Christian Atsu is a player who could improve a lot this season during his loan spell.
And if he manages to stay at Newcastle permanently for the long term, we think Rafa can make him into a great player, because he has loads of natural speed and great skills.
Christian was simply delighted to score after just 3 minutes on Saturday against Cardiff and he had talked last week about wanting to score in a sold-out St. James’ Park – and he did that.
But he also missed a golden opportunity to add to his tally early in the second half when his shot was deflected over the bar.
Christian Atsu congratulated after scoring first goal
Here’s the interview he gave on the Newcastle web-site after the game and the 24 year-old makes some very good points:
“I said I wanted to score at home, and I was very happy to celebrate my goal.” “The feeling was great.”
“In the first-half, we played really well. We pressed them high, we created a lot of chances and we could have killed the game.”
“But in football, it is not that easy. They scored one, and we then fought hard to keep it at 2-1.”
“We know that no team in the Championship is easy, so we tried to work hard. We worked hard for 90 minutes and we deserved the win.”
“We have the winning mentality, and everyone will take that with them going into the break,”
“We are in front at the top of the table now, but we know it is difficult. You can’t predict any game.”
“We need to keep fighting, keep working hard and keep that winning mentality.” “If we do, we will go far.”
“I’m very happy that there is good competition in the team – it keeps us going.” “I will need to continue to work hard.”
“Of course, I want to keep starting and helping the team.”
You can almost hear some of the things that Rafa is drumming into his players on the training field in those comments from Atsu – we must win every game, no team will be easy, we have to work hard, we can take nothing for granted.
And Rafa really seems to be getting his points through to his players and Newcastle are now a team that can win every game – they really are starting to have that winning mentality and are finding a way to win these games.
Winning all 6 games in the last batch of games over the previous three weeks was simply terrific.
Now we have 10 games though January 2nd in a short 43 days once the International break is over; we play Leeds United in the next game at Elland Road on Sunday, November 20th.
We do play some of the lower placed teams in the next batch of games, such as Blackburn twice, Nottingham Forest twice, Wigan and Burton and we have a League Cup quarter-final tie at Hull City.
Maybe we could put another good win streak together – with the emphasis on could.
That’s what we need to do and an in-form Christian Atsu can help us to do just that.
Howay The Lads!!