21 year-old Isaac Hayden has been an excellent acquisition for Newcastle this season, especially when we got him for only £2.5M from Arsenal and the central midfielder has already had plenty of playing time under Rafa playing 15 times with one goal.
Isaac only played twice for the Arsenal first team so he now seems to be enjoying life in Newcastle and under Rafa Benitez and certainly he seems to be improving very quickly this season.
And if Jonjo Shelvey does get a 5 match ban for his recent FA charge then Hayden may be asked to play a more creative role from central midfield, although Rafa has other players who can fill in for Jonjo if he is suspended.
Isaac Hayden – during the 6-0 win over Preston
Isaac has been interviewed in the Chronicle and he mentions the players can always learn from games:
“You can always take lessons from games; maybe we were a bit sloppy in possession in certain situations.”
“We had to take our chances and had we taken them then it would have been game over.”
“At 2-0 it is always a dangerous scoreline – it gave Cardiff confidence to keep going and they got one back so made it a bit nervous.”
One of the things Rafa Benitez is keen on is improving players after each game and improving them in every training session.
Once players buy into the fact that’s possible – then it’s all a case of improvement – continuous improvement – and we’ve seen that happen this season with both the team and the players.
The team has become a lot more resilient and can take pressure during certain periods of games without collapsing, as we did far too many times last season under Steve McClaren.
We’ve heard managers before say they review the previous game and see how they can improve from it, but Rafa Benitez seems to take it to a different level.
As the season goes on each player can improve and the team also keeps improving and that’s what Rafa’s been saying ever since the season started.
After two shock defeats in our first two games we have won 15 of the last 17 games and lost only once – that’s terrific.
All we need to do now is keep it up.