Siem de Jong is a class player when in form and fully fit – and he was in the squad at Leicester City and saw some playing time in the second half.
That’s after he was hardly used by the previous head coach in the 28 games Steve McClaren was allowed to be in charge of Newcastle and during that period put the club in such a serious and almost fatal position in the league table.
But now we have a world-class manager at Newcastle in Rafa Benitez we expect Rafa will try to use Siem more and use his undoubted class to create and score some goals for us, which hopefully can save us this season.
Siem de Jong – in action against Liverpool
This is what Siem has said on the Newcastle web-site:
“Always when a new manager comes, things change, and a lot of times when a new manager comes in you see people, even in training, with a different sort of spirit,”
“Everybody knows who he is and where he’s worked. He’s worked at the top teams in the world, so for us it’s good to have a manager like that. Hopefully he can help us get the much needed points.”
“Everyone’s got to show themselves again, everyone’s got a new opportunity to prove themselves, so I think competition will go up in the team and it will only be good for the performances, hopefully.”
“The manager has his way how he wants to play, and I think it’s a good way. He really tries to put his mark on the team, even in three days prior to the Leicester game, and hopefully in the next few days he can do a little more and he can train more on the tactical parts that he wants to improve.”
“We need to show it on the pitch next week.”
“Hopefully I’ll get my minutes in the coming games and hopefully I can help the team as much as I can, and we need everybody to be ready,” he said. “A new manager brings new opportunities for everybody, so everybody will be willing to show what they can do so we’ll see next game what happens.”
“It’s the next game, so it’s the most important one. Of course it’s Sunderland and there’s going to be a lot of talk about it, but for us it’s the next important game. We’ve got nine games to go, so we’re focused on the next one and we need the points. It doesn’t matter who you’re up against.”
Those are good words from Siem, who in truth has been a real disappointment this season, hardly being able to get his place in the team at all.
McClaren didn’t even have him in the squad against Bournemouth – but then again he starts Manu Riviere – but it was noticeable that Benitez had the 27 year-old Dutchman him on the bench and played him in the second half.
And indeed Siem had an excellent chance to equalize for us late in the game.
Siem is a class player who has had injury problems, but also confidence problems on Tyneside in the almost two years he’s been at Newcastle.
But we think Rafa can get the best out of the Dutch International and Siem could be one of the dark horses who may become a hero for us in the run-in.