Georginio Wijnaldum is away on International duty with the Dutch squad and the Netherlands have two very important internationals coming up as they find themselves in 4th place in Group A two points behind Turkey.
In the last International break they lost both of their games – to Iceland 1-0 in Amsterdam and 3-0 in Turkey – so they must somehow get to 3rd place in the group to be in the playoffs and then be able to qualify for the finals next summer in France.
Gini Wijnaldum – scoring against Chelsea – yes!!
The two games coming up for the Netherlands are at Kazakhstan on Saturday and then at home to the Czech Republic next Tuesday.
Turkey play at the Czech Republic on Saturday and then at home to Iceland on Tuesday – those are two tough games for Turkey – against the two sides leading the group with both Iceland and the Czech Republic being tied on 19 points from eight games.
Both of those countries have already qualified for the finals.
We hope the Netherlands can get through to the finals for the good of our Dutch players – Gini, Tim Krul, Vurnon Anita, Daryl Janmaat and Siem de Jong.
Here’s what Gini has said today about the status of Newcastle to RTV Rijnmond:
“I think that the games we play have been pretty good, only we do not get the points.” “It is important, because now we are last, which is not so good.”
“Everybody can beat each other in the Premier League. Anything is to be expected in that league, which you see on the results.
“You play against world-class players, but also the lesser teams are good – it is a strong competition.”
That’s a surprising and rather upbeat assessment of the way Newcastle have played.
The problem seems to be that we only turned up for the top clubs so far this season – Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City and we played very well in all those games – well except the second half at City last Saturday.
Two of our three points came from the game at Manchester United and at home to Chelsea.
If we had played as well and turned up in the other games – especially those at West Ham and at home to newly promoted Watford – we would have had more points.
It didn’t help in the games at Swansea and against Arsenal at home that we were down to 10 men before half time.
We need to improve quickly otherwise we are going to get into real trouble where relegation in May could become a real possibility.
That would be a complete disaster.