the qualifying round for the group stages of the Europa League.
|Fri 13 July KO 6;30 pm||Chemnitzer FC - Lost 1-0||Stadion an der Gellertstraße - Chermnitz, Germany|
|Mon 16 July KO 7:00 pm||AS Monaco - Won 1-0||Landsberg am Lech, Germany|
|Sat 21 July KO 7:30 pm||Fernerbahce - Drew 1-1||Sonnenseestadion, SC Ritzing, Austria|
|Fri 27 July KO 8:45 pm||Olympiacos - Drew 1-1 4-4 on penalties||Algarve Stadium, Faro, Portugal|
|Sat 28 July KO 8:45 pm||FC Braga - won 2-1||Algarve Stadium, Faro, Portugal|
|Sat 4 August KO 5:00 pm||Den Haag - Drew 0-0||Kyocera Stadium, Den Haag|
|Tues 7 Aug KO 7:30 pm||Hartlepool - Won 5-1||Victoria Park, Hartlepool|
|Sat 11 Aug 3:00 pm||Cardiff - Lost 4-1||Cardiff City Stadium|