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Rafa Starting To Get The Best Out Of This Great Player

4:38 pm, Sunday, April 17th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 60 Comments

Rafa Benitez made the rather strange decision of making Moussa Sissoko the Newcastle captain for the vital game yesterday when he dropped Jonjo Shelvey, but it seemed to work because Moussa had a good game for a change – and he even scored his first goal of the season and then went bonkers when he ran over to the touchline where Benitez was.

So Rafa seems to have figured out how he can get the best out of the 35 times capped French International who has had a poor season for Newcastle – so far.


Moussa Sissoko rifles the ball home for Newcastle’s second goal

This is what Rafa said in the Chronicle about Moussa:

“I am really pleased with him because since I came here, the only thing I can say is that he’s been really good in terms of his work on the pitch, the things he is trying to do in the training sessions and also the relationships he has with a lot of the players.” 

“He is someone that they can see as a very influential player with a lot of our French players, and I think it is important because he is so good that he has confidence. It is a boost for him and also for the team.

“We have a lot of players who talk French, so then you need someone like him who is a big name for them and they can see he is a good player, a great player and if he is performing and working as hard as he has been working, the others have to follow him.”

Moussa has been so disappointing this season, but if we he can come to life in the remaining five games of the season then maybe he can help us even survive in the Premier League.

It’s a fact that when Moussa plays well the team plays well and that was certainly true yesterday.

And from what Rafa is saying today it seems that  Coloccini may not make it back before the end of the season with that calf injury of his, so it’s important that Moussa perform as one of our remaining senior players.

If having the captaincy is such a spur to the Frenchman then we assume Rafa will keep him on as captain – and it could be an unchanged starting line up against Manchester City on Tuesday night.

That will be a very tough game for us, but we have to try to win the game somehow – we need the points to avoid being relegated.

And we were assuming Moussa will be sold whether we go down or stay up next month, but it may be if we stay up Rafa wants to keep him in the squad.

Wonder what Rafa is doing to try to get the best out of Gini Wijnaldum, who had another quiet game yesterday?

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Management · Moussa Sissoko · Newcastle News · Premier League

60 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tsunki // Apr 17, 2016 at 4:42 PM

    Ashley Out!

  • 2 Tsunki // Apr 17, 2016 at 4:45 PM

    This has to be motivational talk. Or rather to stop him from cheesing everyone off. Hes the least able ball controller we have and but for his toe poke (usually when he’s in the box he’s in the way) he should have been pulled at half time. I can only think his prolific running is unsettling for the opposition.

  • 3 Jail for Ashley // Apr 17, 2016 at 4:45 PM

    So does the shite house Collocini come back in as captain maybe to risky to rock the boat at this stage.

  • 4 c-dog // Apr 17, 2016 at 4:49 PM

    Coloccini over Mbemba any day. Mbemba is physically superior but mentally he is not there. He looks like a raving lunatic. Young so maybe he will develop.

  • 5 Tsunki // Apr 17, 2016 at 4:50 PM

    Not that I think this defence is going to withstanding the terrors of Aguero and his pals, but I hope that the usual cronies don’t waltz back in on past reputation. Especially our bubble-bonced Bottler and the terminally hapless Taylor. Keep the four we had against swansea and yes maybe a fiery baptism but good prep for the year to come.

  • 6 Belfast // Apr 17, 2016 at 5:09 PM

    Great player in his own house.

  • 7 goosegog // Apr 17, 2016 at 5:32 PM

    i think sissoko had a good debut since then he has been useless,tiotte is embarresing.dejong is the only midfielder with a brain

  • 8 The next Mike Williamson // Apr 17, 2016 at 5:35 PM

    janmaat has been one of our better players over two seasons, he’ll be a lot better in a team that plays wingbacks or a team that plays high up the pitch.

    when sissoko plays good the team plays good. aye that’s because when he doesn’t play good we are playing with 10 men, 9 when Gini goes missing, 8 when cisse is on the pitch.

  • 9 NoahJ // Apr 17, 2016 at 5:43 PM

    I actually thought he had a poor game yesterday; he took his goal well, but it was lucky to drop to him at 6 yards out

  • 10 goosegog // Apr 17, 2016 at 5:43 PM

    if i threw a cushion at sissoko it would bounce about 4 foot away and janmaat is probably the worst defender ive seen at the club.anita aint the greatest but he was way better than janmaat

  • 11 toon kk // Apr 17, 2016 at 5:54 PM

    We’re in for a good thumping off palace when we play them.
    City will show us how to play on Tuesday night also.
    I’m actually looking forward to next season in the championship when hopefully we can compete.

  • 12 bettyswallocks // Apr 17, 2016 at 6:00 PM

    There’s lots of discussion on sky now about who ‘ll be player of the season. Not as much as a mention for any of our lot!

  • 13 Tsunki // Apr 17, 2016 at 6:02 PM

    Not even Elliot? Shame that.

  • 14 Tsunki // Apr 17, 2016 at 6:05 PM

    Toon kk your flowery optimism is overpowering let’s have a dose of reality please 🙂

  • 15 Mag52 // Apr 17, 2016 at 6:10 PM

    The back four which played against Swansea should (barring injuries of course) remain in place for the rest of the season.
    Janmaat, my tip as captain at the beginning of the season, has been so poor, the sooner we get shot of him the better.
    Those who have more or less assumed a win for us when Palace visit,could be in for a shock. Palace, with four strikers on, coming back from a goal down at the Emirates earlier this evening, and with no relegation worries, will be a handful, I kid you not.

  • 16 toon kk // Apr 17, 2016 at 6:15 PM

    Don’t tell me you’ve enjoyed the drabble we’ve had on show over the last two seasons?
    A win yesterday doesn’t make up for our season.
    I am being realistic, we wouldn’t be in this mess if the board had been more realistic to what our squad was capable of. They only get away with it because of fans willing to pay for the opportunity to watch dross.
    Get real.

  • 17 wolfshead@toon // Apr 17, 2016 at 6:28 PM

    its refreshing to see realism yesterday was a stay of execution rather than a reprieve

  • 18 Jail for Ashley // Apr 17, 2016 at 6:37 PM

    toon kk,
    I find you one of the most thoroughly depressing characters to post on here.

  • 19 Bambams // Apr 17, 2016 at 6:48 PM

    I don’t think Colo will play for us again.

    Rafa has been saying all along that confidence was the missing ingredient. If he changes the team now all the confidence from the 3-0 will be for nothing.

  • 20 Belfast // Apr 17, 2016 at 6:50 PM

    You’ve got a depressing aura toonkk. Very few inspirational quotes coming from you.

  • 21 toon kk // Apr 17, 2016 at 6:52 PM

    Only because the football we’ve had to endure has been depressing.
    Sorry mate but I’m not going to wrap us up in roses after our diabolical season.
    I only say it how it is, not like some who think we’re capable of being in Europe.
    Often the truth hurts.

  • 22 wolfshead@toon // Apr 17, 2016 at 6:53 PM

    aura lol do you read tea bags as well belfast

  • 23 Belfast // Apr 17, 2016 at 6:54 PM

    Yes a do, but they must be Tetley tea bags lol

  • 24 wolfshead@toon // Apr 17, 2016 at 6:54 PM

    leaves* haha

  • 25 toon kk // Apr 17, 2016 at 6:58 PM

    Look at the table, that’s what I call depressing, along with the quality of our football.
    Great win yesterday though, I’m really pleased for Rafa he deserves a win especially for his birthday.
    A good lift for everyone.

  • 26 Belfast // Apr 17, 2016 at 6:58 PM

    Bags or leaves I’m easy, must be tetley though.

  • 27 Belfast // Apr 17, 2016 at 7:05 PM

    I still think we’re doomed myself. Beat Man City and I might think differently.

  • 28 Jail for Ashley // Apr 17, 2016 at 7:08 PM

    Beat MCity and I’m going to down a pint of Listerene!

  • 29 toon kk // Apr 17, 2016 at 7:18 PM

    I think the whole of Newcastle got a big lift yesterday, we just need to get a good result against City to give us some hope.

  • 30 Belfast // Apr 17, 2016 at 7:20 PM

    Make sure it’s the green burny one and do a couple of shots of domestos for afterwards. 🙂

  • 31 Ketsbaia9 // Apr 17, 2016 at 7:28 PM

    If we beat City I’ll drink 50 tosses worth of semen.

  • 32 Ketsbaia9 // Apr 17, 2016 at 7:29 PM

    Been saving it like.

  • 33 Tsunki // Apr 17, 2016 at 7:29 PM

    A drabble is a short work of fiction of around one hundred words in length. The purpose of the drabble is brevity, testing the author’s ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in a confined space.

    If that’s aimed at me Toon kk, that hurts I have to say.

  • 34 Tsunki // Apr 17, 2016 at 7:31 PM

    Ketsy I think you may well have just stolen my limelight just a little bit there. A bit.

  • 35 Tsunki // Apr 17, 2016 at 7:33 PM

    Have to say mixed feelings of hoping for a win against City now. 😐

  • 36 toon kk // Apr 17, 2016 at 7:33 PM

    Get yourself down to the Dr’s mate,
    Sad thoughts if your thinking about slerping semen. Ha.

  • 37 Average_Contents // Apr 17, 2016 at 7:46 PM

    Dirty kets. Dirty.

    Gave me a chuckle but also a little bit of sick too.

    Seriously though, I’d go and see a specialist about that.

  • 38 Ketsbaia9 // Apr 17, 2016 at 7:46 PM

    Knowing us, we’ll probably beat Man City 5-0 and then lose the remaining 4 games.

  • 39 spaghetti bandit // Apr 17, 2016 at 7:50 PM

    Kets.. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ??

  • 40 beermonkey // Apr 17, 2016 at 7:59 PM


    just urs or others

  • 41 toon kk // Apr 17, 2016 at 8:02 PM

    I never get personal mate, it’s only a football blog.
    As far as I was aware drabble can also mean a meaningless short story.
    Hence our meaningless season.

  • 42 Ketsbaia9 // Apr 17, 2016 at 8:02 PM

    Can’t disclose that const.

  • 43 Tsunki // Apr 17, 2016 at 8:10 PM

    Toon kk now that really hurts spelling it out like that. 🙂

  • 44 toon kk // Apr 17, 2016 at 8:19 PM

    Try not to cry mate, we don’t want you getting all upset!!!!!

  • 45 beermonkey // Apr 17, 2016 at 8:21 PM

    i say seek help but i think we all know how ur going to pay for it

    rather than talk about kets and how he enjoys his time away from the toon

    if and its a IF we go down and rafa stays would we be able to attract prem quality players to the club
    its alot easier to sell the club with him here

    does any1 now how the trialist got on and anymore on the bloke he had at liverpool not sure didnt he do some scouting for rafa

  • 46 nufcalex // Apr 17, 2016 at 8:25 PM

    Jonjo shouldn’t have been made captain straight away anyway after a few games, you can’t go into a club and taken the captains arm band and expect all the players to respect you straight away, that was a poor decision for moral of the team.

  • 47 Tsunki // Apr 17, 2016 at 8:32 PM

    Toon kk I could explain how upset I am buy I think it would take more than 100 words.

    Beer monkey – best post of the day. For changing the subject.

  • 48 Tsunki // Apr 17, 2016 at 8:33 PM

    I wonder if Ian Toon has heard of a Drabble?

  • 49 toonbrother // Apr 17, 2016 at 8:33 PM

    He is GREAT player
    We are lucky to have him

  • 50 hibbitt // Apr 17, 2016 at 8:34 PM

    just dont get beat off city a point from them would be a massive lift just keep it tight and don’t get beat
    keep the faith

  • 51 Tsunki // Apr 17, 2016 at 8:36 PM

    I don’t think colo is fit yet toonbrother. But I know what you mean. He’s just dreamy.

  • 52 hibbitt // Apr 17, 2016 at 8:37 PM


    trialist which /who trialist ??????

  • 53 Tsunki // Apr 17, 2016 at 8:37 PM

    Hibbit with some hindsight I think Ketsy might take your option.

  • 54 beermonkey // Apr 17, 2016 at 8:43 PM


    rafa bought some spanish kid in 16 i think

  • 55 toonbrother // Apr 17, 2016 at 8:50 PM

    shame it took so long to implement the defensive configuration i’ve been calling for since the start of the season
    lascelles + mbemba in central defense
    if these two had played together all season, we’d be in the top 10 by now

  • 56 beermonkey // Apr 17, 2016 at 8:50 PM


  • 57 toon kk // Apr 17, 2016 at 8:52 PM

    A home game is a good start for us,
    Playing against a inform city will be tough but hopefully our Swansea result will have given us a confidence boost.

  • 58 toon kk // Apr 17, 2016 at 8:56 PM

    Saylor shouldn’t be anywhere near our first team ever again. He’s caused mayhem in our already fragile defence.

  • 59 jimmysmith // Apr 17, 2016 at 9:19 PM

    Yes, you might think both Sissoko’s and Widjnaldum’s morale took a battering when Shelvey was given the armband so quickly after arriving, and wonder how Widjnaldum still feels about it. De Jong might have been the best choice, had he been able to nail down a place, but his lack of minutes continues under Rafa, which disappoints me. I thought Rafa might get the best from him, although he’s now struggled to break in under successive managers, and so it looks like he won’t become a significant player for us.

  • 60 beefman13 // Apr 17, 2016 at 9:33 PM

    Great player Ed!!! honestly mate, great players are consistent, he certainly isnt, the amount of times he did stuff yesterday with no end product as he has done for most of this season, the goal was a snap shot, otherwise he dosnt know what he is doing, he runs away clutching the badge, what a joker, he should be ashamed of himself, and to be fair not just him, this toon team have been disgraceful for 75 per cent of this season.

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