Henri Saivet took a shot at Newcastle earlier in the week, but since the player only played four times for Newcastle and started only twice once he was signed for £5M from Bordeaux in January, he must have wondered what happened?
But even before Rafa Benitez came in during March the former manager who signed him – Steve McClaren – had stopped playing Henri.
When Rafa did come in Saivet got no playing time at all under the Spanish manager.
Henri Saivet in training at Newcastle
It seems Henri is trying to come to terms with exactly what happened at Newcastle, but he joined a club that was struggling and we basically got into even more trouble once he did arrive, so it wasn’t a good place to be in many different ways.
Henri has been speaking to L’Equipe and he is trying to learn from what happened – and he even says he would consider returning to Newcastle:
“In France, the clubs must play a player, putting pressure on if necessary.”
“Not in England, where clubs have so many ways that, even if they buy you for €20M, they can put you on the bench – €30, they start to think.”
“England is not difficult but complicated in the sense tha sometimes you don’t understand all the choices.”
“Stay in England to find myself in the same situation after four games?” “I’m not disgusted but offended at what happened – it’s as if I was going backwards.”
“This is not a failure. It’s a lesson – football is a learning experience.” “You’ve put yourself in another culture.” “I believe that I am mentally stronger.”
“If it’s again, I would go back, because I’m driven by the desire to show that I can impose myself in the Premier League.”
We have some sympathy for Saivet and what happened.
It was good that he acted professionally and didn’t complain too much when he was at Newcastle after being shunned as a player.
The 25 year-old is now trying to work out what exactly happened, but what he should do is just stick in at St. Etienne and try to have a good season where he will get plenty of games.
Then he would return to pre-season training at Newcastle and see if he has any chance of making it under Rafa Benitez.
If he hasn’t it would then be good for him to move on.
St. Etienne were not given an option to buy Henri at the end of the season so he will return to Newcastle for season training – when hopefully we are a Premier League club again.
Rafa will then have decisions to make on a number of players returning from loan spells and they include Tim Krul and Siem de Jong.
There’s no real reason why all three players could not still have a career at the club, especially if they have good seasons while out on loan – although it’s unlikely.
What do you think?