It was asking a lot of the Newcastle squad to finish a game in California at 5:30 am local Newcastle time, and then get back over 47000 miles and deal with the jet lag of an 8 hour time difference – and then play the game today.
I did a lot of traveling around the world in my time at IBM, and it can be very tough, especially for the players – who are not used to long travels across multiple time zones – and they are athletes too.
Siem de Jong scores Newcastle’s second today
It takes it out on the body a lot, so in that context it wasn’t too surprising the lads looked a little bit lackluster in the second half today.
Steve McClaren was quick to point that out after the game as he said this in the Chronicle:
“This was always going to be a difficult game. I remember watching a game at Sheffield Wednesday last year after coming back from New Zealand and I expected the same type of game with the players having a slow tempo and the travel in their legs.¨
“I think it showed in the second half at Sheffield United. We started the game very well and looked very comfortable.¨
“Then at half-time, coming out you could see the effects of the travel.¨ “We (the staff and press who travelled) know how that is, although we don’t have to run around and express ourselves.¨
“So I am delighted with the attitude. It was a tough second half but we got through it and we have a few days to recover.¨
“We have Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday and we are looking forward to it.”
The team did well and Georginio Wijnaldum is already looking a very good player for us, and we look good going forward.
But as we know from over the last three seasons it’s our defense that needs reinforcing.
But it could be difficult to have new players on who can play in the first game at home to Southampton on August 9th – two weeks today.
Chancel Mbemba’s deal has been delayed with the FA will unable to give approval until next Thursday when a meeting has been arranged.
With just over a week’s training as a Newcastle player its hard to think that Chancel would ready for the Saints.
We could see a Williamson – Taylor combination for that game, unless Jamaal Lascelles can fight his way into the side.
But today, it would be harsh to criticize the lads too much in that second half – they were all probably knackered.
And we’ll not even mention the coaches and the local journalists, who must have been suffering too.