World-Class Newcastle Player Seems More Subdued

There’s general agreement among pundits, Newcastle fans and Arsenal fans that Moussa Sissoko made a right fool of himself (what – again?) last week, when he almost pleaded with Arsenal to sign him – the club of his dreams.

And at the same time he sent a message to Newcastle and Rafa Benitez saying he thought they would understand that a player of his caliber simply couldn’t play in the Championship next season – and so he hoped the club would agree to let him go to a bigger club that plays in the Champions League.

More hogwash from Moussa and we’re sure Benitez behind the scenes contacted his agents rather quickly to let them know in no uncertain terms – he didn’t appreciate those comments for  Sissoko and didn’t want to hear any more of that stuff (there’s another word for it) from his midfielder.


Moussa Sissoko – thinks he’s world class but isn’t

And the statements Newcastle and Rafa himself put out after the outburst will have been seen by other potential want-away stars at the club.

The message is that Rafa and the club will decide whether they leave or not – and not the players or their agents.

It was a good message coming from the club  and that will have Daryl Janmaat and Gini Wijnaldum at least thinking twice about whether they will be leaving Newcastle this summer.

We expect Andros Townsend to want to stay on Tyneside and hopefully sign a new deal for us.

Maybe some players will leave in August, but it will only be if Newcatsle get a huge fee for them, because financially we don’t have to sell.

Maybe Moussa has learned from his latest stupid remarks in front of French journalists – which is getting just a little tiresome these days.

In a press conference this morning Sissoko seemed more subdued about wanting to leave Newcastle:

“I am fully focused on Euro 2016 and Les Bleus. I will deal with my club situation after that,”

“Albania are compact and tough. They will be a difficult side to play against. We will have to press them and suffocate them if we can.”

“We were all shocked by what happened in Marseille. We hope this is the last time we hear about anything like this,” he said,

“Some people go to places just to create problems, it’s not what we want to see.”

Moussa will not return to pre-season at Newcatsle until maybe late July – depending on how France do in the European Championships, but all our other players will be back on June 28th hopefully.

Comments welcome.

34 comments so far

  • cyprus

    Jun 13, 2016 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #1

    Good point that. What is the ideal age of a striker, if there is such a thing. For instance Defoe is a bit like old wine. Damn him.

    Maybe 26?

    How old is Hazard? I think that guy will hit his peak now. The Ronaldo Messi pair are probably past the amazing heights?

    Carl, JFA, Spoof read your points, thanks. I think only JFA had a question, regarding Enrique… yes I think he’s our best ever there. Not much competition, usually. Our defense is traditionally crap, including the entertainers.

    On Sissoko, I’m with Rafa on this rather than you Ed. He’s a very good player. Who’s ambitious, ok. He wants out though. So let him go.

  • cyprus

    Jun 13, 2016 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #2

    I know Hazard isn’t a CF, or the others, strictly speaking. I think the former will be player of the tournament.

  • jayphoto

    Jun 13, 2016 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #3

    Strikers age surely depends on their conditioning, lifestyle, and style of play. Ibra is 34 but has amazing conditioning and makes the right sacrifices and just had the best season of his career, seems to get better as he gets older. Contrast to Michael owen who was on the decline aged 25.
    Think pace starts to go around 31-32 years old. Im 31 at the moment, and still train MMA but don’t compete anymore but i can tell the recovery time is much longer and I have to work much harder than when I was 24-25 so a players desire and mentality is key to keep working harder still, Ronaldo be a good example of this.
    Think how many games they have played counts too. Rooney at 30 has played more games than most guys will play in their whole career and as such has declined hugely from the player he once was.
    If a player relies on technique, positioning and intelligence then usually they can play into their late 30’s no problem but if they rely on athletic prowess, pace, power I think the decline is rapid from about 32.

  • jayphoto

    Jun 13, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #4

    My bet is Sissoko is subdued for a few reasons
    1) The club have told him he’s going nowhere unless someone offers [enter silly amount here]
    2) His agent has told him no one is offering said silly amount
    3) He was relying on having a storming euro tournament to drum up interest and he’s just realised hes going to be a bit part player to see out games in all likelihood.

  • NoahJ

    Jun 13, 2016 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #5

    I assume the headline of this article is tongue in cheek; there is nothing world class about sissoko. He is a good player, don’t get me wrong, but his game is one-dimensional (strength and plough-through on the break); he doesn’t read games well and his passing/ crossing is nowhere near good enough.
    Above all, his attitude is the worst. does he really think that arsenal like him making embarrassing pleas like this?

    sell him for £15m+ or else keep him and make him fulfill the contract he signed

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Jun 13, 2016 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #6

    strikers who don’t rely on pace can maintain form into mid thirties easy. players who have nothing but pace are often done by 27. especially as they tend to get injured more. I would have sold cisse a few years ago anticipating his decline. at 27 or 28 you can still get a good price, knowing they’re going to lose pace soon.

  • jimmysmith

    Jun 13, 2016 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #7

    Rooney is a different player now that he’s lost a yard. Not as fantastic, but still excellent, as evidenced by his high quality performance in midfield against the Russians. His “decline” seems far worse than it actually is because he has been somewhat exposed by United’s stuttering last few seasons post Ferguson, and a few niggling injuries. Still top notch, just not while playing up top nowadays.

  • Mister Tuff

    Jun 13, 2016 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #8

    Transfer window.
    Posted about this last week.
    It is the 1st July when it opens.
    Sky have it wrong – last week saw on a Sky page (cannot find it now) that it was the 9th June -on the same page as a backdrop there was a large screen shot which said it was the 1st July.
    Sky are still saying 9th June – wrong.

    Definitely 1st July.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Jun 13, 2016 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #9

    torres, Owen and fat Ronaldo are the best examples of rapid decline in pacy strikers. Rooney and walcott are almost done too. It will be interesting to see how messi and Ronaldo will cope over the next four years.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Jun 13, 2016 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #10

    Rooney has other assets which can be used in midfield. also has strength to play with back to goal.

  • Bobbybee

    Jun 13, 2016 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #11

    The Spain side looks somewhat formidable to put it mildly. Does anybody remember what a good player Gabrelle Sellassie was the the Czech Republic in the last tournament? As I recall he was dynamite, which got him a move to Germany. I see he’s playing today and will be be interested to see how he’s progressed since then. Can’t say I’ve heard him mentioned since those days.

  • jayphoto

    Jun 13, 2016 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #12

    interesting with pace, I always thought Sterling was rapid but against Russia there was a couple instances where he couldn’t get away from the russian defender in a straight foot race
    Missed a trick not brining Vardy on when they went 1-0 up. Russian pushed on and had a high line, Vardys pace would have countered that.
    Not complaining, I won a couple hundred betting on the draw the moment Hodgson bought Milner on. Instantly thought, theres no way England have the defense to sit back, contain and see this out and Milner coming on showed that was the intention. If your strength is in attack then for me to try and win 2-0 when you lead by a goal is more sense than to try and see it out 1-0.
    Russia are poor too, Wales will work much harder and have 7 players that will cover miles and miles whilst in Gareth Bale they have the best player in the tournament. Ramsey and Williams are also very good premier league players.

  • jayphoto

    Jun 13, 2016 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #13

    I don’t think Rooney is finished, but I don’t think he fits with how England are trying to play which seems to be quick counter attack and quick passing and movement. He played well against Russia but for me it disrupts England with hodgson trying to force him in somewhere.
    For me, when all fully fit, englands best side at the euros is a 4-1-2-1-2 with the players available
    Walker, Stones, Smalling, Rose
    Wilshire Alli
    Sturridge Kane/Vardy ( if im honest I find Kane a bit wasteful at international level. Still young and a top striker but just wastes a lot. Vardys running and pressing makes him a plus for me. Vardy is perfect in the sense that if you play 2 upfront he covers the running that you lose from having one less in midfield. Don’t like him up front on his own but in a 2 he seems to go well. Reminds me of Bellamy.
    To be honest, the team I would have taken would have been a 4-3-3
    Wilshire Dier Alli
    TOWNESEND Sturridge Sterling
    When fit sturridge for me is the most talented striker we have.
    Think its a little early for Rashford to be there, would have taken Carroll purely for impact as he offers a different option late in games.

  • Small World

    Jun 13, 2016 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #14

    Just come back from the box office, after renewing our tickets. Turns out so far they’ve sold just over 3,000 season tickets to folk who didn’t have them last year.

    Any on here?

  • martoon

    Jun 13, 2016 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #15

    Tuff @8 – thanks for clarifying that. Presumably clubs doing deals now are pre-contract agreements until 1 July?

  • Mister Tuff

    Jun 13, 2016 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #16

    martoon – I guess that is the case re the so far publicised transfers.

  • Mister Tuff

    Jun 13, 2016 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #17

    Those Russian Ultras have got Twitter webpages – checked it out earlier (with help form Google translate).
    Very disturbing indeed.

  • Bobbybee

    Jun 13, 2016 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #18

    Bit of a one sided first half with Spain dominating, but the CR far from out of it. Definitely like to see Salassie at SJP as a replacement for Janmaat. Reads the game well and quite quick to boot. Cech has kept them in the game with some quality keeping when required, but it looks like just a matter of time before Spain breech the defence. Rosicky still looks useful in midfield for a 35 year old. Should be a decent second half to look forward to.

  • martoon

    Jun 13, 2016 at 2:57 PM

    Comment #19

    Tuff @17 – They are very disturbing indeed – If you can find them why can’t the French authorities find and track them down?

  • Bobbybee

    Jun 13, 2016 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #20

    Martoon, they can, but they don’t want to. The WC in Russia will be a massive flop. They’re where we were in the 70’s ffs. Craziness.

  • Jack Root

    Jun 13, 2016 at 3:15 PM

    Comment #21

    An up date: Interesting perspective:

    The Uefa Executive Committee has warned both football associations that – irrespective of any decisions taken by the independent disciplinary bodies relating to incidents inside the stadium – it will not hesitate to impose additional sanctions on the Football Association and the Russian Football Union, including the potential disqualification of their respective teams from the tournament, should such violence occur again.”

    Given Uefa’s traditional lack of moxie, that could amount to an unwise game of Call My Bluff. Russia’s next match, against Slovakia on Wednesday, is in Lille – 24 miles from Lens, where England play Wales the following day. Wayne Rooney and Roy Hodgson have asked supporters to behave, an endearing and almost certainly futile gesture. The French interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, wants a complete booze ban. “I have asked for all necessary measures to be taken to prohibit the sale, consumption and transport of alcoholic drinks in sensitive areas on match days and the day before, and on days when fan zones are open.”

    The problem with this is that, according to many witnesses, most of the Russian fans were entirely sober. And imaginary data shows that the average Russian hooligan can drink four litres of paint stripper and still be under the drink-driving limit. “Respect for Russian Hooligans,” said @russian_ultras on Twitter yesterday. “Real fighters not fat [effin’] drinker of Guiness (sic).”

    “England has had its problems with hooligans in the past,” said Mark Roberts, the head of Britain’s Euro 2016 policing operation. “But the Russians are entirely different – they are like nothing we have seen before. They are highly organised and determined to carry out sustained violent attacks at a level of aggression I have not encountered in the past 10 years. Our spotters in Marseille saw them putting in gum shields and putting on martial arts gloves and bandanas before attacking England fans in the port. We know some were carrying knives because one England fan was stabbed. They wore a kind of uniform – all in black t-shirts and clothing and most carried bum bags, possibly to conceal weapons.”

    Whatever happens, football will surely learn a few lessons in policing and planning before the next major tournament, the 2018 World Cup. Where’s that being held again?

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jun 13, 2016 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #22

    would anyone take Rosicky 35 years old like but has been released by Arsenal
    Might do a job for the TOON

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jun 13, 2016 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #23

    small world.

  • Mister Tuff

    Jun 13, 2016 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #24

    martoon – you would think (from an English perspective) that the French authorities would be going through all the footage (copious amount) and identifying the thugs -getting stills and forwarding them to the Lille cops to pick of any thugs they spot who have arrived for the next game.
    I bet it doesn’t happen though.

    The Russian Ultras will cause further bother though.

  • loonie-toon

    Jun 13, 2016 at 3:24 PM

    Comment #25

    I see 2 English fans been jailed cos of the rioting

  • dok - the horrid colonial

    Jun 13, 2016 at 3:28 PM

    Comment #26

    ive been planning to go to the world cup in 2018 for two years now.. all this stupidity is making me think otherwise now…

  • martoon

    Jun 13, 2016 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #27

    Tuff @24 – You’re probably spot on. The French authorities seem to have been caught out by these Russian Ultras but surely with a bit of intelligence they could have been prepared!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jun 13, 2016 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #28

    I wouldn’t go anywhere near the place, the crooks that awarded Russia and Qatar the tournaments are going to see people killed for their greed.

  • dok - the horrid colonial

    Jun 13, 2016 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #29


    you’re probably right, just was hoping to achieve a very difficult bucket list entry…

    probably just spend that money on trips to St James instead 🙂

  • welshgeordie9

    Jun 13, 2016 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #30

    about bloody time……….. A goal.

    1-0 Spain.

  • welshgeordie9

    Jun 13, 2016 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #31

    Thought England never get it right when picking the right players for tournaments, but Spain how the hell can you drop David Villa and Diego Costa.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jun 13, 2016 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #32

    what F***in planet are those dicks on!!!
    A senior Russian Football Union official and ultra-nationalist politician said Monday that the country’s fans were right to fight England supporters at Euro 2016.

    Igor Lebedev, who sits on the RFU executive committee and is also a deputy speaker in parliament, said on Twitter: “I don’t see anything wrong with fans fighting.”

    “Quite the opposite, the guys did well. Keep it up!” said Lebedev, a member of the ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia headed by his father Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

    He said the violence was “not the fans’ fault”. Lebedev blamed French police’s “inability to organise such events.”

    Lebedev also claimed in a separate interview with tabloid website that Russians were provoked by England supporters and suggested Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko would have enjoyed joining in the clashes.

    “I personally think that if Mutko was with the fans on the stands and not an official, he would also go and fight the English fans since they were the ones who started it,” Lebedev said.

    Mutko has said Russian hooligans are “disgracing the country” ahead of its 2018 hosting of the World Cup.

    Lebedev’s comments came as Russia faces the threat of disqualification from Euro 2016 and a British fan remained in a critical condition after fights in Marseille during and after the England-Russia match on Saturday.

    The RFU on Sunday urged fans to behave properly to avoid UEFA sanctions against the national side. UEFA has said Russia and England could face disqualification if there is further fan violence.

    Lebedev criticised officials and politicians for “branding our fans,” however. “We need to defend them: they’ll come home and then we’ll work out what happened.”

    A Moscow city lawmaker, Maxim Motin, told Dozhd television on Sunday that he witnessed the stadium violence in Marseille and “Russian fans did not do anything criminal or outside the limits.”

  • Bobbybee

    Jun 13, 2016 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #33

    Another fair result, although Spain made hard work of it. That’s why I mentioned Rosicky earlier, at 35 he still looks fit enough and has always had the talent. He’d probably come as well, with Rafa there. Still like Salassie. Would we ever go so leftfield? Great in the air as well. Very underrated imo. Not seen too much of him, but he’s never had a bad game in the times I have.

  • Bobbybee

    Jun 13, 2016 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #34

    Sing, I’ve heard these ultras have been paid to fight for the motherland ffs. Travel and tickets etc paid for. Even talks of training camps, if you can believe that, so it comes as no surprise to hear a politician defend it. What can you do? The lunatics run the asylum. World cup should be taken off them, as it would be if it was us. Who’s going to want to go to the WC when government policy is to support the brain dead? You seriously could not make this shit up


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