Steve Bruce A Huge Admirer Of Newcastle’s New Signing


New signing Isaac Hayden had a decent season last term on loan at Hull City and he helped them to get promoted – and since he joined Newcastle yesterday he has talked about last season being a very good season for him.

It was a good experience for Geordie manager Steve Bruce too,  getting Hull promoted at the first attempt after they were relegated from the Premier League in May of 2015.

isaac hayden loan at hull

Isaac Hayden while on loan at Hull City

But Steve wasn’t able to sign Isaac on a permanent deal, which he initially wanted to do last January.

The Hull manager was again after the 21 year-old holding midfielder this summer, but Newcastle and Rafa Benitez beat the Yorkshire club to the player’s signature.

Isaac has said since he joined the Magpies that Rafa went down to London in mid-June and talk to the youngster for a full two hours.

After that – when they talked about Isaac’s strengths and weaknesses and about football tactics – Isaac said he knew he only wanted to play for Rafa Benitez – and Newcastle.

This is what Steve Bruce told the Hull Daily Mail on January 18th of this year, after Hull had just hammered Charlton 6-0 at home and Isaac had scored his very first senior goal of his career:

“I’ve already been onto Arsenal because I’d love to make it permanent if I could,” 

“I’d make it permanent tomorrow if that was possible. I desperately want to hang on to him.”

“In an ideal world he’d want to be playing every week but he’s started last weekend.

“He’s a very good young player, who’s progressing all the time.”

“He’s got his goal and he did very well. He’s energetic and full of beans and he’ll remember his first goal.”

“I wanted to freshen us up in midfield and he was one who took his chance well. It was very good to see.

Rafa has so far signed five good players in about 12 days and we are hoping that next one through the door will be Blackburn’s Grant Hanley within the next day or two.

Comments welcome.



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93 comments so far

  • SUTTY1978

    Jul 12, 2016 at 9:10 PM

    Comment #1

    Just going back to Ibe, he has less premier league goals and assists that Rolando Aarons and that’s in 3 times as many games. I’d much prefer to see Rolando playing for us than Ibe. If RA can stay fit he could have a cracking season for us in the Championship

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  • ZIPPIE57

    Jul 12, 2016 at 9:11 PM

    Comment #2

    Mrs Doubtfire looses out to Rafa

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 12, 2016 at 9:12 PM

    Comment #3

    Looking forward to seeing Hayden. Technically very good (standard Arsenal upbringing) and adds additional size and physicality. He only started about 15 games last season for Hull, so he clearly needs to continue his development. Whether he will be a starter I guess will depend on what stays and goes, plus how Shelvey fits in. I’d imagine at the moment he would likely be fighting Colback, Shelvey and Tiote (if he stays) for a starting spot.

    Tiote will probably leave, but there is still Anita and Saivet as well.

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  • ZIPPIE57

    Jul 12, 2016 at 9:14 PM

    Comment #4

    Saivet wont get a game i guess

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 12, 2016 at 9:16 PM

    Comment #5

    Sutty,
    Big if on Aarons staying fit though. I do hope he does stay fit, and gets a good run of games. He still has a long way to go to match fans expectations, hopefully he will be given a chance if he struggles initially.

    I’d like someone else to give him competition/enable us to ease him in if necessary.

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  • loonie-toon

    Jul 12, 2016 at 9:16 PM

    Comment #6

    I agree sutty arrons good little player and good have a great season but still fink we need another there as e is pritty Injury prone I wonder if rafa looking to keep Thauvin as competion for left side

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 12, 2016 at 9:17 PM

    Comment #7

    Zippie,
    I think you are probably right, but he has also never been given much of chance. He can play in a number of roles though, so could be very useful as a squad member.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 12, 2016 at 9:18 PM

    Comment #8

    Forgot about Thauvin. Who is likely to bid for him? Maybe he deserves another chance, maybe he doesn’t. Not convinced by him, but he should be capable of delivering at this level.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 12, 2016 at 9:22 PM

    Comment #9

    If Transfermarkt is reliable on positions played, he has a fairly even spread playing as a centre mid, attacking mid, right wing, left wing, number 10 and striker.

    Rafa could well see him as back up on both sides this year, as well as centrally. Offers a lot of options.

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  • ZIPPIE57

    Jul 12, 2016 at 9:24 PM

    Comment #10

    Lilongwe deJong and Shelvey better mate

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  • loonie-toon

    Jul 12, 2016 at 9:25 PM

    Comment #11

    Be daft not to give him a chance paid all that money for Thauvin n loaning to them again we might as well give them cash and let them keep him lol

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 12, 2016 at 9:25 PM

    Comment #12

    Zippie,
    Yup, agreed. He can play in more roles though, plus I am expecting De Jong to leave.

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  • Laurent Robert 32

    Jul 12, 2016 at 9:26 PM

    Comment #13

    I absolutely love how much Rafa is on the ball and sharp with things. I knew he was excellent, but the more I hear, the more impressed I am.

    Looking forward to seeing how the team gets on. I like mild squad rotation btw. It keeps players fresh, gets them used to be in a squad and a lot more confortable whenever they are involved.

    Playing
    the same players every week is the best, but only short term. A season has many games, therefore utilising players throughout the season is very beneficial. Even more so in the Championship.

    Rafa’s timing of when he makes the substitutions has generally been great – Plenty of time.

    Just all round hugely refreshing and uplifting to see.

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  • ZIPPIE57

    Jul 12, 2016 at 9:29 PM

    Comment #14

    deJong has been for me the biggest disappointment , class class act but made out of balsa wood

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 12, 2016 at 9:33 PM

    Comment #15

    Laurent,
    We will definitely need to rotate and use subs this year. The Ronny was saying the other day that the club/Rafa wanted two 11’s that are good enough to win the Championship. A lot of work to do to achieve that, but as a squad we are miles ahead, even without Sissoko and Gini.

    On subs, there is an interesting book which has done all sorts of analysis into football, can’t remember the title now, but it gives some interesting data on subs. According to the book (taking data from the top flights in England, Spain, Italy, France and Germany over the last 5 seasons) it shows that making a sub in the 57th or 62nd minutes has proven almost twice as effective as other times for changing a game with a substitution.

    Clearly it means very little to the individual substitution, but the difference is quite surprising. Not saying it means anything, just found it interesting and thought I’d share.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 12, 2016 at 9:36 PM

    Comment #16

    Zippie,
    DeJong has been unlucky. You can’t really account for collapsed lungs (although you are more likely to have a second if you have a first and don’t get it operated/treated in a particular way, so I’m told). Plus his eye injury was bad timing and completely impossible to account for.

    He could be a class act here, particularly in the Championship, but I’d cash in if given the option and replace him. Who with depends on who else leaves and arrives.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 12, 2016 at 9:44 PM

    Comment #17

    Would anyone allow Henry to work with our squad to complete his coaching badges? Arsenal have released him as his TV work was getting in the way. Even vaguely part time he would offer incredible experience to help our young crop of forwards.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 12, 2016 at 9:45 PM

    Comment #18

    Allow/get Henry…

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  • Novocastrian66

    Jul 12, 2016 at 9:50 PM

    Comment #19

    Cannot see Henry wanting to come this far north. Too far from his beloved London and Paris.

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  • geordie157

    Jul 12, 2016 at 10:00 PM

    Comment #20

    Agree on De Jong, if a offer of 5-6mill comes in then sell. I like him as a player, good quality on the ball and adds leadership to the side but can we get 20-25 games out of him….plus where does he fit into Rafa’s plans/formation.

    I do think Thauvin might come good, hoping he impresses in pre season and with him and Aarons we’d have good options on the left. I don’t really want to see Perez stuck out there.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 12, 2016 at 10:00 PM

    Comment #21

    Novo,
    Probably right, but I also didn’t expect a player at Atletico to swap another season at a Champions league club for the Championship. Shearer commutes for his TVduties, Henry could also. I’m just speculating, not heard any rumours about it, just saw the BBC article on it and it seemed like he could really bring on Perez, Arma and Gayle, whilst benefiting Mitro to a lesser extent.

    He needs a club to complete his badges, unless he decides to turn his attentions fully to TV work and give up ideas of coaching.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 12, 2016 at 10:05 PM

    Comment #22

    This blog is way quieter since Ed’s purge. Did we really have that many people on here that were trolls/multiples?

    Geordie157,
    Where would you play Perez? Number 10? Out and out striker? Right side? It will be interesting to see where Rafa sees him. I think he is very talented, but not an out and out centre forward. I think he is a number 10 this season and back up across the entire attacking line. I think he could well become a good central midfielder longer term, provided he can develop better core strength, and improve his passing range.

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  • lochinvar

    Jul 12, 2016 at 10:06 PM

    Comment #23

    Don’t forget that all these ” fringe” players will be needed for our assault on two Cup wins and the Championship title.

    It’s called ambition

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 12, 2016 at 10:07 PM

    Comment #24

    What on earth is happening here? Dave Watsons U18 won 3-0, three goals and a clean sheet. Who needs Rafa,?

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 12, 2016 at 10:10 PM

    Comment #25

    I see Nick Powell has joined Wigan. Hopefully he has recovered fully from his injuries. Very talented kid, but his injury problems (and probably moving to Man U at the wrong time) have set him back. Hopefully he can get back onto his previous path, and get back to a good level of football. I’d have liked him here before his injury woes, but as a squad player he would have been a free and interesting no lose punt.

    I’m sure we are aiming bigger and better though, so good luck to the lad.

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  • Belfast

    Jul 12, 2016 at 10:14 PM

    Comment #26

    Aye there was always only about 20 of us really Lilongwe lol

    And the 20th bloke had 50 other accounts on the go 🙂

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  • Belfast

    Jul 12, 2016 at 10:16 PM

    Comment #27

    What’s the odds of De Jong passing a medical anywhere else ? Anybody know ?

    Seems unlikely to me.

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  • lesh

    Jul 12, 2016 at 10:19 PM

    Comment #28

    With Bruce’s endorsement of Hayden, you can be sure that Rafa’ll sleep well tonight.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 12, 2016 at 10:19 PM

    Comment #29

    Belfast,
    It does seem that way! I do miss my other 49 accounts though, nobody for me to talk to!

    On De Jong, I think we send his brother to do the medical, surely that is what happened when Siem joined us….

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 12, 2016 at 10:23 PM

    Comment #30

    Eh?? What is going on? Tried to reply to JFA 3 times now, but it doesn’t go through each time, yet I managed to post to Belfast in between?? Apologies if they are all there and I just keep repeating the same stuff.

    Last attempt…. Maybe it was Scu***thorpe that stopped it….

    It was only their U18’s. Mackenzie Heaney got an assist though, it will be interesting to see what Rafa does with him. Keep him in the youths, or loan him out. Big talent that hopefully Rafa can develop and nurture to maximise the clear potential.

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  • lesh

    Jul 12, 2016 at 10:23 PM

    Comment #31

    With no sign of Jib for a few hours, I think we can assume that he’s keeping his head down to allow for the time it takes to get to Spain….

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  • firebug666

    Jul 12, 2016 at 10:24 PM

    Comment #32

    I read the other day that de Jong wants to stay at Newcastle. so maybe we will get to see what he has to offer us in the fizzy pop.

    This might be a way for him to get his mojo back ready for next season in the prem.

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  • jimmysmith

    Jul 12, 2016 at 10:24 PM

    Comment #33

    The usual misreporting and subjectivity swirling around. Will be interesting to see how this Sissoko melodrama pans out. It’s understandable he wants to move on, just as it’s understandable we might want to keep him or get the most for him.

    It is unsettling that he performed so much better for France than us, but it’s also undeniable that Newcastle had been a shambles for a long time before Rafa arrived and by no means an inspirational place to play football.

    One problem of course with selling your better players when you go down is that you only ever make the difference on the player you bring in to replace them, and ultimately that player will most likely also need to be replaced with better should you go back up, so you really make little or even ultimately lose out, and you of course weaken the side, and so weaken your short term prospects.

    The best option for us is surely that our better players remain, and the squad is strengthened around them, and that Rafa wring the best out of every other player in the squad.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 12, 2016 at 10:24 PM

    Comment #34

    Yup, guessing it was the oppositions team name as that one went through….

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  • jimmysmith

    Jul 12, 2016 at 10:27 PM

    Comment #35

    every player.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 12, 2016 at 10:33 PM

    Comment #36

    Jimmy,
    I am one of Sissoko’s biggest critics (in my opinion). But Sissoko had a great game in the final. He showed all of his best attributes. For £35 million I think most teams would want someone who can impact and change games more, but I don’t deny he also has his strengths. He can be effective when he plays to them – he is a water carrier that takes the ball forward for other, more gifted players to create chances.

    His performances in the final and semi just back up my thoughts that he performs in big games that suit him and put him in the shop window. People talk of his performances under Rafa, but in the key games against Villa, Sunderland, Palace and Norwich he was his usual ineffectual self. Big games/shop window games he performs, it is huge attitude flaw, and one that wouldn’t lead to him being a key player for us in the Championship.

    I think that for the money that his Euro performances may bring in, we can improve the balance of the squad and bring in players that can have a greater impact within the side.

    He wants out, and that doesn’t make for a cohesive squad/dressing room. I think he should be allowed to leave, and I hope he has a good career once he does. I bear no ill will to him, other than thinking we would be better off without him.

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  • loonie-toon

    Jul 12, 2016 at 10:34 PM

    Comment #37

    Blog has been dead out ant it lol

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  • lesh

    Jul 12, 2016 at 10:36 PM

    Comment #38

    Lil

    Speaking of substitutions, what about Bobby Robson throwing three on against Sheffield Wednesday. They didn’t know what hit ’em.

    http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/history/newcastle-8-0-sheffield-wednesday-10107983

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 12, 2016 at 10:38 PM

    Comment #39

    To bring the best out of every player in the squad, we need a cohesive squad that works well together. A team over individuals. Sissoko needs to change his attitude for that to be the case with him still here.

    He isn’t the only one from last year that is/was a problem, but he is the one who is most public about wanting to move on, without having performed for us to a level that makes it realistic. I mentioned Cabaye this morning, after going public about wanting to move to a bigger club, he put in half a season of goals, assists and big performances which earned him the move. Sissoko hasn’t, which is one of my main gripes with him.

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  • geordie157

    Jul 12, 2016 at 10:40 PM

    Comment #40

    Lilongwe

    Yes agree, Perez I see as a no.10, he’s got good movement and as he develops I can see him being dangerous from outside of the box.

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