Alan Pardew and Peter Beardsley watched the Newcastle youngsters last night in Northern Ireland in the final of the Milk Cup and John Carver and Steve Stone took the squad out to Portugal to prepare for two games – one tonight and and one tomorrow night against Olympiacos and FC Braga respectively.
Alan Pardew doing all the talking
John Carver looks like he’s going to be sick!
We thought John Carver had accompanied Alan and peter to watch the youngsters but that wasn’t correct and he took the training session yesterday with Steve Stone in Fargo, Portugal.
Hatem Ben Arfa will likely miss both games, and the same could be true for Yohan Cabye, who is now with the squad.
Rob Elliot has been left behind and it seems Newcastle’s number one and number two goalkeepers – Tim Krul and Steve Harper – will get full games in these friendlies.
Alan Pardew flew into the training camp in Portugal this morning, and John Carver talked today to the local press earlier today, about the two upcoming pre-season games, which will be another good test for Newcastle:
“It is a little bit different to last week.” “We’re now three weeks into the pre-season training.” “Now we go into a competition format. The manager will play two different teams each night.“Everybody will play some part. Some will get 90 minutes.” “We’ve got Yohan back now and there is only Hatem to come back in.” “We’ve still got our group from last year. Tonight is the fourth game in the process.”
“Anybody that was at training last night or today will see how sharp we are.” “The lads know that the season is just around the corner now.” “It can be a real tough time. One minute the season feels a lifetime away, the next it is two weeks away.”
“The manager was at the Milk Cup final.” “He went to watch the game with Peter Beardsley. He will fly in today.” “It just shows you how much he thinks about the younger players here.” “They did well to get to the final.”
“All the top sides like Chelsea and Man United have been in it.”
Ben Arfa is not in Portugal, and has been given a couple of extra days off, and he will link up with the group later, but is not expected to play in either of these two games.
And we suppose Alan will play half of the Newcastle starters in one game and half in the other, so he fields a decent team in each of these two friendlies.
They are again being televised by ESPN so we’ll have a chance to see how the lads are looking after they put in an excellent performance last time out against Fenerbehce.
We’ll see if top youngsters like James Tavernier, Mehdi Abeid, Sammy Ameobi and Gael Bigirimana continue to shine – we think they will – we hope they will. 😀