We’re all used to seeing Hatem Ben Arfa score spectacular individual efforts at St James’ Park, as well as Papiss Cisse hit the back of the net when he wants and Tim Krul keeping clean sheets, but something of a more unusual sight is the presence of vans and diggers!
While Newcastle United may have played their last game at St James’ Park in their current campaign, the 52,000-plus capacity stadium still has plenty of matches to host before the Magpies play their first home game of the 2012/13 Premier League season.
Almost as soon as Newcastle’s players finished their lap of honour to mark the end of the season following Sunday’s 2-0 defeat against champions-elect Manchester City, the groundsmen were hard at work digging up the pitch.
This is because St James’ Park hosts its first football match of the 2012 Olympics in less than two months’ time on Thursday 26th July. Then the Premier League will start a matter of just a couple of weeks later, so time is at a premium.
Groundsman Andrew Tully is hard at work alongside the rest of his staff to ensure that the St James’ Park pitch is in pristine condition for all of the matches that lie ahead. So if you visit the home of Newcastle United at the weekend, you won’t have seen it looking like this before…
What is it they say? Things have to get worse before they get better? Well, that’s certainly case with the pitch at St James’ Park right now!