Jump to content

Souness fury at 'Mickey Mouse' friendlies


Recommended Posts

Graeme Souness has described this week's friendly internationals as "Mickey Mouse" matches which undermine the work of every manager in the Barclays Premiership.

The Newcastle boss has seen his squad depleted by international call-ups, and it is a theme prevalent in the top-flight where players have been called away just days after the opening league fixture of the season.


The Magpies tackle West Ham in their first home match of the Premiership campaign on Saturday, with the objective to make immediate amends for the defeat at Arsenal where Newcastle considered themselves unlucky to finish 2-0 losers.


But Souness has led training this week without the likes of Shay Given, Stephen Carr, Jermaine Jenas, James Milner, Emre, Jean-Alain Boumsong and Amdy Faye.


"Part of me is angry about the timing of these games," Souness told Newcastle's club website www.nufc.co.uk.


"They are Mickey Mouse friendly games, and I've got six or seven players away for them.


"Right across the board you will not find a manager who thinks it is a good idea to play these games a week into the new season."


Anelka exiled


Nicolas Anelka, who Souness would like to see at St James' Park sooner rather than later, remains in international exile.


The Frenchman is still out of favour with Raymond Domenech, as he was with Jacques Santini.


Reports today indicated Newcastle could revive their bid for Anelka despite Fenerbahce's reluctance to sell a player they only brought in from Manchester City in January.


Anelka has dismissed claims of a rift between himself and the Fenerbahce management, which arose out of his half-time substitution in the 2-2 draw with Diyarbakirspor.


Fenerbahce were roundly criticised for their first-half display and Anelka did not reappear after the break, but he insists a groin strain forced his withdrawal.


"Not wanting to take a risk, I came off," he said.


Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd is reportedly keen to meet with officials of the Turkish club to resume negotiations, and Anelka could yet make Newcastle his latest club before the transfer window closes on August 31.


A deal for Anelka might appease Souness, who as well as being irate about most of his first team being whisked away this week has also failed to land the strikers he wants this summer.


Big name misses


He has failed with approaches for Anelka, Michael Owen and Luis Boa Morte and is thought to want two new frontmen to support player-coach Alan Shearer, one of few first-team regulars around the club this week.


The stance taken by Souness concerning the midweek friendlies leaves his position quite clear.


He would rather have been working with a full-strength squad this week as he plots the Hammers' downfall, and said: "I cannot get my head around it.


"The players are still finding their feet in the Premiership, then they're taken away from their clubs for a meaningless game.


"It's not fair on the paying customer, not just at Newcastle but right up and down the country.


"The players return to the club on Friday and have a day to prepare for a Premiership game.


"And what can we do in terms of preparation without six or seven players who will be involved at the weekend? It's not right, no way is it right."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He's right, clubs pay the fees for these player and pay their wages and suffer if they get injured, but because of some dicks at fifa/uefa you have to release your players for pointless games whenever you are told to.


Fergie has always had it right over these matches, if he doesn't want his players to play they will undoubtedly come down with a short term "injury". Fergie (and by extension his players) put their club 1st, 2nd and 3rd ahead of all others and thats the way you should do it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or maybe Souness is just worried about more of wor lot being tapped up while on international duty and he'd have a good reason to given the number of players that have been tapped up while supposedly on duty for their Country.


Wayne Rooney and Gerrard were both tapped up while on international duty over in Portugal 2004. Happens all the time, you just have to read books about the game at that level from former pros and managers.


Brazilians get capped just to add a few quid to their value. There was an article in World Soccer a year or so back where Pele was calling on the FCB to clamp down on handing out caps like confetti because it was destroying the Brazilian game. Players weren't working hard to get a cap like they once had to. That's pretty much the same with England. Look at Zat Knight.


I'm sure Sven gets bungs to pick certain players, maybe to add value to their price tag or to give agents better bartering power. "But Mr. Chairman, he's an England International now"


International football, it's overrated. The Champions League is more exciting than the World Cup and of a much higher standard. The only great team in the world is Brazil, the rest, every top club side would beat them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Coming from a country that needs its national team to get together at every opportunity it is both good and bad.

Australia with the change of coaches has got it right this "International" week.

Guus cancelled the friendly against Colombia and instead has got the players together in Eindhoven to have a week of training/discussion/tactics and look at a few fringe players.

Hopefully after he has assessed the players he can let their clubs know his second opinion on what they need in the way of extra work/treatment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.