England star spotted with ice pack after controversial Newcastle vs Tottenham friendly

  • Newcastle & Tottenham travelled to Australia for post-season friendly
  • Game in Melbourne took place three days after Premier League ended
  • Kieran Trippier withdrawn early in concerning move for England fans
Newcastle & Tottenham headed to Australia straight after the Premier League season finished
Newcastle & Tottenham headed to Australia straight after the Premier League season finished / Robert Cianflone/GettyImages

Newcastle United have been forced to clarify that Kieran Trippier's withdrawal 36 minutes into Wednesday's controversial friendly with Tottenham Hotspur was pre-planned.

Following the end of a gruelling Premier League season and with a busy summer of internationals to come, the decision from the clubs to immediately jet off to Australia for an exhibition game in Melbourne has been heavily criticised, especially given changes are being to the football calendar – like the scrapping of FA Cup replays from next season – to ease fixture congestion.

Trippier managed just 36 minutes of the game before being substituted, with the Newcastle Chronicle's Lee Ryder revealing the right-back, who is part of Gareth Southgate's preliminary England squad for Euro 2024, was quickly handed an ice pack to strap to his ankle.

Sky Sports reporter Dougie Critchley had posted on X: "Trippier has gone off 36 minutes into Newcastle's post season friendly against Spurs…which is being played in Melbourne…three days after the final day. If he is injured, I am going to absolutely lose it."

However, Sky Sports later revealed that Newcastle had stressed that Trippier's substitution was "pre-planned", although that did little to ease the nerves of fans who recalled the sight of the right-back with an ice pack strapped to his ankle.

Kieran Trippier played the first 36 minutes in Melbourne
Kieran Trippier played the first 36 minutes in Melbourne / Daniel Pockett/GettyImages

Another X user called the game a "pointless club friendly just before the Euros," adding, "but it's FA Cup replays that are the problem, guys."

Although Trippier may not have picked up a problem in the game, which Newcastle eventually won on penalties, it does further raise the issue of the lack of full-back cover in England's squad.

Southgate named Luke Shaw as the only recognised left-back in the 33-player group, even though he considers the currently injured Manchester United defender a "long shot" to be fit in time. Trippier, who has played on the left for England in the past, is likely to get the starting nod, with versatile central defender Joe Gomez the only realistic cover on that side.

With Trent Alexander-Arnold listed in a midfield not flush with depth, Kyle Walker is the only other right-back. Ben Chilwell and Tyrick Mitchell were plausible left-back options overlooked.