News today in the Newcastle Journal that Newcastle’s two French stars – Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye, who were both very good for the Magpies last term – will return to training on Monday, after being given time off to recover from their Euro 2012 exploits.
Yohan Cabaye – with the French squad in June
Newcastle are in the process of trying to sign Yohan’s best friend Mathieu Debuchy from Lille, but the transfer business for Newcastle this summer so far seems to have been agonizingly slow and even frustrating.
But of course Newcastle will persevere (and maybe wear the other clubs down – there’s a thought), and we hope Newcastle can bring in Debuchy, Douglas and Andy Carroll to Newcastle and them maybe Vurnon Anita of Ajax, or even top Toulouse midfielder, 22 year-old Moussa Sissoko, who seems to be available.
Manager Pardew has said the negotiations for Andy have reached a delicate stage, but the good news for Newcastle fans is that he’s hoping to add to the first team squad soon:
“I’m hoping to add more senior players.” “We’re working hard on those at the moment. We will see what happens.” “We’ll play a stronger team tomorrow. We are in really good shape physically. And the tour has gone really well so far.”
After the first pre-season game against Chemnitzer last Friday night, when the lads looked very rusty and lost 1-0, Newcastle looked a lot sharper on Monday night against Monaco and won 1-0 and played very well especially in that second half.
The really pleasing thing on Monday was that there were lots of good performances from many Newcastle players in that game, and in particular a lot of the Newcastle youngsters came through looking very good.
The Newcastle squad has arrived in Vienna, and they will play Turkish side Fenerbahce tomorrow night in Ritzing, and then they will return home after that game, and Alan will be ready to welcome back Ben Arfa and Cabaye.
And maybe Alan have a little talk with Ben Arfa about what exactly happened in the dressing room after the 2-0 defeat by Sweden.
The Newcastle squad will have only a few days training at Newcastle before they jet off to Portugal for the Algarve Tournament at the end of next week.
Newcastle will play Olympiacos in Faro, Portugal next Friday night, and then FC Braga the next day at the same venue, so Alan Pardew will need to use his players wisely for those two games.
Newcastle will then play Den Haag the following Saturday and then Cardiff City the Saturday after that, which is one week before the Premier League season starts against Spurs at St. James’ Park.
It’s looking good that Newcastle will be all ready for that very demanding first week of the season, when it arrives, and hopefully we could have three new players in by then.