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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Newcomer Explains Why He’s Already Improved Considerably

8:37 am, Friday, July 29th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 12 Comments

We had reported on Wednesday that Isaac Hayden is one player who seems to have improved considerably under Rafa Benitez in the very short time he’s been on Tyneside; the 21 year-old has been turning in some very good displays in friendlies in pre-season.

Today he has come out and said he’s learned an awful lot from Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez in the short time he’s been at the club – and that he is willing to play anywhere for the very talented new Newcastle gaffer.

isaac hayden ireland

Isaac Hayden seen training with Dwight Gayle

To be more precise Isaac has admitted he has “already learned a hell of a lot in the two weeks I’ve been here.”

This is how Isaac responded when asked what it was like to work with Benitez:

“It’s brilliant – he’s very hands on and he loves to coach a lot,”  “I’ve already learned a hell of a lot in the two weeks I’ve been here.”

“For me it’s just about learning even more and trying to help the team as much as I can.”

“Central-midfield’s where I see myself playing, but as I’ve said before I’m a versatile player: I can play full-back, I can play center-back, I can play center-midfield.

“So for me, whatever role the manager sees me in is the role I will do; if I have to do a job at center-back, or if I have to play right-back, I’ll play anywhere.”

“I want to help the club and I want to progress myself and my career.”

“But the main thing for me is that this club needs to be in the Premier League next season so, if I can help the team in any way, I will.”

This is what we want to see at Newcastle – that a good young player comes in and once Rafa Benitez starts to coach him he improves his play a lot and becomes a better player – and quickly too.

Rafa is without doubt a world-class manager and as Isaac Hayden says – he just loves to coach the players.

The 21-year-old moved to Newcastle from Arsenal a few weeks back for a low £2.5M transfer fee and it looks like Rafa wants to use him in one of the holding midfield positions this season.

Isaac said when he came to Newcastle that a motivating factor was to work under Benitez and that he had a two hour meeting with Rafa in London before arriving at Newcastle.

Hayden said Rafa talked all about football during that meeting and told Isaac what his strong points were and also areas where he could improve his game.

It seems Isaac was fascinated with Rafa’s complete knowledge of the game and decided to join Newcastle during that meeting.

We are hoping the manager will be able to attract more good players before the summer transfer window closes at the end of next month.

Certainly Isaac Hayden is looking like he could become a stellar buy for Newcastle in the coming season.

And when will Rafa have his first radio call-in show at Newcastle – maybe we can all learn more about football from the manager?


What do you think?

Comments welcome.

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

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 29, 2016 at 8:43 AM


    Not sure there has been any illeagal tapping up. I think it’s just been lazy journos saying ” X is talking to Y, and Z could be part of the deal” but with no real evidence.
    That being said, I agree we should go in with a big offer and watch the brighton owners eyes light up with pound signs 😀

  • 2 Bobbybee // Jul 29, 2016 at 8:44 AM

    I need to go out, but i hope when i get back it’s to read we have upped the offer on Knockeart. No slacking off, he’s the man we want and i imagine he sees himself at a big club like ours. Why would he not? 😉

  • 3 Tsunki // Jul 29, 2016 at 8:47 AM

    Is Is really four years since we first did “Knockaert” jokes? Tempus fugit.

  • 4 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 29, 2016 at 8:47 AM

    A guy who prefers CMF but also plays at CB is ideal for the DM role. This lad and Gamez are our two most promising signings this summer imo

  • 5 Bobbybee // Jul 29, 2016 at 8:47 AM

    YCMIU, just talking to a player under contract is classed as tapping up mate and everyone from every club in Europe has talked to Sissoko. 😉 Anyway, must fly. Later.

  • 6 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 29, 2016 at 8:49 AM


    Ok catch you later. Fingers crossed on Knockaert

  • 7 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 29, 2016 at 8:50 AM


    “Tempus Fugit”? Isn’t that japanese puffer fish in a light batter?

    I know…. Time flies.

  • 8 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Jul 29, 2016 at 8:58 AM

    Signing Knockers would be a great move

  • 9 Rotonda heights // Jul 29, 2016 at 8:59 AM

    Why on earth didn’t we get Knockaert before for relative peanuts instead of wasting fortunes on cabella and Thauvin. Thought that was the whole point of scouting, ie discover them before they command big fees.

    Possibly a case of over compensating for the ones ash didn’t povide backing for previously.

  • 10 Spoof // Jul 29, 2016 at 9:01 AM


    In all honesty I don’t think we need to tap him up, not officially so we can get done, but just do what we have done with Tiote and Thauvin, have a quiet word with Sky so it then becomes known the world over how we stand, with Tiote and Thauvin we have basically said that they are for sale but you will need deeper pockets and it may cause them to act quickly out of fear that some other club may move in and steal them.

    Do the same with Knockaert, which by all accounts they seem to have already done so will Knockaert in the knowledge that we are the Championship club to be at not be saying to Brighton, don’t hold me back, let me move onto a bigger and better club with better players so I can further my career, let us allow Knockaert to say to Brighton what Sissoko has been saying to us for too long.

  • 11 Blackley and Brownlie // Jul 29, 2016 at 9:10 AM


    “… if because of an empty space on the mantlepiece you need a right winger then by all means get a new one.”

    What do I need for this empty space on top of my dresser? A Toby Jugderweireld?

  • 12 The overrated Frenchman // Jul 29, 2016 at 9:12 AM

    Rotonda@9. You obviously don’t understand the background of the Carr/Charnley scouting model, and the financial arrangements it involved. If course, it only worked with compliant, zombie-like managers such as Pardew and McClaren, and the landscape has changed under Rafa.

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