Ciaran Clark was a good signing for us for around £5M from Aston Villa in the summer and it’s a good question as to whether the defender will keep his place for our visit to Villa Park on Saturday, in what is another important league game for Newcastle.
Clark had a solid game at center-back alongside Grant Hanley on Tuesday night in the 2-0 win at home to Wolves in the EFL Cup, although the two central defenders are probably second choice to Lascelles and Mbemba – at least at the moment they are, but that can change quickly.
Ciaran Clark – in action at QPR
It’s not surprising Ciaran is being interviewed before his return to the club he joined when he was just 11 years old and came through their famous Youth Academy.
He was asked today about his move to Newcastle in the summer:
“For me, it was the right time football-wise to experience something different.”
“I needed that fresh start in my career – a new club, manager and set of lads.” “It was a mixture of everything. The manager and the size of the club. You can’t get any bigger.”
“So it wasn’t a hard decision at all to be honest.”
“As soon as I found out that the buy-out clause had been met, straight away, I wanted to get up the road and come and see what the place was about and to get things sorted out.”
“The signings showed that we’d be having a good go this year.” “I’d seen a lot of stuff at Villa and been through a lot of managers.”
“You never know what’s going to happen or what’s around the corner, but I felt there was a stability here and that I could improve my game as well.”
“So far, I’ve settled in well and feel like I am improving.”
With the way Rafa Benitez coaches and talks with depth and understanding about the game Ciaran isn’t the only Newcastle player who has already improved this season.
Even local journalists – and yes the occasional amateur blog writer – are also learning more about the game.
Both Newcastle and Aston Villa are big clubs who have had a bad time of it over the last four years or so due to very poor management and ownership coming from the top of the clubs.
Now we are both in the second division and both clubs will hope to get back to the Premier League just as soon as possible.
We hope we can win this game on Saturday, but it will not be easy.