With the social media these days all around, where news goes viral in an instant, it must be very difficult for young players – who by their very age are still becoming men – so it’s much easier these days than in days of old for great young players to go off the rails, and never fulfill their potential.
Steve McClaren is well aware of all that, which is why he has a good record of bringing young players through at the clubs he’s been at – and he has what has to be a really top prospect in 19 year-old Rolando Aarons, who shone on the US tour – just like he did in pre-season last year.
Great action shot of Rolando Aarons at Portland
His two goals on Tuesday night in Portland were something to behold, and in a couple of minutes Newcastle were at 4-3 with 14 minuets to play, after being down 4-1 and struggling mightily.
Rolando set it up for Newcastle to possibly even save the game – but we couldn’t do it.
Rolando has been interviewed in the Chronicle today, and the first thing he said is that he doesn’t want to talk about all those injuries he picked up last season – who can blame him?
This is what the (very) talented youngster said:
“I don’t want to talk about last year. This is a new season and I want a fresh start. Hopefully this year I can stay fit and show what I can do.”
“As long as the gaffer is happy and I’m happy and I’m doing well for the team, that’s all that can be done really.” “As long as I keep him happy I always have a chance.”
“Competition for places is good.” “The offensive players are doing well and it brings out the best in you. I like competition. It will improve the squad.”
“There are a few things to work on and I am sure we can be much better.” “I didn’t really notice it (the standing ovation he got for the first goal) because I was trying to get the ball up the pitch. But it was nice of them.”
“Newcastle is a massive club. And I knew that before I came here.” “I didn’t know we had this many fans in America. It’s only the second time I have been and I love the place.”
“I have been out for some time but I feel happy to play 90 minutes for the first time in a year and a half.”
Rolando shows a good attitude there, and that will be important for him in the next year or two, and he has to keep his feet on the ground.
Of course Steve McClaren and the coaching staff will help him do that.
The crowds in the US were great on the Newcastle tour, and Newcastle United are a well known club – throughout the world really.
The American crowds appreciated Newcastle coming to play in Milwaukee, Sacramento and Portland, and the families tend to go and watch the games together in the US – sports is a family affair here.
It was noticeable that Rolando got some real applause from the home fans for those two great goals – especially that simply fantastic first goal – and the commentators were very appreciative as well.
They said that first goal from the 19 year-old was worth the cost of admission alone, so it was good we showed a little bit of class – albeit late in the game.
We hope Roland signs that five year deal soon, and there’s no reason at all why he cannot fulfill his potential at Newcastle over those next five years – none at all.
In fact it will be a measure of how good and successful Newcastle can become over that period is they can keep him at the club.
Well, here are those two goals, and if Rolando is going to be in this type of form all next season and keeps fit – we will do very well – we may even shock ourselves.
Howay The Lads!!