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Howay The Lads!!

This Player Could Turn Out To Be The Find Of The Season

10:19 am, Thursday, August 18th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 46 Comments

Rafa Benitez has started Isaac Hayden in one of the central holding positions in all three  game this season, but whether he will start on Saturday at Bristol City after only three days rest is unlikely.

But it seems that Rafa has seen the vast potential of the 21 year-old former Arsenal youngster and Isaac certainly is already a top technical player who makes things look easy on the pitch because of his innate skill.

Newcastle United v Reading: Sky Bet Championship

Isaac Hayden after scoring last night

He scored a good goal last night to put Newcastle ahead after 20 minutes and it was well taken with the youngster simply ecstatic after he had put Newcastle ahead with his first goal for the club in a competitive match.

This is what the England U21 International said about his goal immediately after the game on the Newcastle web-site:

“I was over the moon. I always try to contribute to the team as much as possible, in whatever capacity that is, whether that’s defensively or attacking,”

“As a center midfield player, I said before the season started that I want to add more goals to my game. “

“Hopefully I helped the team tonight – the most important thing was to get the 3 points, and I think that I helped the team on the way to that.”

“It is something that I think I’ve got the capability of doing. Obviously it depends on what the manager wants from me in terms of what position I play, whether it’s a deeper one or whether it’s more box-to-box.”

“For me, all I want to do is learn from the manager and do exactly what he wants me to do and help the team in whichever way possible.”

“If I score more goals, I score more goals; if I make more blocks, I make more blocks – it’s the same thing for me.”

“It’s just important that we got the 3 points tonight and kick-start our season after the two defeats.”

“Every game I try my best, and I always give 110%. I don’t want to have any regrets any time I come off the football field, and I think on Saturday, everyone was bitterly disappointed with the result.”

“Especially in the Championship, things turn around quickly, and tonight was another opportunity and we took that.”

“It was a bit of a relief, but it was a good performance tonight – much better than Saturday. We needed a reaction after Saturday’s performance, and we got that tonight. “

“We scored a few good goals and defensively we were quite tight, so it was a pleasing evening.” “Any time you win a game you’re always happy, and it’s about getting that feeling every week now.”

“We’ve got a good result tonight, and it’s something to build on. Hopefully we can push on now and get more points.”

“I think the main thing with the Championship is consistency, from what I found last year,”  “It’s getting 3 points after 3 points, because it can make the difference at the end of the season.”

“Getting wins are the most important thing, so this could be the catalyst for a nice run.”

“But we’re not getting ahead of ourselves – it’s one game, it’s 3 points, and we’ve got another game on Saturday.”

“It’s about recovering now, and focusing our thoughts onto Bristol City.”

This lad has a great attitude – that’s one thing that shines through whenever he gives an interview – he just wants to improve as a footballer and he’s with the right manager to do exactly that.

Issac also scored at Doncaster in the 2-2 draw in pre-season and he got some good experience in the Championship with Hull City last season and helped them get promoted.

With Rafa’s guidance Isaac Hayden can very quickly become a top player at Newcastle.

We hope that happens.

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Tags: Coaching · Isaac Hayden · Management · Newcastle News · Transfer News and Rumours

46 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bobbybee // Aug 18, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    So 4-1 might have flattered us slightly, but 3-1 wouldn’t have. Only one team was ever going to win last night and it clearly wasn’t Reading. The officials made a decent effort to spoil it – poor standard down here. As for penalties, we too should have had another one, where Gayle was chasing the ball into the box and was wiped out. A bit like the incident when Collo got sent off on the dark side. The keeper was likely to get the ball, but it was a blatant foul, off the ball, in the box. Not important now, but by the letter of the law it was a foul and he was the last man to boot.
    Sels might have made it difficult when he palmed out one of the few saves he had to make, straight at one of their players. Fortunately he skied it. Not impressed by him so far, but hopefully he must have something Rafa likes and he’ll improve.
    Ritchie was my motm again. As the season progresses he’s going to rip defences to pieces and we need to capitalise on it.
    Perez? What on earth has happened to him? Is it the Barcelona waffle? Can’t trap a ball most of the time and frankly he looks lost. Time to rest him. To the poster who said Arma isn’t ready for the Championship – 20 goals in 40 games in the first division says he’s more than ready. Better option than Perez right now.
    All in all the win was deserved. It shows that we don’t need to be at our best to beat teams and improvement will come. All in all a good night.

  • 2 Blofal // Aug 18, 2016 at 10:56 AM

    Blackley it’s not about the actual formations its about the ability to be flexible in attack.

    But for arguments sake I’ll embrace the semantics and say yes a 4-4-2 can easily move back to a 4-2-3-1 but it is far more difficult to transition from say a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3 because you are playing with 2 out and out strikers limiting your options to do so. A starting line up of 4-4-2 usually ends up transitioning to a 4-2-4 in attack more than anything else which is fine if thats how you want to play.

    The article actually explained it quite clearly. The “double 6” provides you with a pivoting midfielder which can instantly change the way you move forward. You lose the pivoting midfielder in a 4-4-2 and it limits the tactics you can employ (due to the extra striker). That is why most managers play roughly a 4-2-3-1 shape. It’s basic football. Now stop being such a contrarian 🙂

  • 3 hibbitt // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    so how do people vote that were not at the game
    how do they come there choice
    what do they base their vote on a one sided commentary and a few minutes highlights which had to be edited for the show how do they come to their MOM ??

  • 4 wynsleap // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:11 AM

    Hayden was superb last night. I think we’ve found a gem here. Why shouldn’t he play in the next game? He’s only 21 – he should be full of beans and raring to go.
    Apart from my man of the match Hayden, I thought Ritchie, Shelvey and MbBemba were the pick last night.
    Clark was just as the Villa fans predicted – an accident waiting to happen. Wasn’t impressed at all.
    Dummett was inept as ususal. All their strong attacking came down his side. He has to go while Perez seems to have forgotten how to do the basics. His ability to deftly go round defenders seems to have deserted him.
    Get Mitrovich back into the team alongside Gayle and a good left back (Galloway?) and a creative midfielder brought in and we may be about to see a promotion winning team being assembled. Please, however, no Colback anywhere in the squad.

  • 5 Bobbybee // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:25 AM

    Hibbitt, very good point mate! I love it when people say so and so looked good, when in reality they mean he sounded good based on a radio commentary. 😉 It is possible to pass a sort of judgement from a radio, as long as you say what it is. Or my personal favourite is ‘haven’t seen the game or highlights but…’ then go on to say what’s right or wrong! 😉 Clever people!

  • 6 funlovingexpress // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:27 AM

    Hayden will be a cracking player until he has 2 or 3 bad games and then he is to lightweight, not good enough etc etc, oh, had on a sec, thats perez.

    Interesting reading what you all say about the formations.

    The problem with many Newcastle fans is they see 4231 and groan because they think Pardew’s football.

    Yes it can be used like that but making a team sit back and pass and pass between the back 4 just to make possession stats look good and at the same time concede goals due to defensive mistakes because the ball is always in our own half is neither enjoyable to watch or a winning forumula IMO.

    Sometimes however, you come accross a manager that uses the strengths of 4231 properly.

    Rafa is one of those managers. In fact, though I could be wrong, I think he actually invented the system.

    When used properly 4231 can be a major offensive threat. The idea is that 4231 is a baseline. The team then will move into 442 or 433 and attack the opposition in force.

    Which tactics are used most in a game i.e. 442 or 433 depends on the opposition.

    Then when the opposition get the ball Rafas team resorts back to 4321 and makes us hard to break down.

    The defenders will of course get better and better because they are training against midfielders and strikers who are using BOTH 442 and 433 in training.

    That is the bit Pardew failed to understand. To have a good defence doesnt mean playing 90 minutes with only the odd ‘fret’ or ‘maverick’ to get you a goal.

    To get a good defence you use 4231 as an attacking basis which on instruction can turn into 433 or 442 in all games.

    That way your defenders get used to playing against 433 and 442 in training all of the time.

    Rafa does it properly. His teams always score goals. It just takes a bit of time to get the team to effortlessly move into 433 or 442 during games.

    Its coming, you can see whats being worked on out on the pitch. We arent there yet but under Rafa I have no doubt we will be.

  • 7 2_goal_tino // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:29 AM

    I’m interested in what is going to happen at RB going forward. We all know Janmaat is better going forward than defensively but I feel this is not just because of his relative attributes but because he quite often has the burden of having to be one of our main ‘creators.’ Anita looked far better defensively yesterday because he just stuck to his main job – defending. Conversely, Janmaat looked much better than Anita has on the RW during pre-season. It would be interesting to see what Anita at RB, Janmaat at RM and Ritchie at LM would yield (though i’d be hesitant to move Ritchie atm).

  • 8 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:29 AM

    If Gouffran was as bad as some posters posted then how come he left the pitch to a standing ovation after 84 minutes.
    He had a job to do for RAFA and did it well!!!

  • 9 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:31 AM

    I’m interested. My head just can’t compute it.

    If, as you say, you are playing with two out and out strikers in a 442, how can you transition to and from a 4231 rapidly? Moreover, I’m not seeing why you say you’re playing two out and out strikers in a 442? And if you are, how does that help when you morph to 4231?

    As I said earlier, it’s all about the players; their quality, and particularly their ability to do different jobs when required.

  • 10 funlovingexpress // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:31 AM

    Watching the refs since we went down I have come to the conclusion that they should reinstate us back into the premiership.

    If those refs ad refereed us in the games where we had players sent off they wouldnt have sent them off so we would have won them and been safe.

  • 11 Bobbybee // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    Charlie, some fans have a downer on him and regardless of what he does, it won’t be good enough for them. I thought he did what he was asked to do last night and his technique for the volley was superb. Had that flown in the top corner, he would still get slated by some people. He’s well good enough for this level.

  • 12 Hail Wor Ashley // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    Would like to see Gamez in at RB on Saturday. Quick turn around, about time he was given a chance.

    Hanley in for Clark too. Has more experience in a leadership role than Lascelles and he and Mbemba, although Hanley has only played once, have looked our steadiest CBs. Give them a chance together.

    Midfield might need freshening up, mainly thinking of Shelvey, then again a string of games in quick succession might be just what he needs.

    LW still a problem position.

    When Mitro is back our best option would probably to put Perez there with Gayle and Mitro up top centrally. Hopefully a LW is top of our shopping list with a LB not far behind.

  • 13 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:36 AM

    Hayden was superb last night? Was he? Superb?

  • 14 2_goal_tino // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:37 AM

    @ Charlie – agree, when Gouffran first arrived he was pretty popular because he put a lot of effort in and contributed with the odd goal. True , he has gone missing in the last 18 months but there are pretty much only 3/4 of the squad who haven’t. He has received excessive vitriol and scorn from supporters over the past season, when compared with others who have escaped largely blame free. I can’t help but feel a lot of it comes down to his nationality with people just labelling him as just ‘another one of the French mercenaries.’

    If he can be revitalised, I can see him playing a very similar role to Lovenkrands when we were last in the championship – a player who ideally wouldn’t be starting but is a versatile attacking player who can fill in anywhere, puts in a lot of effort and chips in with the odd goal.

  • 15 expatmag // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:37 AM


    Your first mistake was replying to him.

    Now, he will be like an itch you cannot scratch….a real irritant

  • 16 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:38 AM

    Players who’ve worked hard get good applause. Often standing ovations especially when the score is right.

  • 17 funlovingexpress // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:38 AM

    Blackley, you can only play against what is in front of you and at the level of division your team is in.

    Considering that then yes Hayden put in a performance last night that was superb

  • 18 hibbitt // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:38 AM

    Charlie in the Gallowgate

    100 % agree Rafa gave him a job and he did it but he’s not one of the fashion players so no matter what he does its not good enough for some on here yet in the ground it was well appreciated

  • 19 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:39 AM

    In that case many of their players were superb

  • 20 simon376 // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:41 AM

    Thought Hayden played really well last night, Ritchie was my man of the match, covered every blade of grass. As for Gouffran, may not be the best player, but really put some graft in last night, think he will do well in this division where you have to work. That’s why he got the ovation last night, could see he was working hard and trying his best

  • 21 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:43 AM

    Bobby – two goal
    If he stays he could turn out to be one of the stars of season.
    Ran his heart out last night – filled in the space behind our forwards linked up but most of all covered their runners in not letting them get the space they wanted allowing Ritchie to have a lot freer role which he was My MOM. As for Hayden had a good game but fleets in and out of the game but hopefully as he gets more game time will turn into a very good midfield player.

  • 22 funlovingexpress // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:45 AM

    Blackley I disagree. Some of their players had good games but Hayden was head and shoulders above them. He was a DM that was creating loads and attacking the ball and he was doing it brilliantly.

    We haven’t had a DM like that since Batty.

    Like I say you couldnt compare the two because they did it in different leagues, so you could not call him a superb footballer yet but for the level he played in last night, his performance was evrything you want and hope your DM can and will give. That IMO makes it a superb performance.

    Its all relative though so get where you are coming from

  • 23 Bobbybee // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    I thought only one of their side had a good game last night – the big No18 playing down the middle. Some of his flick ons were outstanding, but they didn’t capitalise on them. We had a young Reading fan in the car last night, a relative of my nephew who’s up here for the week. He reckoned it was just a flash in the pan because he’s normally pants! 😉

  • 24 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:48 AM

    Even Ritchie, the one quality player on the park, wasn’t superb. My vote for Motm, Shelvey, wasn’t superb. There was a paper thin margin between the rest of our players and theirs, although Gayle showed some quality in that he got two good goals.

  • 25 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:49 AM

    Gouffran is someone we should be looking to keep this season he gives 100% and puts himself about

    Its the first game where we have had proper width on each side which opens the game up for the likes of Shelvey and Hayden to make passes forward

    We still look so short of options off the bench if anyone gets injured we need about 4 attacking players and another left back at a minimum !!

  • 26 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:54 AM

    Players in kids games can be superb. So I’m not saying a player on that stage last night couldn’t be superb on the night simply because it’s a championship game.
    As for Batty, he was the crab. Always went sideways and back. Hayden did okay last night and showed some endeavour and got into good areas all over the park. It was just a decent petformance.

  • 27 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:57 AM

    After we scored we simply turned off and went through the motions. We just invited them right back in it. What was it, 20 minutes?

  • 28 WWSBRD // Aug 18, 2016 at 11:59 AM

    Problem with Goofy is that we’ve seen that he often doesnt give 100% and put himself about. If he is to stay he has to prove he will be at that Jonas level of commitment consistently

  • 29 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 18, 2016 at 12:00 PM

    I see Expat is lost to contribute anything substantive and meaningful. No change there.

  • 30 Bobbybee // Aug 18, 2016 at 12:00 PM

    Funny game football. No two people see exactly the same game, despite watching it from start to finish. That’s one of the reasons we love it, surely? 😉

  • 31 Bobbybee // Aug 18, 2016 at 12:05 PM

    WWSBRD, I’d take Jonas level from all of our players matey! He was always 100% committed. How Sissoko could learn so much from that man.

  • 32 WWSBRD // Aug 18, 2016 at 12:11 PM

    True though I think a few of ours are that committed though admittedly some dont have the quality that Jonas had

  • 33 expatmag // Aug 18, 2016 at 12:11 PM

    No names mentioned Blackley but clearly, you recognise yourself as an irritant…

    Says it all really

  • 34 WWSBRD // Aug 18, 2016 at 12:13 PM

    Speaking on Jonas hes on a free, imagine if the club hadnt treated him so badly what could of been

  • 35 Budge123 // Aug 18, 2016 at 12:15 PM

    Interesting to see all the different opinions. For me Gouff offered nothing and as a consequence our play was lop sided with everything through shelv and Ritchie.

    Defence looks like they hadn’t played together before. Probably because they hadn’t! .
    The number of times Dummett but balls out for corners when he had the time to control and clear shows that either the keeper isn’t communicating or that Dummett is as poor as many repeatedly say!

    I don’t think 4-1 flattered us I think it would have been more if we had gone for it with subs rather than gone 5 at the back in what I assume was Rafa trying out new systems etc. Which he was right to do as no better practice than a real match.

    Good night all in all. Needs to start a run so we build confidence.

    Onwards and upwards

  • 36 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Aug 18, 2016 at 12:15 PM


    I think the problem with Gouffran and a lot of the players that play for us they became fed up with the club and went through the motions plus Mclaren and Carver would be enough to demotivate anyone!

    Last night a player in the no 10 role with composure who can hold the ball up and slip back into midfield would have been ideal a fully fit Siem De Jong could probably do it but will he ever be fit ? Would love us to buy someone to do the role

  • 37 Macas // Aug 18, 2016 at 12:22 PM

    Not sure why Gouffran is getting so much praise, he offers nothing going forwards which is surely what a winger is there for. If we are going to have players like him on the wing we might as well get Pardew back and save money on the manager’s wages. Like Blackley said he got applause because he tried and because we were winning. Anita tries hard but he isn’t a winger either.
    Luckily Reading played quite an open game and didn’t pack the defence, most teams in this division will be harder to break down and for that you need a bit of skill and class in your side, not players like Gouffran.

  • 38 WWSBRD // Aug 18, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    I agree with that but will Goofy continue to show what he did when he first signed? Am not so sure tbh, I think he is the type that would completely drop off when Sissoko leaves (as he did when Cabaye left)

    Siem is a write off imo, personally Id prefer no 10 role player tbh and just 2 up top

  • 39 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Aug 18, 2016 at 12:26 PM


    Yeah its a difficult one I would prefer to see us play Mitrovic and Gayle up front but we would need a left winger and a left back who get up and down and attack although if we sign Knockhaert and Galloway then the team would change!

    Not sure Shelvey has the workrate for a 442 all the time you need a Drinkwater player who is everywhere for 90 minutes and we dont have even one of the in the squad!

    Be interesting to see what Rafas team and squad is like by the end of the window

  • 40 funlovingexpress // Aug 18, 2016 at 12:27 PM

    ckley it was Butt who was the crab. Batty did what he was supposed to do as a DM and if we were up against inferior opposition he could and did attack the ball.

    Some of the forward passes he did had superb (theres that word again) vision.

    In fact Hoddle in his prime would have struggled to do them.

    First and foremost though Batty’s job was that of a DM so of course it always took priority. But sometimes man, when we over ruled the midfield by so much it was ridiculous, he could ping those balls in like no other.

    People forget that.

  • 41 WWSBRD // Aug 18, 2016 at 12:33 PM

    Yeah or this Haller lad, tbf Gayle, Mitro, Perez and Haller sounds like a good strike force (tbh Crouch or Diouf would also sound good to me).
    Agree on the left side though we have been missing one of those for years now so about time it was fixed

    I like Shelvey though, think there is a lot more to come from him, he looks fitter now and hes our only attacking minded CM so him Hayden, Colback and Diame in the centre as options I think we could find a good balance for a 442. Main problem is I dont think Rafa will play that, we might get a diamond formation though

  • 42 Pat On The Heed // Aug 18, 2016 at 12:38 PM

    Gouffran started 5 games last season, we lost 5. He came on as a late sub and we conceded 3 times , twice after he lost the ball.

    The problem with gouffran is not that he’s a passenger but loses possession in dangerous circumstances.

    Sammi should be given a crack on the left. He’s the opposite of Gouffran, appeared in a run of wins and turned games positively a after coming on.

  • 43 Ian Toon // Aug 18, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    8Ian Toon // Aug 18, 2016 at 12:25 PM

    Blofal/Blackley – I am told that Benitez played a 4-1-4-1 last night.

    Maybe travel reading and It’s not everyone’s light reading but selectively I would recommend an award winning book Inverting The Pyramid ( The History of Football Tactics) by Jonathan Wilson. It’s in paperback and Chapter seventeen – The Turning World covers the development of 4-2-3-1 and is not too heavy or historically based in how it evolved.

    It was an inevitable development when a team withdrew on of the then two centre forwards. At the time in the late 1990’s a holding midfielder would be used to pick him up. From this the Makelele role was born. As I said it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I found it on a selective basis filling in a lot of development and understanding of tactics employed by top former managers. In Spain John Toshack in the late 1990’s was given the credit for introducing 4-2-3-1 at Real Madrid; Wenger in his first season at the Arse introduced close to the formation 4-3-3 but thought revolutionary at the time. With Petit, Vieira and Overmars he had top top players and fitted the formation to get the best from them.

    Unless you have the mentality to enjoy watching grass grow, chapter seventeen might be the way to go. Strictly speaking not a lot has changed tactically beyond Man U in 2007-08.

    As said 4-2-3-1 is just one variant of the five man midfield.

  • 44 JamesToon // Aug 18, 2016 at 12:44 PM


    Tbf, shelvey was good in defence and made a good pairing with hayden imo last night, one got forward one sat. We just need galloway at LB, the equivalent of ritchie down the left.

  • 45 Ian Toon // Aug 18, 2016 at 12:49 PM

    Benitez played 4-4-1-1

  • 46 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 18, 2016 at 12:51 PM

    Expat @33
    You didn’t need to mention my name for me to know your snide remarks are directed at me. That’s what you do. You’re predictable.

    I was having a discussion with Blofal that I found interesting. There’s so much spoken about formations on here but rarely anyone questions the whole business.

    I’m grateful to Blofal for his input. I might learn something. Unlike you, of course. You know it all and prefer to keep it all hidden from the rest of us for some reason.

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