SEVEN down, one to go.
Newcastle United have travelled more than 24,000 miles over land and sea over the past few weeks.
And there’s just one pre-season friendly left to play after last night’s 2-2 draw against Huddersfield Town.
What have we learnt so far?
Remy Cabella looks a player, for a start.
The midfielder is already living up to his billing as the club’s most important summer signing.
Cabella’s late chip was the highlight of an engaging game at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The 24-year-old might be short of fitness, but his touch isn’t short of class, and that was underlined three minutes from time last night when he beat goalkeeper Joe Murphy with an audacious shot.
It’s also hard not to see the name of Emmanuel Riviere, the club’s other goalscorer, on the teamsheet for the season-opener against Manchester City.
Riviere, a powerful and energetic striker, hasn’t taken long to get up and running in English football.
And the 24-year-old, signed from Monaco, was again in the right place at the right time at the John Smith’s Stadium last night to take his pre-season goal tally to three.
Rolando Aarons has also showed promise going forward, and others, including Jack Colback and Massadio Haidara, have made strong claims for starts against the Premier League champions at St James’s Park.
United manager Alan Pardew still needs an experienced striker, preferably one with Premier League experience, to arrive through the door between now and the closing of the transfer window, but there looks to be goals in this side.
However, the team, certainly, has work to do defensively between now and August 17.
Pardew, having experimented with his formations over the past few weeks, also needs to decide how he is to set up his side.
And only captain Fabricio Coloccini and new signing Daryl Janmaat - who made his debut at the John Smith’s Stadium - seem certain to start the season in Pardew’s back four.
After half chances at both ends, Newcastle got their breakthrough.
Pardew had suggested after the club’s 3-1 win over Schalke that Cabella might not be fit enough to start against City.
But he will be starting games for United - sooner rather than later.
Cabella started the move for Riviere’s 16th-minute goal. Yoan Gouffran took the ball and crossed from the right, and Riviere slid in to opening the scoring.
The former France Under-21 international is playing his way into Pardew’s starting XI against City.
But the lead didn’t last. Twenty minutes later Radoslaw Majewski scored a goal which got the approval of Huddersfield’s legendary former forward Frank Worthington, who was watching from the directors’ box.
Majewski took a touch just inside the area before curling a shot beyond Krul.
Former United and Town goalkeeper Steve Harper, also watching from the stand, will have felt for his old team-mate Krul, who had no chance.
Huddersfield made 11 changes for the second half.
Former Sunderland striker Jon Stead was among those who came off the bench.
Pardew kept his starting XI on the field for the first 10 minutes of the new half before throwing on Aarons, Gabriel Obertan and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Among those coming off was Holland international Janmaat, playing his first game since the World Cup finals.
The right-back had grown in strength during the game before his pre-planned withdrawal, and the 25-year-old will get a longer run-out against Real Sociedad at St James’s Park on Sunday.
Facundo Ferreyra, making only his second appearance for the club, also made way.
Stead put Huddersfield ahead in the 66th minute after making a run towards goal.
Aarons livened up United in the final third of the pitch, but the team couldn’t get a goal, and the name of outcast Hatem Ben Arfa - who had been in Yorkshire 24 hours previously to play for the Under-21s against Barnsley at Oakwell - was sung in the last few minutes.
But Cabella, the latest Frenchman to cross the Channel, had the guile to get Newcastle back on level terms.
And it will be Cabella’s name which is heard most over the coming weeks and months.
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN: (First-half) Smithies; Lynch, Peltier, Smith; Dixon, Hogg, Norwood, Majewski, Scannell; Ward, Wells. (Second-half) Murphy, Hammill, Stead, Wallace, St Ledger, Lolley, D Holmes, Sinnott, Crooks, Carroll, Billing.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Krul; Janmaat (Yanga-Mbiwa, 55), Williamson (S Taylor, 64), Coloccini, Haidara (Dummett, 64); Gouffran (Aarons, 55), Sissoko, Colback (Abeid, 64), Cabella; Ferreyra (Obertan, 55), Riviere (Perez, 72). Sub not used: Elliot.
Goals: Riviere 16, Majewski 36, Stead 66, Cabella 88
Referee: Andy Madley (West Yorkshire)
Attendance: 5,896 (1,473 Newcastle)