Xisco was one of the substitutes who transformed a poor Newcastle in the first half , into something that gave the fans a little hope for next season.
Xisco – can he make it at Newcastle?
Newcastle didn’t turn up in the first half and PSV were much the better side and deserved their 2-0 interval lead – but things changed around for the better in the second half.
Newcastle showed more purpose and Leon Best and Carroll up front showed more urgency and that allowed Newcastle to come back well to draw the game with good goals from Ryan Taylor and Leon himself.
The crowd of just over 16,000 was disappointing, as the game was to mark the first anniversary of Sir Bobby Robson’s death.
Striker Xisco, a £5.7M signing by the hopeless Dennis Wise, was on loan last season at Racing Santander, but looked sharp and very willing on Saturday out on the left wing and did well.
The Newcastle boss Chris Hughton talked about the former Spanish U21 International who is now 24:
“Xisco has been good in pre-season. We have six strikers who have all been fit in pre-season so it’s been a case of shifting them around to give them the minutes they need.”
“The difficulty for him is he’s playing in a position where we have a lot of options. All he can do is to force the decision. He can put himself in a position to perform and train well.”
“He’s older now. When he came it was a difficult period for him and the other players. Sometimes the experiences of a foreign player coming here with other strikers in front of you, you don’t get a real rhythm.”
“I suppose it’s a little bit like Leon Best when he came in January with Andy Carroll and Peter Lovenkrands scoring goals for fun. It made it difficult for him to get the minutes on the pitch.”
“Xisco played more regularly back in Spain last season, now he must continue to do well in pre-season and force the issue.”
There’s nothing we’d like better than for Xisco to make it at Newcastle, and while that’s still an outside chance, he has looked a decent player in mid-season and it could be that Chris will keep him at the club, at least through January.
It’s up to him of course, but so far his spirit and willingness to play out of position augers well for this lad in the future.
What do you think?