When Grant Hanley agreed to come to Newcastle last summer, once we finally agreed a fee for him with Blackburn Rovers, he would have hoped to have played more than the 13 games he has played for the Magpies this season.
Grant has been a little unlucky that both Ciaran Clark and captain Jamaal Lascelles have both had very good seasons and Grant is now third choice center-back, but ahead of Chancel Mbemba, who was a starter last season in the Premier League.
Grant Hanley – Newcastle center-back
We heard from Massadio Haidara day or two ago that some players were frustrated with their lack of playing time at the club and that’s true with Grant too.
Grant is a good team player as well as a strong leader and he has talked today in the Chronicle about his lack of playing time this season:
“This season has been tough for me personally, because I’ve not played as much as I would have liked to.”
“I’m not alone in that, but what I would say is that with the club, all the lads are pulling in the same direction.”
“There’s no bitterness amongst the lads – everybody is fighting together. The competition for places is making everybody better players.”
“And that’s a massive positive for us because our end goal is promotion.”
“It’s always good to play with good players. When you’re out there and you’ve got good players around you, it makes your job a bit easier.”
“It means you can concentrate on doing your own job. I enjoyed playing with Lascelles in the last game, but all the players here are top quality, so it’s enjoyable whenever you go out there.”
Those are good words from Grant and it’s been great this season that our team spirit is so much improved over last season – when it was in a word – awful.
Rafa Benitez and his coaching staff have to take a lot of the credit for that.
What do you think?