Rafa Benitez had again been talking in glowing terms about French International midfielder Moussa Sissoko, who he has made his Newcastle captain and if we survive this season and Rafa stays at the club – don´t be surprised if Moussa continues as captain next season.
It´s surprising, because Moussa never seemed to care too much this season or last season, but there´s no doubt at all the 26 year-old has been revitalized and rejuvenated by Rafa Benitez’ arrival at Newcastle.
Moussa has been playing as well as he ever has on Tyneside – and in these vital times that´s just great to see.
Moussa Sissoko challenges Adam Lallana on Saturday
Moussa is helping Rafa with the French players in getting his points across during games and also in training.
The Newcastle manager was asked about how he is finding communicating with the players, with so many French-speaking players in the squad:
“I need to practice my French.” “I learnt in school and I was quite good, but so many years I was talking in English or Italian, and Spanish.”
“I talked to Mbemba earlier in French, sometimes I try to talk to him and I was trying to remember my French.”
“It’s quite difficult to do the job, because you need to communicate in different languages. There are things you have to tell the players.”
“You can do different things – you can use the video but you have to say something.”
“At half-time you have to explain things, little details very clearly, and can I do that in French?”
“No, it has to be in English but some of them cannot understand English, so how do you explain little things so they will understand?”
“Sissoko I think is really important,” “I was trying to explain some little things in training; little details to Mbemba and some others players in French and in English.”
“And afterwards Sissoko was helping me, telling them how you want them to do things and to do specific things like this.”
“He has been important both on and off the training field.”
“Sissoko is a good example for the other players.” “I was not choosing him as a captain because he was running a lot and that’s it, it was because how he was behaving himself in training sessions.
“He is someone who listens to you and works hard.”
“He is good with players and he is helping me with some French players. I can talk a little bit of French but obviously when you want to say something important, he can translate.”
“It’s good for the team to see someone who is working so hard in every training session and during the games, playing at this level.”
“Hopefully he can keep the level and the others can follow him.”
It´s obvious Moussa is being very helpful to Rafa and he appreciates the example Moussa is setting in training and also during games.
If we survive and Rafa stays, it´s hard to see the Spanish manager allowing one of his favorite players to leave the club.
But we will only know which league we will be playing in next season at 5:00 pm on 15th May after the home game ends against Tottenham.
And also we will know soon after that whether Rafa Benitez will still be with us next season – whichever league we are in.
Whether Rafa stays or goes will be massive for the Newcastle United club.
If he stays, whether we are relegated or not, Newcastle could be a top team in England in a short two or three years.