Former PSG defender David Rozehnal has looked cool and accomplished in the pre-season friendlies Newcastle have played in their build-up to the season.
That first league game is on Saturday against Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.
While Sam heaps praise on David he is careful to ensure Rozehnal knows it will be a major test for him on Saturday in his first ever Premiership game.
David Rozehnal- looked solid in pre-season
The Â£2.9M fee paid for Rozehnal to his former club PSG looks a bit of a bargain if David can maintain his pre-season form in the real games about to come up. His partnership with 21 year-old Steven Taylor, which is very likely to be the central pairing on Saturday, has looked solid.
This is what Sam had to say today about his new center-back:
“I’ve been really pleased with how David has settled so far,”
“He is a terrific human being, let alone a very good player.
“However, it has only been pre-season and I don’t want to heap too much praise on him at the moment because of that.â€
“There is still a lot for him to get used to. What he will experience at Bolton at the weekend will shock him to say the very, very least.â€
“Everything he has experienced now in training and in pre-season friendlies, if he thinks that’s hard, wait until he goes to the Reebok Stadium.â€
“If he can cope with that, the way Bolton play and the questions they will ask of him, he will be able to cope with anything. I hope he does because he’s a good player and he has had a good pre-season.â€
“He hasn’t missed any training and he has been a major bonus during our pre-season program.”
Certainly in pre-season Rozehnal has looked like everything we need in a center-half. He’s no-nonsense, good in the air and has an air of calmness about him, which we haven’t seen for a while at the club. But as we’ve pointed out David will still have to fight for his place in the side when another new signing – Brazilian Claudio Cacapa from Lyon – gets fit within the next week. Whoever is on the bench will be the best substitute center-half we’ve had in many a season.
A good win on Saturday will go a long way to get Newcastle off to the good start we really need to have this season.