Siem de Jong played the full game for the U21 side last night at St. James’ Park when we won 2-0 against Aston Villa and the two goals came in the final 12 minutes from 18 year-old Callum Roberts and both were set up by 19 year-old striker Ivan Tony.
Both teenagers were outstanding for the side and would have impressed the watching Steve McClaren.
Siem de Jong – getting sharper with more games
But it was good to see Siem play the whole game as he still tries to improve his sharpness and make a challenge for a starting place in the Newcastle first team.
Siem has started just one Premier League game for Newcastle in the almost 17 months he has been on board, although he did go through a very difficult season with injuries last term.
In his seven seasons he had at Ajax, where he ended up captain for the final two seasons, he played 244 games with 78 goals and 48 assists, so he was very productive.
Siem is skillful and like Dutch colleague Wijnaldum in that he can also score from almost anywhere near the goal at any time – and he is somebody we should probably have on the pitch these days when we are struggling for goals.
Siem has given an interview in the Chronicle today and this is what he said:
“I am ready. It is going to be about fitness. I was injured last season and I didn’t play for nearly the full year.”
“I had a good pre-season.” “After that, the manager made a different choice, I have not played as much as I want to.”
“But I need to keep working on myself. That’s why I am prepared to play with the U-21s to get fitness in.” “Hopefully it won’t be long until I get more first-team minutes. I just need to work on that.”
“If you look at the way we are playing, there is an upward line of progress and how we play as a team.” “I think that’s a good thing.”
“We need to keep on playing like this and we will eventually get more wins.” “We picked up a clean sheet, it’s good.”
“But when you have the chances you want to win the game.” “Everybody has the confidence though.” “That is the main thing in football.”
“If the team doesn’t have confidence it’s a problem. But we do and it’s picked up after our first win.” “I think you can see that in the last three games, the confidence and performances have gone up.”
“We need to continue that.”
It’s commendable that Siem asked to play for the U21s last night to improve his match fitness and it’s good news that he is getting sharper as the season goes on.
The bad news for Siem is that he is still unable to break into the Newcastle first team – and it’s got to be frustrating for the Dutch International.
But he’s being the good professional that he is and pushing hard for a first team starting spot while continuing to be a team player.
it would be good to see Siem on the pitch in the second half of games as he gets closer to match fitness – as he was on Saturday – it’ s just unfortunate he could not get a goal for us.
In fact it’s unfortunate that nobody was able to get a goal for us and it was 2 points dropped against a decent Stoke City side.
Anyway, hopefully we will start seeing more of Siem as the season progresses.
What do you think?