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Rafa Takes Reduced Squad To Spain For Intensive Training

The Newcastle squad jetted out to Spain early this morning as Rafa was photographed at the Newcastle Airport.

Rafa has not taken all of the first team squad to Spain and it’s still not known whether Islam Slimani has traveled with the squad.

Islam has been called up by Algeria for two friendly games during the International break – those are two games he should not be playing and we’d be surprised if Rafa includes him on the trip.

Rafa Benitez – photographed at Newcastle Airport this morning in the Chronicle

The training camp will be at Murcia’s Pinatar Arena and Rafa has been quite clear about the purpose of the four-day training camp:

“We have been thinking about going to find some sun because 21 days is too many days without football.”

“We will go for four days to Spain. It’s not too long, no parties or anything and total focus.”

Here’s the location of Murcia in south-east Spain.

This looks like Ciaran Clark disembarking from the jet (maybe) in Spain.

The four-day training camp will culminate in a game against Royal Antwerp at the 3,000-capacity Pinatar Arena on Sunday.

That game will be unusual in that it will be three 45 minute periods so that all the players on the trip can get some game time.

Comments welcome.

Update: Islam Slimani is in the squad that flew top Spain this morning.

4 comments so far

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 15, 2018 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #1

    Hibbit and Jail from previous, yep, I hear you, Rafa’s potentially preparing for a new era under a new owner. It could well be, I admit.

    I think the one strong suggestion is that Rafa is preparing for the long term, which is great in and of itself.

  • Ron Knee

    Mar 15, 2018 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #2

    Lee Ryder

    Islam Slimani is in #nufc squad for trip to Spain.

  • Toonces

    Mar 15, 2018 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #3

    A question for our match going regulars on the blog:

    Living in the US, I have to watch the matches on tv so I don’t always get to experience what the crowd is doing. Through the tv you can often hear the crowd singing for Rafa Benitez, but I can’t pick up when they sing about any of the players in the squad. Do we have songs for Lascelles, or Shelvey or Ritchie and so on? I know they sang for Mitro but he is away. I just find it odd that it seems the only song that the Toon Army seems to currently know and sing is for Rafa.

  • Jib

    Mar 15, 2018 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #4

    Rafa putting things in place now means he
    has reconciled with Ashley.
    If he knew of a new owner he would wait
    before positioning scouts improving the
    academy etc.


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