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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Howay The Lads!!

This Player Could Become The Unlikely Hero For Newcastle

12:23 pm, Saturday, March 26th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 21 Comments

There’s no doubting Siem de Jong’s ability and the two appearances he has made under Rafa Benitez as a substitute showed that Siem is a good player with experience, but he has never been able to hold down a regular place in the first team since he arrived from Ajax for £6M almost two years ago.

But Rafa has immediately turned to the more experienced and talented players in Newcastle’s squad and Siem – who wasn’t even in the 18 man squad when we lost to Bournemouth – will get a huge opportunity for the rest of the season under new manager Rafa Benitez.

Siem can score goals too – even from free kicks – so if Rafa can get him playing well in that number 10 role Siem could become an unlikely hero.

siem de jong

Siem de Jong – could become the unlikely hero

And Rafa likes to play in a 4-2-3-1 formation so he has used the classic number 10 in his teams for many years now.

Siem has admitted it is a big plus for him that Rafa has arrived:

“I think it’s good for me. I just came back from a strange injury on the eye but I am happy to be back in the team.” “The manager talks to me about what he wants. That’s good, and I think he’s doing well to get the team to play the way he wants.”

“It’s difficult when you come in mid-season. If you have a pre-season to put in the way you want to play as a manager, you have more time.” “But now we need to get ready for the next game. During the two weeks before the next game he will probably try to influence the team more.”

“We’re all close and it will probably be a fight until the last day, but we need points in the next game. Otherwise the gap could grow too much.” “We have two weeks to prepare for it. We are confident. We have shown good things in the last two games, but we need to improve and get the bad things out.”

“We have conceded two goals from set-plays and we have to get that out. In regular play we don’t give away too many chances.”  “The last part of the Sunderland game gave us hope. “The fans were with us, unfortunately, we couldn’t make it 2-1 – but the mood is growing. Everybody sees what the manager’s influence is.”

“But we need to improve, we need luck sometimes and force it as well. We were happy with 1-1 but when you see the last few minutes of the game we were unlucky and didn’t get the big chance to score for 2-1.”

“But we were dangerous around the box and probably should have had a few more chances.”


The next game at Norwich is huge, if only because it will tell us if Newcastle are improving quickly enough under Rafa that an escape against relegation is indeed possible.

A defeat would be tragic – but a draw would be decent and a win is what we all want to see – that would be a monumental result and Rafa’s first win at Newcastle.

And a win would bring us level on points with Norwich and if we won by more than two goals we would even go above them in the league on goal difference.

But that’s asking a lot from a side that has lost 12 of our 15 games on the road and only scored seven goals in the process.


If we cannot improve that record in the final five away games of the season we will be relegated – and deserve to be too.

But we expect Newcastle to improve a lot in the final eight games and fight all the way to save out Premier League status.

That’s still more than possible.

Howay The Lads!!

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Newcastle News · Prayer · Premier League · Press · Siem de Jong

21 responses so far ↓

  • 1 firebug666 // Mar 26, 2016 at 12:36 PM

    If Siem can stay fit and gets some games under his belt then he will be great for us, he is an intelligent player who talks a lot on the the pitch as well as in training.

    He was captain of his last team, and will bring that to our game.

    Just hope he can stay fit.

  • 2 jimmygscot // Mar 26, 2016 at 12:38 PM

    no doubt he is a good footballer but lacks pace and i do not see him scoring goals on evidence of previous games. Did link up well with Cisse for a couple of games. If SDJ and Cisse play there is no room for Mitrovic but he could be used as an impact sub.
    just hope Rafa can get it right.

  • 3 Thump // Mar 26, 2016 at 12:39 PM

    The issue is, Siem, we only turned it on at the end. We could have played from the first whistle and got a result, but we didn’t.

  • 4 Bambams // Mar 26, 2016 at 12:47 PM

    I have said it a few times and had my head bitten off … I still think SDJ will have a big stay in us staying up. Put legs around him and watch the passes this fella can do in the final third.
    He can also finish…People remember the missed header and won’t move on.
    Rafa ain’t daft and he knows this bloke can play.

  • 5 Bambams // Mar 26, 2016 at 12:49 PM

    We need to be brave and play attacking football….We can’t defend. The last two seasons prove that.
    Get goal scorers on the pitch, we need to win games

  • 6 firebug666 // Mar 26, 2016 at 12:57 PM


    I agree with you the only way forward is to attack the other teams from start to finish, if we try to sit back we are down.

  • 7 Dennis Twice // Mar 26, 2016 at 1:14 PM

    Attack Toon attack, attack!

  • 8 Bambams // Mar 26, 2016 at 1:18 PM

    My thoughts exactly. I appreciate we can’t have 10 outfield attackers but this style of ‘hard to beat’ system is laughable.

    I am not totally sure about the Colo injury either….

    Lascelles and Mbemba compliment each other.

    Just imo

  • 9 firebug666 // Mar 26, 2016 at 1:25 PM


    Yeah I think Coloccini has chucked the towel in, he knows what the fans think of him, Injured weeks ago having not even played in the game, I think his message is clear, he doesn’t want to play, I don’t even think he is back training yet.

    I like Lacelles, he is a decent defender, young and quick, but has the height to score goals from corners and set plays. Mbemba is not slow, and is the perfect partner for Lacelles, he is a great ball playing defender, who carries the ball forward will some skill and pace, he does need to look for the pass more, and get back into position.

    Those two have the makings of a great CB partnership, that will serve us well for the future, and they will only get better as they learn each others game. IMO!

  • 10 Blofal // Mar 26, 2016 at 1:37 PM

    The reason we can’t defend is because we’ve been bombing forward instead of trying to break teams down. The first game we played against Leicester was a prime example…

  • 11 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 26, 2016 at 1:46 PM

    Glad Siem seems to growing closer to a regular place. He’s hit a few belters from outside the box for Ajax too. Technical, intelligent player. Great for a number 10. His positional play is very good if you notice. Always looking for that space to link the ball round dangerous forward areas.

    than players dithering on the ball for too long and losing possession looking for a player to come close and be available for the pass, he is there ready to keep the movement fluid in advanced areas.

    I think I saw a quote from Beardsley before saying he is better than he was. He isn’t, but high praise nevertheless.

  • 12 firebug666 // Mar 26, 2016 at 1:46 PM


    Defending should start from the front, and the team should move forward and backwards as one unit, keeping pressure on the ball at all times.

    We have never managed to achieve this under previous managers. We have been both static and disjointed in most of our games, playing with such disorder can only lead to one result.

    Mitrovic needs to have someone closer to him, and we need more movement off the ball, especially in the final third where we always make it easy for the opposition to defend.

    I think Rafa has the right philosophy to bring the best out of this team, but on the pitch it is up to the players to produce the performances.

    Things have started to look better since Rafa and his coaches arrived, and we actually came from behind to claim a draw last game, not the ideal result, but the effort to keep going and grab a late goal was something unusual from our team.

    I think we will stay up, I know it will be hard to achieve, but I think we have the right people now to do it.

  • 13 Blofal // Mar 26, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    Firebug I completely agree.

    My point was as per the video analysis we often get caught on the counter because both fullbacks have bombed forward along with the midfield leaving huge space for the opposition to run into when the ball is turned over. Our obsession with attacking to the point where we over commit has greatly contributed to our leaking defence.

    Rafa has fixed that already. We have been much more solid the last two games and both goals were scored against were from set plays. Now we just need to start breaking teams down and thats where I feel SDJ could play a vital role.

  • 14 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 26, 2016 at 2:05 PM

    Both games we generally looked a lot more organised and positioned better. We weren’t all over the place in relation to each other. There was better team balance. Hopefully by building from there, we can improve it and create more chances as a unit. We definitely have players who are capable of scoring a few goals.

  • 15 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 26, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    We hadn’t scored a goal in 5 attempts against Sunderland and had been beaten 6 in row. Even though it was a draw and we only scored 1, in 9 days and a cobbled together backline, we’ve done better than the previous managers over the last 6 games. Plus, we came back from behind which is another unlikely bonus.

    I hate international weekend. It’s crap with no league games on.

  • 16 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Mar 26, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    Yeah we look a lot tighter but we still lack movement off the ball like Sunday which made it easy for the Mackems to close us down resulting in the ball going back to Elliot who had to hooooooof it aimlessly up-field.

    Also our confidence shooting is poor again – against the Mackems had plenty of shots but they were powder-puff.
    Against Leicester frightened to pull the trigger when we had a chance.

    Pity Mitro is away could of been getting some coaching from our new attack coach – hope the rest of our forwards are.

    Sadly still thing we are going down

  • 17 firebug666 // Mar 26, 2016 at 2:42 PM


    Your analysis is good, and correct, however there have been signs of improvement already in those games, as the team grows in confidence (and imo they will) those fluffed shots will start to improve, while team cohesion will also come.


    I agree mate, I hate international breaks, but at least with this one Rafa will have more time to prepare the squad (those not on international duty that is) for Norwich, and he will have a few days with the others when they return.

    It could very well be a blessing in disguise for us.


    Yeah we do still lack movement, and still pass sideways and backwards far too much, but little changes can lead to big things……That’s the hope I have anyway.

  • 18 bladeuser // Mar 26, 2016 at 2:43 PM

    Don’t talk through your arse

  • 19 Mag52 // Mar 26, 2016 at 2:45 PM


    He might not get goals from open play, but Siem can take a mean free kick, and we haven’t had a player who can do that we’ll since, I suppose, Cabaye left.
    Unlike Laurent, I look forward to these international weekends. The prospect of our best taking on Germany and then Holland is mouthwatering.
    I enjoy them more in recent times probably because a NUFC game has been getting a bit too stressful for comfort.

  • 20 Essex Geordie Bill // Mar 26, 2016 at 3:05 PM

    Glad to see he wasn’t injured not playing in Holland last night.

  • 21 Essex Geordie Bill // Mar 26, 2016 at 3:07 PM

    I wonder if Rafa is working on Jonjo getting him to tie his laces properly.

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