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Player Retires From International Football – Will Fight For His Newcastle Place

Newcastle midfielder Ki Sung-yueng has announced his retirement from International football and will now concentrate on his Newcastle career.

Ki turned 30 last month and played 110 times for South Korea with 10 goals and was the captain in last year’s World Cup in Russia.

His final game for Newcastle before going off to the Asian Cup was on December 22 in the 0-0 draw with Fulham – 2 points dropped by Newcastle.

At the time he said when he got back he didn’t know if there would be a place in the side for him.

And Sean Longstaff has filled in brilliantly for the South Korean, and we expect the local lad to start against Huddersfield Town on Saturday afternoon.

Ki Sung-yueng – expected to be on the bench on Saturday

South Korea had a disappointing Asian Cup and were beaten by eventual winners Qatar in the quarterfinals.

Here’s what Ki has said in the Chronicle today:

“It’s time for me to concentrate on Newcastle,””I have played a lot of games for Korea and travelled back and forth for 10 years or so.”

“That is difficult, such as this time. You are playing well in the team and have to leave. By the time you come back, someone else has your place.”

“That has happened a lot of times in my career because of the national team.” “It’s normal, the PL is so competitive, but that’s life.”

“But playing for my country is also an honor. I had to decide what my focus would be on now. I have done a lot for the national team.”

“I have seen Longstaff in training, I knew he had quality. We have very good competition now.”

“For me, I have to wait for my chance again. First of all, I need to be as fit as before. I need to do extra training.”

“I had to do this in the first period of the season, wait and work hard.”

“I picked up a hamstring injury in the first game of the Asian Cup.”

“It wasn’t a bad injury, it should have taken 10 to 12 days. Then, I came back to training, and I did it again.”

“I was very frustrated because it was my last competition for my country.”

“I realised that, even if we reached the final, I couldn’t play, so I decided to come back to Newcastle.”

“It feels like quite a long time now.” “There is no pain now, I’m fully recovered, just not yet at the level I was at before.”

Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden have played well together over the last eight games or so and they are expected to start on Saturday.

The game against Huddersfield is a relegation 6 pointer.

That means the difference in points between the two club depending on whether Newcastle win compared to Huddersfield winning is a full 6 points.

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44 comments so far

  • Genjikai

    Feb 21, 2019 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #1

    We were on a bit of a run before west ham stopped the fun.
    Hope we slot them this time like.
    9 points from next 3 games.

  • Genjikai

    Feb 21, 2019 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #2

    Loved the Longsean comment before.
    Longmay his form continue.

  • Genjikai

    Feb 21, 2019 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #3

    Hopefully a few more years of ki in midfield.
    He seems like a proper professional footballer.
    Dedicated to the cause, hopefully keeps the toons midfield ticking for a long time.
    Him and longstaff are so composed on the ball.
    Finally competition in midfield.
    We really just need our very own goalscorer.
    Weve waited long enough , in this day and age i think its time to see the toon bang in the goals.

  • Genjikai

    Feb 21, 2019 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #4

    Ashley man if your going to stay just admit it and move on.
    Buy us a world class striker and your done for another 5 years man.
    Even better buy us quality players and we might actually visit one of your shops.
    (Which is getting much harder to avoid as he owns them all)

  • Genjikai

    Feb 21, 2019 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #5

    Everytime a walk past a shitedirect i always want to drop me kegs and force a turd owt on his shopfloor.
    But then i feel sick at the thought of walking in,
    Feel sorry for the workers on zero hour contracts getting charged a quid to buy a poo bag to clean said mess up.
    What a mess.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 21, 2019 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #6

    G from previous, I think I’d be quite happy with 4 points too. At this stage of the season, these matches against teams around us are almost as much about denying them points as gaining them ourselves.

  • G

    Feb 21, 2019 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #7

    Rob, if we could maintain a 2 point average till end of season then that would be fantastic.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 21, 2019 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #8

    Genjikai, it’s interesting hearing your thoughts on young Kell Watts, a different perspective, more personal than most for obvious reasons. Owen Bailey too, of course.

    It’s not unheard of to have an attacking player transformed into a defender and vice versa but fairly rare I think and it’s exciting that we could have a potential new Harry Maguire on our hands – strong defensively but also an attacking threat. I’ll watch his progress with interest and hope he makes it.

  • martoon

    Feb 21, 2019 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #9

    I’d agree 4 or 5 points from the next 3 games would be OK but I think we have to take the three against Huddersfield. They are at the bottom because they are the poorest team – although it will not be easy if we play like we did against Cardiff then we should be able to win (I hope)!

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 21, 2019 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #10

    2 points / match till the end of the season would leave us on 49 points, well and truly certainly safe and with an increase of 5 points on last season’s total.

    I’d definitely be ok with that without being too excited. I think Rafa would see it as a forward step and more justification for the way he’s running the team, in spite of the neglect of the fat man. 49 points last season would have seen us level on points with Everton in 8th or 9th place.

  • Optimistic Magpie

    Feb 21, 2019 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #11

    The best we can do at the moment is move up to 13 place in the league, of course that means two wins at home against Huds and Burnley.
    Cardiff play Watford not easy for Cardiff, Fulham at West Ham, Burnley host Spurs and Palace are at Leicester. If the three teams above all lose which in paper can happen then we can jump to 13th, one point ahead of Gulls, Burnley and Palace.

    Win on Tuesday will see us four point above Burnley if the above comes to light, Gulls play at Leicester, Palace host Man U with those two teams losing could see us four points above the three teams above us.

    I’m hoping like last year the break to sunnier climates will have the lads firing on all cylinders and we can get the first two wins and then an awesome win at The Hammers.

    That would see us on 34 points, that would leave nine games to get a few more wins, throw in some Draws and the Toon should be ok.
    The next three games are so important, could make or break NUFC, come on The Toon!!!!

  • Genjikai

    Feb 21, 2019 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #12

    Optimistic magpie,
    Totally agree. Rafa is known for finishing the season strong aswell. Im fully behind your view there like howay the lads.

  • Genjikai

    Feb 21, 2019 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #13

    What placed finish in the league now gets a euro slot?
    With the new comp coming in, what finished place in the league will give a euro campaign?


    Feb 21, 2019 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #14

    Afternoon all,hope everyone is well,
    Although hayden has done really well,i would like to see ki in middield with longstaff…both graft, both have forward thinking thoughts and passes,and now we have pace and movement comin into the side i think these 2 would be ideal to find the runners…. obviously ki has to be fit,will be great to see almiron again showed flashes of food play,needs to lose a bit if the south American theatrics or refs will start ignoring real fouls on him but its very early days yet for him…rondon looking fit and in form,he just needs that killer instinct a bit more,and tbh deliveries need to better into the box from the whole team,quicker, not 1 or 2 touches or turning back onto the other foot…get the cross in early give the striker something to attack and give there defenders something to worry about whilst running back towards there own goal….need a good solid performance this weekend,few goals and make a statement about what we are ganna be like for the rest of the season…. U’ve had the weeks off… now back to it lads.


    Feb 21, 2019 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #15

    Food play????hahaha….good play

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 21, 2019 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #16

    It’s not progress though is it, we should have been every bit as comfortable as Leicester or Wolves this season but we have been landed in another completely unnecessary relegation scrap, that is not progress even if we get five points more.

  • NY Mag

    Feb 21, 2019 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #17

    Just to weigh in on the wages debate (bit late as usual).

    That £112M figure is inflated….
    The actual wage bill was £80M
    Plus £10M for player / staff bonuses

    The other £22M was an accrual in the accounts (money that may or may not need to be paid in the future). I suppose we’ll find out in this years accounts whether it was actually paid.

  • posada

    Feb 21, 2019 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #18

    Can anyone explain that figure of 112M in wages ?
    Was it the club writing off certain things against tax or whatever.

    1.65 M as an average wage. 26 player squad = about 43M.
    Rafa and his team a canny bit on top. Also normal salaried employees.

    Lets say 52 M.
    Revenue now what. 160M.
    Canny margin there for someone to make a profit.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 21, 2019 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #19

    Jail, not progress for the club, no, agreed and that’s down to the fat one. But progress in terms of squad and team development individually and collectively, for sure. How else could you describe the same group of players earning more points in the same league?

    I have no desire to argue with you on this, we’re always in tune on the big picture, it’s always semantics you pick me up on.

  • barkel

    Feb 21, 2019 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #20

    Jail, I don’t think the fixture list really helped us too much. I know everyone has to play everyone at some point but we had a very tough run where we were very unlucky not to get more so confidence was shot by the time we got to a run of games where we should have pick up more

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 21, 2019 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #21

    NY Mag – could that accrual be ascribed to a repayment of debt to Ashley or a future payment of a fine to HMRC or does it have to relate to player / staff wages?

  • posada

    Feb 21, 2019 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #22

    Just off the top of me head.
    In the SBR years, also before and just after.
    We always got 3rd 4th or 5th choice of players.
    The 1st and 2nds went to Man U, Arsenal etc.
    But we were still expected and did pay the same wages as the 1st and 2nd choicers.

    Over a number of years that knacks you. By the time we were relegated we were in the top four for paying wages for a team in the bottom three.

    Take Robert. Great player. Why did the likes of Man U not want him.
    Lacked the engine of a Giggs or Beckham.
    Made no attempt to defend or win the ball.
    We still paid top money for him and top wages.
    When he left we got nowt back.

  • NY Mag

    Feb 21, 2019 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #23


    My personal opinion (and I have no proof) is that it is the first part of the payback to HMRC.
    It seems to me the club have tried to ‘hide’ that £22M in plain sight by trying to confuse everyone with accounting jargon.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 21, 2019 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #24

    That makes sense – but if £22M is just the ‘start’ of the payback, then that’s a huge fine. I reckon £22M alone would be one of the biggest ever fines handed down to a football club, in this League or any other.

    Presumably West Ham and the other implicated clubs will receive similar fines.

  • Genjikai

    Feb 21, 2019 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #25

    I think thats the first team weekly wage. 1.65mill. So over 52 weeks thats about 86mill.
    All other staff will have to be paid.
    Interestingly some lads must be earning a fortune as
    1.65mill/ 26 first team players averages put at 63,500 quid a week.
    Some will be at the lower end you would think.
    Do you think that includes Rafas wages?
    Does Rafas wage come out of the transfer budget and wage fund?

  • NY Mag

    Feb 21, 2019 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #26


    My bad – not a fine….back payment of income tax and NI contributions

  • Genjikai

    Feb 21, 2019 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #27

    Jail although going backwards from last season would you take a 12th place finish this year?
    Tbh i would id rather we stay in the prem, its just too costly going down and makes the fat one more stubborn to stay.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 21, 2019 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #28

    Ah, got you

    Still a huge hole in the budget if this is being paid in arrears, plus the risk of a potential fine to come.

  • Genjikai

    Feb 21, 2019 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #29

    One thing is for certain like if we do stay i the prem this year then ashley will have to spend in the summer.
    To many people are on the case. And there will be no excuses for not.
    Sale lie or no sale lie, investment is needed.

  • NY Mag

    Feb 21, 2019 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #30


    As I said, no proof…..

    But, I value your opinion – so, do me a favour…

    Go to Newcastle United limited on companies house and open the PDF document for the last accounts.
    Page.2 – second section called contingent liabilites, read that and tell me what you think.

  • Optimistic Magpie

    Feb 21, 2019 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #31

    Throwing out my prediction for this weekends game, Newcastle 3 – 0.
    Ronnie gets two and Almiron scores on his debut. God, I hope I’m right!!!!

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 21, 2019 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #32

    Yeah, it looks like the club has been told that they have paid short on tax and National Insurance to the tune of a certain amount plus interest, HMRC ‘claims’ referred to in that document, but that they don’t as yet have any idea how much they will be charged in ‘penalties’ ie fines.

    I think they are also concerned that the amount they have been made aware of may not be that actual amount they will have to ultimately repay.

    They also specifically refer to an accrual to cover these costs.

    So it seems like the club thinks that the accrual amount (£22M?) is sufficient to cover the known claim, any other claim and fines payable after the claims are processed and the legal process is complete.

    Therefore, we could see some of that money back in the accounts at some point, but not until after the legal process is finished, the timing of which is just guesswork at this point.

  • martoon

    Feb 21, 2019 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #33

    NY Mag @30 – I’ve just had a look and it certainly states they are building up a contingency fund for back payment etc. However, I’m not an accountant but I wouldn’t expect that contingency fund to appear in the wages – surely it’s not a wage but money they are saving?

  • DaveD1000

    Feb 21, 2019 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #34

    From memory I seem to remember the Revenue’s assessment being chucked out and a figure of somewhere around 2-4 being settled on. could be wrong.

  • NY Mag

    Feb 21, 2019 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #35


    I’m not an accountant either (nor a tax specialist)

    My understanding (and it could be wrong) of the HMRC claim against the club is that when paying signing bonuses for players, instead of giving the money to players directly they would pay the clubs agent a fee, the agent would then through a series of intermediaries wangle the money back to the players, thus avoiding income tax and NI payments.
    In which case I think this would be considered wages (not 100% sure though)

  • JohnJ

    Feb 21, 2019 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #36

    Regarding the Huddersfield on Saturday I’ll settle for any score as long as Newcastle score one more than they do but certainley need to be winning by more than one goal at 89 mins to feel comfortable – it’s nerve racking waiting for the final whistle when only ahead by one goal.

    Saying that I do feel that of the next two games at home the Burnley one is the more difficult one. Fingers crossed that we can take 6 points and a point at West Ham!

  • martoon

    Feb 21, 2019 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #37

    NY Mag – Yes that’s my recollection as well but in that case surely it is the player’s responsibility to pay back the tax/NI etc. as they are the ones who have benefited? I guess nufc should have paid employers NI contribution so they would be liable for that but it’s hard to see it being such an astronomical sum – as I say I’m not an accountant so maybe I just don’t get it!

  • martoon

    Feb 21, 2019 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #38

    JohnJ @36 – Yes when we do win it often seems to be by the odd goal so you’re on the edge of your seat looking at your watch. Even against Cardiff at 2 – 0 you were still nervous until the third goal went in which was in added time at the end as I remember – such is the life of being a nufc supporter 😉

  • NY Mag

    Feb 21, 2019 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #39


    I thought the same thing at the time…..and never understood why HMRC was coming after the club – must be something we’re missing

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 21, 2019 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #40

    JohnJ, I think Sean Dyche will have a more rigidly organised game plan and that will make Burnley hard to break down. Once that becomes apparent, the NUFC fans will start getting on the team’s back and who knows what can happen then.

    It’s a tough place to play at times, SJP, and I think we almost play better against the better teams as they give us more space to attack.


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