Turf wars

Posted on July 23rd, 2011 | 10 Comments |

Turf trouble ahead of Newcastle's game against Orlando.
Turf ripped up
Pitch problems needed to be solved ahead of Newcastle United’s pre-season game against Orlando this evening.

It seems there are a few problems with the pitch at Orlando. Apparently the Orlando team usually play on astro-turf (not be confused with Astro Boy) but Pardew wasn’t keen on that idea due to its alleged proclivity for producing injuries. So Orlando owner Phil Rawlins spent a six figure sum getting real turf laid for tonight’s game.

However, after a pitch inspection today, both teams have agreed that they don’t particularly fancy the freshly rolled pitch after all.

It was thought that Rawlins might acquire a magic carpet from Orlando’s ‘Olde Shoppe of Inexplicable Items’ to play on but, alas, they’d sold out, so it looks like they’re going to have to put the astro-turf (not to be confused with Batman) back.

As a result, Pardew may have to rethink his team selection for tonight and it’s thought he may opt to leave Demba Ba and Steve Harper on the sidelines in case the synthetic pitch affects their troublesome knees in some way, although Bolton played on the astro-turf (not to be confused with Deputy Dawg) last week without any problems.

Newcastle didn’t train on the match pitch yesterday – as they did before the Kansas game – but instead trained on a grass training field close to the ground.

Apparently our three keepers were going to get a game a piece in the States, so perhaps Forster will start between the sticks tonight if Harper doesn’t fancy it.

And, it seems Enrique was only left out of the team for Wednesday’s game against Kansas due to an injury niggle and it had nothing to do with transfer speculation surrounding the left-back. Pardew said:

Jose can probably start. It was only his first day back from a little hamstring injury in training yesterday.

We have protected him because he is an important player for us. We don’t want to risk anybody, we’ve had two injuries, two games and two X-rays so far.

I can’t imagine Phil Rawlins will enjoy the game too much after seeing his six-figure turf hoyed in the bin though.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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10 Responses

  1. bolton played on this surface last week and they were fine and to be fair to the toon they said they wanted grass and orlando laid grass but it hasnt worked out! alot of people time and money has been spent on the game so its the correct decision to go ahead

    as its just a friendly i would imagine both teams have been told to take it easy

    this is a massive game for orlando who wont want any negative publicity as they ara a new club trying for a MLS franchise

    nufc are there to help boost orlandos profile and boost there own profile in the states so expect it to be a non event on the pitch

  2. Hoping the match will be live, but I hear it will be but without commentary. I also just noticed Cabaye did not play for the reserves game today, he was not on the bench either. Hmm.

  3. Other than a junket for the clubs owners, what was the point of this game. They are not even a top US side, the result will be meaningless and the possibility of injuries are always present even in a “friendly” game.

    ManU are playing the top teams in full house stadiums with a bit more meaning to them!!

  4. we are not man u chelsea or liverpool and dont have that reputation abroad this is our first usa trip for a while and the club are getting good publicity and have a very big following in the states. the crowd tonight should be large 20-30 thousand which is not bad considering orlando dont really exsit as a club yet.

    we have to export the brand nufc across the world and the states has the fastest growing intrest at the moment with mls and football in general really taking off hence alot of english teams are here to try and cash in on the band waggon and get some good publicity

    also its pre season you cant wrap them in cotton wool and hope for the best we should be training hard and playing games to get ready for the season injuries will happen either here or playing carlise back at home so i dont really see a problem with this tour

    its also a chance for pardew to have the players together non stop for 10 days and should bring them together as a squad which will hopefully be a good thing for nufc

  5. Grumpy Old-Toon says:

    “Other than a junket for the clubs owners, what was the point of this game”

    Money G O-T pure and simple and Pardwho doing his best “product placements” during the press conferences :)

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  7. GeordieDug, Thats a fair rationale.

    I still think there should be actual MSL first line teams who would want to play against us though. We aren’t total minnows in the footy world.

    Are we? :)

  8. I can understand them wanting grass, as the astro pitches are murder in knees and ankles. But I don’t understand why a team like Orlando is using it in the first place. Whenever you see it on the Russian games, the commentators are always falling over themselves to throw temperature stats around, and say its used cos a proper pitch would be frozen all the time. You don’t get that in Florida so I’m a bit bemused about why they’d have it in the first place.

    I’m also bemused as to why we didn’t seem to know anything about it til it was too late to be remedied sufficiently, that seems a bit like the club not doing its homework to me.

    But still, every credit to Orlando for trying to change it to suit us, I doubt many, if any other clubs would do that!

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