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Sissoko Speaks Of His Relationship With Benitez

10:20 pm, Tuesday, June 7th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 77 Comments

Moussa Sissoko has made his play today to become an Arsenal player in the summer, and that may not be the last time we hear from Sissoko this summer about wanting to join a Champions League club.

Unfortunately we will hear more from Moussa – especially when he’s with the French squad for the Euro 2016 Championships taking place in France starting this Friday.

moussa sissoko rafa benitez spurs

Rafa Benitez with Moussa Sissoko

Newcastle signed Moussa from Toulouse in January of 2013, after Graham Carr had been watching him for some time.

It just so happens that before that Rafa Benitez while he was Liverpool manager wanted to sign a very young Sissoko.

Since Rafa left Liverpool in the summer of 2010 when Sissoko was 20 – he must have been a teenager when Rafa was interested in signing him  for The Reds.

Moussa has talked to Foot Mercato about Rafa and their relationship is a good one:

“Since Benitez arrived at Newcastle, I have had a very good relationship with him.”

“He is a coach that I already knew. When I was at Toulouse, he wanted me at Liverpool. I decided to stay at Toulouse because I was still young and I wanted to continue my development over there.”

“When he arrived, we were able to speak together.”  “Things went very well but sadly, we were unable to stay up.”

“But he and I have always had a good relationship.”

Certainly Rafa not only gets on  well with the 26 year-old Frenchman but made him the Newcastle captain too, because of the example Moussa set in training.

It’s just a pity Moussa cannot see that Rafa was already making a better player of him in the short time he coached him at thew end of last season – and if he would stay on Tyneside he would improve even more under the world-class coaching of Benitez.

But Moussa has this dream of playing for a Champions League club, which he will tell anyone who will listen to him.


If only he could see that with Rafa now in charge perhaps he’s at that club right now – and that it will not be too long before Rafa will have us competing in Europe again.

If Moussa does leave this summer, we should check to see how he’s doing and how Newcastle are doing two years from now.

It could be very interesting.

Comments welcome.

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

77 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jimmysmith // Jun 7, 2016 at 10:31 PM

    Rafa isn’t a soft touch Moussa. Earn your move at the Euro’s.

  • 2 lesh // Jun 7, 2016 at 10:33 PM


    No problem, these things happen

  • 3 ShirebrookToon // Jun 7, 2016 at 10:33 PM

    Mike Ashley’s not Santa clause…. WTF!!, my kids will be gutted now haha

  • 4 Average_Contents // Jun 7, 2016 at 10:35 PM

    I reckon he’s crushing grapes between the massive throbs on his fod.

    Probably got a bottle of wines worth this afternoon alone.

    Bet the cellars fcuking massive.

  • 5 Laurent Robert 32 // Jun 7, 2016 at 10:35 PM

    I don’t mind players who want to play at the highest level they can. That’s what they should be doing. I just find it very distasteful that Sissoko persistently seems to flaunt his services publicly. I do think he’s a good player, and with Rafa now here, it’d be nice to get a final product from him consistently.

    With his constant want-away comments, it’s just too disrespectful. So much so that he should probably leave so we can get some who is more committed.

  • 6 Average_Contents // Jun 7, 2016 at 10:35 PM

    It was lesh 🙂

  • 7 Laurent Robert 32 // Jun 7, 2016 at 10:36 PM

    I don’t mind players who want to play at the highest level they can. That’s what they should be doing. I just find it very distasteful that Sissoko persistently seems to flaunt his services publicly. I do think he’s a good player, and with Rafa now here, it’d be nice to get a final product from him consistently.

    With his constant want-away comments, it’s just too disrespectful. So much so that he should probably leave so we can get someone who is more committed.

  • 8 Average_Contents // Jun 7, 2016 at 10:36 PM

    Sick of hearing from this weasel now.

    Just fcukoff please.

  • 9 Laurent Robert 32 // Jun 7, 2016 at 10:36 PM


  • 10 Yo-yo // Jun 7, 2016 at 10:38 PM


    On hia day – Chelski when he first arrived ,and occasionally ever since he is really good, but he is just inconsistently motivated and that is not a winning philosophy So why would the Gooners wnat him ?
    Lets hope Palace have enough readies.

  • 11 Average_Contents // Jun 7, 2016 at 10:40 PM


    Shhhh. Don’t make that noise. You know who will be all over you like a dog with two….

  • 12 BandB // Jun 7, 2016 at 10:42 PM

    It was Lesh, AC.

  • 13 BandB // Jun 7, 2016 at 10:44 PM

    Though he may now explain how it wasn’t.

  • 14 welshgeordie9 // Jun 7, 2016 at 10:55 PM

    Will you lot grow up and talk football, you know that round thing that goes in the net, no wonder there’s no sod on here, ffs.

  • 15 benjohnsen // Jun 7, 2016 at 10:56 PM

    From an Arsenal page:

    “While such complimentary comments are always nice to hear, simply but harshly put, Sissoko is not a player that possesses enough quality to handle playing for the Gunners. He is not an improvement on Arsenal’s reserve midfielders, players like Mohamed Elneny and Jack Wilshere, and would still command a decent transfer fee.

    He is also lazy, unmotivated (although who can blame him playing in that Newcastle side) and does not fit the technical, possession based style of play that Wenger insists his sides play. Arsenal should be focusing on bringing in world-class players.”

    Enough said

  • 16 welshgeordie9 // Jun 7, 2016 at 10:57 PM

    And I’m talking about previous post as well.

  • 17 BandB // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:01 PM

    There are quite a few people on here after eight, compared to your heyday of blog killing, Welsh.

  • 18 Thump // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:03 PM

    @benjohnsen: Oh aye, the Arsenal fans aren’t happy about it like. Honestly, I’d argue that they’re being quite complimentary.

  • 19 BandB // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:03 PM

    Now happily passed.

  • 20 Tsunki // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:03 PM

    Welsh – any football topic? Shall we talk about sissoko endlessly? No ta.

  • 21 Tsunki // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:08 PM

    Well we all know the dangers of tinkering with teleportation technology, don’t we? Maybe Bobby ‘sappointment was to investigate that troublesome clump of bristles growing on his back? Or his urges to consume a box of doughnuts every ten minutes. Although to be fair the latter is probably a habit he may have picked up from his beloved leader

  • 22 BandB // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:09 PM

    Or on his palms.

  • 23 one fine day // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:19 PM

    Get rid and do it quick.
    Not good to have some player openly begging for a move .
    I’d be looking at getting top coin for him now as the last thing we need is him on our books and he picks up a niggle at the Euros (note I say niggle as he is hardly likely break a leg in a full blown tackle)
    Do it quick so we can spend time of getting in a player who wants to be here.
    Have to say he is only one in a long list who came here only as stepping stone .
    We can blame the club as much for using this as a tool to get players in .
    As for champs league … hope he has packed his tweezers .. he will need them

  • 24 welshgeordie9 // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:20 PM


    Blog killing my arse, you’ve been talking to jail to much, like I’ve said to him and i will say it to you, show me evidence to back your comment.

    Anyway carry on with talking crap to the others who should be talking about football.

  • 25 welshgeordie9 // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:21 PM

    Anyway, hope they give Townsend a new contract asap.

  • 26 Tsunki // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:24 PM

    I for one am sorry to hear about the uncomfortable effect the blog is having on your a**e Welsh . Perhaps if he can spare it, bobby can loan you his special cushion. Although it doesn’t seem to help him much 😀

  • 27 welshgeordie9 // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:25 PM

    On about vardy to Arsenal for 20 million, really for a player that’s had one good season, see if he scores double figures next season, Kane has done it twice in a row see if he can do the same, money on English players these days are a joke, no wonder clubs go abroad, I hope we don’t go to France again though.

    Ha ha ha

  • 28 Average_Contents // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:30 PM

    I know. So did you.

  • 29 welshgeordie9 // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:31 PM

    I know the window hasnt opened yet but there’s been no news on clubs linked with players i would like to get rid of like rivière, gourfran, cisse story has been slow, once those have gone plus toonbrothers favourite colo then i will be happy.

  • 30 BandB // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:34 PM

    Your arse Welsh?

    Anyone else remember the days when Welsh was sufficiently an annoyance to make after eight a no-go zone?

    Hands up. Welsh thinks we are even less bright than him.

    You won’t remember Lesh, obviously.

    You cant remember what you wrote yesterday.

  • 31 lesh // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:35 PM

    BandB, AC

    Forgive me, but what was lesh supposed to have done?

  • 32 BandB // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:38 PM

    It was dangerously controversial stuff Lesh.
    Not like you at all.

  • 33 Tsunki // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:38 PM

    I think it was when he got to the last page of his cornflake packet joke book. He ran out of ideas. These days he desperately tries to talk about football. 🙂 and don’t mention the horrible swans, that never goes down well at all. Or passports.

  • 34 Tsunki // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:39 PM

    I can’t even remember Lesh. What was he famous for? Don’t tell me I can guess

  • 35 BandB // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:40 PM

    I remember Lester Lesh.
    I think he was famous.

  • 36 welshgeordie9 // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:41 PM


    Is that all you’ve got, not really good evidence there mate.

  • 37 Tsunki // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:42 PM

    Wasn’t Lesh casually observing that the hospital appointment had to be a round trip achieved by a paradoxically athletic disabled man in a rocket attached by bungee? Certainly lit a fire that one.

  • 38 Belfast // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:44 PM

    I must confess I do miss the live from Leeds Royal infirmary intensive care unit sessions.

    Chilling in my coma & the morphine discos!

    Those where the days 🙂

  • 39 BandB // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:44 PM






    Not that nice Lester.

  • 40 Tsunki // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:44 PM

    Welsh that’s not all I’ve got. I have change for a pancake breakfast at Maccy D’s and a broken pencil with the rubber chewed off.

  • 41 welshgeordie9 // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:46 PM

    Desperately trying to talk about football, you are right though especially chatting to the ones that don’t know anything about the sport, it is hard work trying to educate them.

  • 42 beermonkey // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:47 PM

    Ha ha ha Welsh

    U deny ur blog killing days

    Almost all u do on here is wind up and start arguments
    Good luck to u but ur no better than nob villans

  • 43 Average_Contents // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:47 PM

    Yeah, those were the days eh.

    Him and jizz hand in hand.

    I thought it was around 18:00 ish tbh. Laughing at their own jokes, with snide remarks thrown in for good measure.

    I miss it….

    Waughty wesh. Waughty.

  • 44 Tsunki // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:47 PM

    Yes those were heady days indeed. Deathbed blogging at it’s most urgent. I notice Young Magpie From Beyond attempted to resurrect his reputation with scant success.

  • 45 BandB // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:47 PM

    Aw, bless!

  • 46 Average_Contents // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:49 PM

    Forgot about the deathbed blogging at the same time.

    Brought a tear to the eye that.

  • 47 BandB // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:49 PM

    I like Welsh though.
    A freckly bobbybee.

  • 48 bettyswallocks // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:52 PM

    Evening all. Much to discuss tonight. Where to begin?

  • 49 welshgeordie9 // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:53 PM

    Would you Adam and Eve it, they all coming out of the woodwork, thanks for the dig average, because you have never been like that on this blog have you, ganging up on one person, average always innocent just like his mates on here.

  • 50 bettyswallocks // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:54 PM

    One can have a lot of fun without laughing. What do you reckon Welshie.

  • 51 Average_Contents // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:55 PM

    I’ve noticed something that’s happened too often to be a coincidence (don’t believe in them)

    All these bloggers who take issue with anything bad said about fatty all have one thing in common.

    Either they’re ill or someone they know is.

    Strange that. Anyone care to have a stab.

  • 52 Average_Contents // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:56 PM

    Bed time for me.

    Up with the missus at 6am. Yay.

  • 53 BandB // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:57 PM

    I hope you have something to offer tonight beyond the usual dish of mind-changing, toilet humour, and studied mysogeny, betty.

  • 54 BandB // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:58 PM

    I’m er, “owt” too.

  • 55 bettyswallocks // Jun 7, 2016 at 11:59 PM

    BandB….. Any suggestions?

  • 56 BandB // Jun 8, 2016 at 12:00 AM

    I had quite enough fat-unattractive-bloke-with-an attitude from Mikey today.

  • 57 BandB // Jun 8, 2016 at 12:03 AM

    Football betty,
    Ian will be along in a mo to discuss Blair, Brown and the round ball game.
    You deserve it.

  • 58 bettyswallocks // Jun 8, 2016 at 12:08 AM

    All my fault then. Ok.

  • 59 bettyswallocks // Jun 8, 2016 at 12:17 AM

    Ida Craft’s got one on her tonight.

  • 60 BandB // Jun 8, 2016 at 12:22 AM

    I volunteer for a stab AC.

  • 61 Essex Geordie Bill // Jun 8, 2016 at 12:28 AM


    Sorry I fell asleep earlier, anything interesting being said on the blog tonight. In that case I’ll just go back to sleep again.

  • 62 jimmysmith // Jun 8, 2016 at 12:56 AM

    Ashley does give a very good impression of someone who’s created a monster grown fast out of control, despite his best earnest efforts to do the right thing. Hardly the blowtorch treatment. I notice SD shares are up. Pity they didn’t ask him a few pointed questions about how he’s been running Newcastle while they were about it.

    Have to admit though, the consumer doesn’t have much of a conscience. He’d hardly have gotten rich exploiting workers on too low wages, if there wasn’t such a massive market for the cheapest possible price.

  • 63 terencelim // Jun 8, 2016 at 1:41 AM

    At least Sissoko has ambition. Mike Ashley doesn’t have one.

  • 64 Jib // Jun 8, 2016 at 6:52 AM

    My word didn’t BandB and stumpie get themselves excited about the non-events in Westminster.

    I think when Ashley wasn’t led away in chains to the Tower they lost it a bit !

    So that’s what fearsome parliamentary committees are all about – meh

  • 65 Tsunki // Jun 8, 2016 at 7:11 AM

    Jib, am I “stumpie” now? That’s a bit poor even for you.

    I care so little about Mike’s interview I didn’t even read the details. Just another fat cat businessman exploiting the cheap labour market to the full. There’s plenty of them.

    it’s where Mike dabbles in footy I’m interested.

  • 66 LGFUAD21 // Jun 8, 2016 at 7:19 AM

    Though I still find his behaviour disrespectful.

    I feel we can do with selling him for a decent wad.

    We are gonna need funds to build a big squad (my main concern is that we don’t do big squads but we need one)

    I also feel that in some ways last season. Sissoko disrupts the whole makeup of the team. We wouldn’t sign a winger because we had him. But he’s not a winger. And he’s not consistent enough in front of goal to play central.

    One thing I hope. Is that we get the right prices for these players. We are being asked for £15m so McCormack so surely moussa is worth at least £15-20m

    I know that seems high but the new prem money has inflated prices for sure over the last couple of years.

  • 67 Jib // Jun 8, 2016 at 7:20 AM

    On reading and hearing copious amounts of guff on Monsieur Sissoko in the Freench media.

    I have come to the conclusion that Rafa is playing hardball with him (probably threatened to bench him for a season )

    If so , what a miscalculation by Moussa , if there is a time at NUFC when Benitez needs to stamp his authority on the club it’s now and trying to influence him through the media will just blow up in MS’ face.

  • 68 Tsunki // Jun 8, 2016 at 7:29 AM

    You can bet that sissokos attitude was corrosive enough to disrupt the dressing room, especially as he was deemed worthy of playing while expressing his wishes to leave, another vacillating display by the flimsy-quiffed smog. Entertaining players lacking professionalism and making up for it in greed helped us down no end.

  • 69 carl // Jun 8, 2016 at 7:38 AM

    Can you please look beyond the Jail claiming I am someone else – which I am not. You are a more interesting type than the hapless.

    Speaking for myself I have learnt boundaries not through formal codes, but social criticism. From parents, teachers, my employers and mates. Isn’t this is how we perceive the contours of acceptable behaviour, and rub along in harmony with those with whom we live and work. In the case of Ashley when power or success, or both, dissolves these boundaries, everything blurs. You do bad things, and instead of being rebuked, you hear only craven justification from flunkies. As far as our football club is concerned ok he’s a slow learner but he’s at long last doing the right thing. I realise you are likely to see this as a blatant own goal on my part but I can but try to get you see an alternative view.

  • 70 Lilongwe Geordie // Jun 8, 2016 at 7:38 AM

    So have Arsenal not signed Sissoko yet? I thought given their oft stated interest by Moussa, they would have moved quickly to sign him after his little love letter. Don’t want all those other interested Champions League teams getting in there first…..

    Rafa benching Sissoko and forcing him to stay will be just as detrimental to the moral and attitude in the club as keeping him last season was. If Rafa wants to screw with him, then only accept bids from mid to lower table sides, and reject any of the Champions League clubs bids. Although, that would require anyone above mid table actually thinking he would be a worthwhile acquisition….

  • 71 Jib // Jun 8, 2016 at 7:45 AM

    I prefer your plan “B”
    I will e-mail it to Rafa pronto

  • 72 Jib // Jun 8, 2016 at 7:47 AM

    Did you see our mad Georgian – Temuri Ketsbaia got the AEK Athens gig ?
    Possible future manager at NUFC ?

  • 73 Lilongwe Geordie // Jun 8, 2016 at 7:55 AM

    Yeah, I noticed that. I hope he lasts a bit longer than he did last time he took on the challenge at a Greek Club – Olympiakos I think, results were good, but something else triggered his departure after just a handful of games.

    He wanted the job after Pardew let didn’t he? Good club record as a manager. He would certainly be an entertaining appointment

  • 74 clinath@ed // Jun 8, 2016 at 7:55 AM

    Hadn’t thought of that option Lil….you have a devious mind young man. 😉

  • 75 clinath@ed // Jun 8, 2016 at 7:58 AM

    To gain control of a group it helps to make an example of one of them. Preferably high profile but not essential to the cause….Sissoko fits the bill perfectly.

  • 76 Lilongwe Geordie // Jun 8, 2016 at 8:03 AM

    Do we think Rafa is in a position where he needs to exert his authority by making an example of someone? I’d hope his collection of winners medals compared with the bottom half finishes and early cup exits would do that for him.

    I’d prefer us to give Sissoko what he wants, and ship him out ASAP. The guy is far from irreplaceable, and it will hopefully allow us to build a better balanced squad with a better group mentality. Offer him to Stoke to tempt them to pull out of any deal for Redmond, and then quickly get Redmond signed up.

  • 77 Jib // Jun 8, 2016 at 8:08 AM

    I’ve just read an interesting article on Davide Santon (too much crap on the site to post a link)
    The writer says a lot of decent managers have rated him , Mourinho , Mancini , Marcello Lippi said he was going to be the new Paolo Maldini.
    He’s still only 25 has a child with a Geordie lass , Chloe Sanderson and is looking for a transfer .
    Worth a punt ?

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