Off On Their Holidays

Last updated : 03 November 2005 By Footy Mad - Editor

Thankfully England missed the World Cup play-offs by topping their group, but there is still an international break next week, allowing the Toon players to head off on a sunshine break to Marbella. In the past most of the top players have missed these "bonding" trips because of international call-ups, but the squad will fly out to Spain after Saturday's Premiership game with Birmingham City.
It's all part of Graeme Souness' preparations for the game with runaway Premiership leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge a fortnight on Saturday. It would have been a frightening fixture two or three weeks ago, but United have won their last three games and the Blues have failed to win in their last three. But, then again, I wouldn't look too much into that.
On the plus side of things - United had two breaks in Dubai last season - and on both occasions came back to embark on extended unbeaten runs.
With none of the home countries involved in the international play-offs, United will have a strong squad with them in Spain. However, Emre will be on World Cup duty with Turkey, Michael Owen will be involved in the friendly with Argentina in Switzerland a week on Saturday, and Steven Taylor is playing for the Under-21s in their play-off against France at White Hart Lane a week on Friday, with the return in Nancy on November 15.