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Howay The Lads!!

First Hayden Interview – Rafa The Only Manager I Want To Play For

12:51 pm, Monday, July 11th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 51 Comments

It looks like it didn’t take too long for Rafa Benitez to persuade Isaac Hayden that his future lay at Newcastle United under the tutelage of the famous former Valencia and Liverpool manager.

It turns out that Rafa was in London in mid-June and talked at length to Isaac about his game, about tactics and at the end of the two hour long meeting Isaac only wanted to join Rafa at Newcastle.

isaac hayden a benton

Isaac Hayden photographed at Benton

Benitez’ persuasive powers with players is very well known and Rafa seems to just love talking to players about football, their skills, about tactics and areas they can improve in.

This is what Hayden told nufcTV today about the meeting with Rafa in London in mid-June:

“I met him in London in the middle of June and we had a good, two-hour long conversation.” “He explained a few things to me, what to improve and what I’m good at.”

“It was good to know he’s obviously been watching my games and things like that. For me, as soon as that meeting was done, I knew that this was the only place for me to come.”

“He is the only manager I want to play under and learn from.”

“It was brilliant. He was talking to me about tactical things, things that he’d learnt in the past – everything.”

“So for me to have that initially was massive, and as soon as I left that meeting I knew that this was the right place for me to come.”

“To meet him like that was fantastic and to work under him now is going to be even better and I think that the main thing I got from that meeting is I’m 100% going to be a better player.”

“I’m going to learn a lot from him while he’s my manager so it was a no-brainer to come here.” “It’s not just Benitez who Hayden is looking forward to playing for, either.”

“All of the stories I’ve heard about the fans have been fantastic,” “They come out in their thousands which is what you want to see, and to get the opportunity to play in front of them and show them what I’m capable of and play with the passion that I know they like.”

“I think we’ll get on great.”

You know we think Issac must have been fairly impressed with Rafa at that meeting – just a wild guess.


Certainly the former Arsenal player comes across really well in that interview and all he wants to do at Newcastle is to improve as a player.

Sounds good to us and he looks another excellent signing for Newcastle.

Howay The Lads!!

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Contracts · Isaac Hayden · Newcastle News · Recruitment · Transfer News and Rumours · Transfer Target

51 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Jul 11, 2016 at 12:56 PM

    Excellent article in on line by Luke Edwards on Sissoko.

    ‘Moussa Sissoko’s brilliance for France was not a surprise for Newcastle, it was a slap in the face’

  • 2 martoon // Jul 11, 2016 at 12:56 PM

    “I met him in London in the middle of June and we had a good, two-hour long conversation.” – could that not be classed as ‘tapping up’?
    “He is the only manager I want to play under and learn from.” – A bit of a slap in the face for Wenger!

  • 3 Jib // Jul 11, 2016 at 12:57 PM

    Moussa Sissoko’s brilliance for France was not a surprise for Newcastle, it was a slap in the face

    Luke Edwards

  • 4 Jib // Jul 11, 2016 at 12:58 PM

    Georginio Wijnaldum is set to beg the Newcastle United management to allow him to leave the club according to a report from the Daily Mirror.

  • 5 Average_Contents // Jul 11, 2016 at 12:59 PM

    Fcuking hell rafa laaaa slow down, we’re not used to all this business of players being brought in early and for positions we actually need.

    Your just making a rod for your own back 😉

  • 6 jayphoto // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:00 PM

    @martoon – think Arsenal gave him permission to find a new club so probably not a case of tapping up? The move has been to smooth on both sides and arsenal too easy a seller for too low a price to suggest they wanted to keep him. Get the feeling Wenger has had enough of English young players and is going to try and finally buy his way to a title now

  • 7 Shadow_Shearer // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    It is absolutely imperative we sell sissoko right now. If we keep him he won’t try in the championship & his value will fall.

    Also all of his flaws, his ego, attitude, laziness & lack of desire when his team is down, is something only newcastle can see, & not the rest of the world.

    6 months after he gets his dream move, & has crazy money coming in on a 5 year deal, his motivation is going to be away. He will only try in a champions league games.

    Any top or very clever manager playing against him will figure him out soon, they won’t allow him to make these surging runs, Portugal didn’t even know who he is. I would be surprised if ronaldo did.

  • 8 Shadow_Shearer // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:02 PM

    Anybody know how much we got hayden for?? I read 2.5 million from Ed previous article, but that seems way to cheap to me. We may have bargain of the season.

  • 9 Wayayman // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:03 PM

    Reading about Hayden’s meeting with Rafa reminds me of how Keegan was in his 1st stint here. Infectious personality who everyone wanted to be around. It’s just so bloody good to hear only positive stuff about our manager and to see that he clearly has only the very best intentions with what he’s starting in Newcastle, from getting rid of the ‘Purples’ who he doesnt think have the heart for the championship to setting up the Foundation kids games all in the matter of weeks. Oh and he doesn’t seem to think he’s above anyone either, the mark of a true great who is confident in his own ability.

  • 10 hibbitt // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    Luke Edwards
    Hits the nail on the head with that article

  • 11 hibbitt // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:09 PM


    we have to get a bid first

  • 12 martoon // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:14 PM

    Jib & Hibbitt – it really is a good article – I particularly liked this sentence:
    “Alan Pardew could not get the best out of him, neither could the over-promoted John Carver or the hapless Steve McClaren.”
    Classic 🙂

  • 13 Hail Wor Ashley // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:14 PM

    Get £45m for Gini and Sissoko.

    £7-8m for Janmaat

    £8-10m for Thauvin

    £7m for Krul

    Gouffran, Riviere and Haidara for £5-7m in total.

    No more sales necessary and would only need £40m of that money to bring in a LB, 2 CBs, another winger and possibly another ST.

    Still hope we go for Brady. Mitrovic would love the supply from him and Ritchie.

  • 14 cyprus // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:17 PM

    Amazing game Sissoko. Congratulations and tough luck.

  • 15 NUFCPaul // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:17 PM

    martoon – nah, Rafa is too professional to tap up a player behind their club’s back. This was done with Arsenal’s approval, although I’m surprised it was as far back as June. Makes you wonder who else Rafa’s been talking to!

  • 16 bettyswallocks // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:18 PM

    Jib…….I left a post late last night. I’m still wondering if the tweet from Ashley highlighted in the Express on Newsnow is likely to be from him or a hoax. I don’t understand how to verify all the social media stuff.

  • 17 The American // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:21 PM

    He seems so genuinely excited. Really neat to see that in a footballer these days.

  • 18 Novocastrian66 // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:22 PM

    Luke Edwards article is a canny summary of Sissoko and his time at Newcastle. Whichever club buys him will get an immediate impact from him but he will slowly decline. Good luck to the lad. He will make the club a bit of money but having said that I will be glad to see the back of him. He is a disgrace.

  • 19 WWSBRD // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:23 PM

    Exactly what I thought. It’s what Keegan did so well selling our club to people because he had 100% belief in NUFC just like Rafa seems to…been a long time since we’ve had that

  • 20 WWSBRD // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:26 PM

    Oh and Gini set to beg Rafa to let him leave, I hope he does and Rafa tells him to go beg a club to offer his asking price or shut up

    Will it be classed as a transfer request?

  • 21 expatmag // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:28 PM

    Just looked up Ibe details on wiki

    Less than 80 senior games and 8 goals in 6 years

    Doesnt rate 15 million quid of anyones money in my opinion

  • 22 expatmag // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:30 PM

    Aye Gini…….tell Spurs we will con them out of top dollarcthe way they did to us over Townsend

  • 23 Toonfan8 // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:33 PM

    Jordan Ibe is only 20 years old, so how can he play 6 years in senior level? from what I have seen from him, he has bags of potential. I would like him here, strong, quick, tricky…what do you want from 20 years old?

  • 24 Ron Knee // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:35 PM

    “Newcastle United are believed to have slapped a £35million price tag on Moussa Sissoko.”

  • 25 Jib // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:37 PM

    The real one

  • 26 Jib // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:38 PM

    The phoney

  • 27 giimps // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:39 PM

    It’s easier for Rafa too, keegan was just building the entertainers team so had to try and Instill his vision, Rafa has that proof of what the club can be again to draw on from relatively recent history (if that makes sense).
    Rafa also has a very impressive managerial history to bring, Keegan was a legend footballer but no managerial experience……it just makes what Keegan did even more special, with a whole lot of help from Sir John Hall and Fat Fred.
    I am loathed to say this but in 20 years time people may be saying Rafa brought the club back together with loads of help from Mr Ashley ……rewriting the history of him bringing 2 relegations and some of the worst runs of results in the clubs history (due mainly to the fact he wouldn’t trust an outsider to run the club until all of the insiders had failed at all levels)

  • 28 Hail Wor Ashley // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:39 PM


    Subs from: Darlow, Elliot, Hanley, NewCB, Anita Mbabu, New LB, Hayden, Colback, Saivet, New winger, Sammy, Aarons,, SDJ, Armstrong, Gayle

    Plenty of competition/ depth and money to make further modifications in January if necessary.

  • 29 Jib // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:46 PM

    When I say real I mean the original spoof which is quite good natured.
    The thought that MA would actually have a twitter account is , frankly , laughable

  • 30 martoon // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:47 PM

    Off topic – I can’t believe the FA are considering Steve Bruce & Big Sam for the England manager – we need to go forward not backwards. Only plus I can see with Big Sam is that it would drop the makems in the sh*t – bound to get relegated then.

  • 31 WWSBRD // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:47 PM

    Possibly true mate but tbf if Ashley stays out of the club and allows Rafa to do what he wants it might not be far off, time will tell

  • 32 WWSBRD // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:49 PM

    35 mill for Sissoko perfect figure which someone will quite possibly pay

  • 33 nut meg // Jul 11, 2016 at 1:53 PM

    The Shields Gazette are saying 35m for Sissoko now!

  • 34 expatmag // Jul 11, 2016 at 2:02 PM


    Check out his wiki then

  • 35 check the toastie // Jul 11, 2016 at 2:05 PM

    Personally Reckon Rafa may put Mbemba in a holding role, imo think the lad would be brilliant in it, he could be our Erik Dier.

    He has pace, is technical can pick a pass and run like phook. Its all you need in that position, clearly he is super combative which will be superb in the championship.

    Get Hanley in to play next to Lascelles, who still has question marks even though granted he was an upgrade on Saylor and Collo, which doesnt say a lot.

  • 36 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Jul 11, 2016 at 2:06 PM

    £35 million cheap by half if Pogba is worth £100 million

  • 37 expatmag // Jul 11, 2016 at 2:06 PM

    Sounds fair. current french international who juat came runners up at the euroes

    If West Ham want 50 million plus for a 29 year old Payet and Spewrinho wants to spend 100 million on Pofba, I would say 35 millon for Sissoko at LEAST.

  • 38 expatmag // Jul 11, 2016 at 2:10 PM


    Would eather keep Mbemba in yhe back 4 due to his pace and growing understanding with Lascelles.

    Maybe this young lad Hayden xould be our Eric Dier

  • 39 martoon // Jul 11, 2016 at 2:12 PM

    If somebody offers £35m for Sissoko then I say – take the money and run. We could rebuild the defence with that kind of money!

  • 40 Toonfan8 // Jul 11, 2016 at 2:17 PM

    wiki may say that, but I doubt that he is playing for seniors from 14…from what I have seen from him, he is really good and under Rafa can be even better than Townsend…

  • 41 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Jul 11, 2016 at 2:20 PM

    Papiss Cisse has left Newcastle United to join Shandong Luneng, with the Chinese Super League side also signing Southamption striker Graziano Pelle

  • 42 Belfast // Jul 11, 2016 at 2:20 PM

    Who’s gonna pay 35 million Wwsbrd?

    And would you pay 35 million for him if he played for Aston Villa and we wanted him ?

    And no you can’t phone a friend.

  • 43 Belfast // Jul 11, 2016 at 2:26 PM

    Looks like we’re desperately trying to keep him to me. He could just completely down tools and force a move if he really wanted imo.

    Although you may be able to get one of those daft Chinese clubs too take him for 30 million odds.

  • 44 Hail Wor Ashley // Jul 11, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    £35 will be just a negotiating position with the aim of getting around £25m.

    If you say we want £25m clubs will start bidding at £15m, say £35m they know £20m+ has to be on the table before we even come to it.

  • 45 expatmag // Jul 11, 2016 at 2:33 PM


    I think we will be setting the negotiating figure at a bit more than 35 quid……lol

  • 46 expatmag // Jul 11, 2016 at 2:35 PM


    Did you expect anyone would pay 35 million quid for Carroll all those years ago?

  • 47 jayphoto // Jul 11, 2016 at 2:36 PM

    @wwsbrd – agree, if you look at Pogba for over 100m, mane for 36m then theres a chance someone is gonna break the 30m mark for Gini and Sissoko.

    On a side note, I see Deschamps is getting pulled apart for his tactics and team selection today. I said last week I’d give him credit if they won the euros… happy I don’t have to stand by that

  • 48 Moonraker15 // Jul 11, 2016 at 2:36 PM

    For all Sissoko’s powerful runs for France last night, what did he achieve for the team? Nothing cos his final pass or shot was crap as is usual for him! If we get a big offer just take it and move on cos you can’t coach the final pass it’s instinctive ! Bye bye Moussa have a great career.

  • 49 Moonraker15 // Jul 11, 2016 at 2:38 PM

    He created nothing though!

  • 50 check the toastie // Jul 11, 2016 at 2:40 PM

    Rafa plays 4231 for the most part, always has, think some folk will fit into this perfectly others not so. I believe unless Mitro becomes more mobile and athletic he could be out the door. Likes his frontman to run in behind, whether that be Torres, Eto, baros, many others to play in his system, i think that man is Gayle. Leaves Mitro with no game.

    If Cisse got in front of Mitro who is utter shite then hes in trouble unless he evolves as a player. Centre Midfield of Mbemba and Shelvey would be perfect for us, let Ritchie, Perez and hopefully Winaldum cause havoc in front.

    Need a left back mind and Taggert would be a super signing.

  • 51 Belfast // Jul 11, 2016 at 2:59 PM

    No expat obviously not but that was completely different, last day of a transfer window with 50 million in the pot and desperate to appease their fans after selling Torres.

    We’ve just been relegated he’s desperate to leave and prospective buyers know it. He also has a questionable attitude and doesn’t really come across as the ultimate professional who would just get on with it.

    Being stuck with him in the championship isn’t beneficial for us at all imo West Bromwich tried it with Berahino last season didn’t benefit them at all.

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