- Tues 16.07.13 Motherwell (a) (ko 7.00pm)
- Sat 20.07.13 Rio Ave (a) (ko 6.00pm)
- Tues 23.07.13 Pacos de Ferreira (a) (ko TBC)
- Sun 28.07.13 Blackpool (a) (ko 3.00pm)
- Tues 30.07.13 St. Mirren (a) (ko 7.30pm)
- Sat 10.08.13 SC Braga (h) (ko 6.00pm)
It hasn’t exactly been a quiet last week or so for Newcastle United, nor has it been a great time to be a Newcastle fan. With our star player now being likened to a variety of skewered meat, it seems that Joe Kinnear’s controversial appointment has somewhat angered the Geordie population.
The newly released list of pre-season friendlies doesn’t make things much better. The exciting prospect of going out to Africa to watch the Toon compete in a tournament with Everton and Ajax Cape Town collapsed at the start of the month, and now it seems our rather cobbelled-together pre-season is much less exciting than originally thought.
Pre-season starts in the middle of July with a trip up to Scotland to face Motherwell, before jetting off to Portugal to play 2nd division side Rio Ave FC and then Pacos de Ferreira, that finished an unexpected 3rd place last season in the 1st division.
The team then flies back to the UK to play Championship side Blackpool and the Scottish Premier League’s St Mirren. Newcastle United finally complete this rather muddled summer by playing high flying SC Braga who finished last season one place below previously mentioned Pacos de Ferreira.
I suppose one advantage we can draw from this unsystematic fixture list is that we won’t need to travel very far this summer in order to see a hopefully refined Newcastle squad.
With a bit of luck, if Graham Carr can work his magic once again, we will see some new faces on the pitch. However, trying to spot new talent is difficult when your ‘director of football’ only accepts players whom he’s heard of. And of course, it doesn’t look good when the clubs transfer motto is that it doesn’t matter how good the player actually is, as long as he’s good value.
Yes, I do appreciate stability is important, but if last season indicates what our long-term future will entail, then I believe that the relevant people need to have a re-think. I simply do not value a good financial status when we find ourselves in the Championship.
By Henry Winter