Newcastle Star – We Are Improving Going Through These Difficult Times


You have probably already realized that one of our favorite young players at Newcastle is Isaac Hayden and this lad has had a great first season on Tyneside and and quite honestly it could not have been much better.

When he was signed by Rafa last summer he was brought in by the manager as a defensive midfielder and he has made that position his own this season and we certainly missed him when he was out injured earlier this year.

He’s a very technical and classy player and he makes a difference when he plays for the side.

He can also score some great goals as he demonstrated last Friday at Cardiff City and if he can add goals to his game – he will be so much better in the future.

Isaac Hayden after scoring at Cardiff City – YES

And the really exciting part is that we expect this lad to keep improving in all aspects of his game and maybe even next season could be his breakthrough season  in the Premier League.

But we’ll leave it at that – we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves.

Isaac always gives good interviews and he has pointed out in the Chronicle today that the squad is young and the ups and downs and difficulties of this season are a learning exercise for lots of our players.

Certainly that’s the way Rafa will look at it and he is teaching the players in order that they improve every single week this season – and most of them have.

Certainly that’s the way Rafa will look at this season – he’s had a season with a number of the players who will be at Newcastle long term as he hopefully builds a team to compete with the big boys in the Premier League and in Europe.

This is some of what Isaac has said in the Chronicle today:

“Overall we have a young squad, people can easily forget that. There is plenty of time for us all to improve and I am sure we will.”

“To be in pressure situations like we have been in recent weeks will only help us. Playing in big games, high pressure games, is what every football should want to do.”

“From the Leeds game, drawing that game took the sting out of us a little, had we won things might have been different. We can’t think ifs and buts and maybes.”

“We have got over the line, whether we win the title or not.”

“You have to wait before you book your holidays because you don’t want to, or plan in your head, when things aren’t done properly.”

“The only time you can really do that is in a week’s time or whatever when you are promoted.”  “None of the lads had booked their holidays, we all knew we had to get the job done first.”

“We all wanted to get the wins to get over the line, I’m pretty sure when we did get over the line there were a few lads rushing out to book their holidays!”

“Even then, the next day, we went back to training and had to be focused for the Cardiff game and we will be preparing for the Barnsley game as well.”

“We are all professionals we want to win them all.”

Really good words there from a player who cost us just £2.5M from Arsenal last summer.

And it’s good Rafa Benitez keeps them focused all the time and if there was ever a person who sets an example as the complete professional – it’s Rafa Benitez.

Comments welcome.



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62 comments so far

  • cyprus

    May 1, 2017 at 8:29 PM

    Comment #1

    Shearer has told some hard truths there. Without massive investment we’ll struggle near the bottom.

    We need some seriously good players.

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  • Ron Knee

    May 1, 2017 at 8:48 PM

    Comment #2

    What a goal!

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  • GeordieTwo

    May 1, 2017 at 8:53 PM

    Comment #3

    Wise words from wor Rafa! Build with youth and a few classy veterans in their late 20’s.

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  • GeordieTwo

    May 1, 2017 at 8:56 PM

    Comment #4

    We will indeed Cyprus mate. No way around it. Money must be spent. Our squad has some promising younger players but too many who have not performed for years now. Including the on loans.

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  • Harley

    May 1, 2017 at 9:03 PM

    Comment #5

    Can’t agree with Shearer. How many clubs in the league have spent £150m? I don’t know myself but I doubt it’s many. West Brom, Southampton, Watford, Bournemouth, Stoke, all been mid table ish all season. None have spent close to that probably even over the last 3 seasons.

    I reckon we could get 30m-50m in player sales and maybe the same again from the club. That would be very reasonable to me.

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  • ShirebrookToon

    May 1, 2017 at 9:11 PM

    Comment #6

    There was no stopping that strike from Emre Can. Take a bow son!

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  • WWSBRD

    May 1, 2017 at 9:12 PM

    Comment #7

    Lascelles has been playing with a double hernia for 4 months? That lad is alright by me

    Big difference from Christmas suspension Nolan and away to Argentina Colo in captaincy levels that

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  • optimistic prime

    May 1, 2017 at 9:17 PM

    Comment #8

    We all know Ashley can’t be trusted but I find it difficult to believe he won’t back Rafa.

    I can’t see him giving £150 million to Rafa and saying on you go. I reckon it’ll be around £70million and anything he can raise through sales. I’m sure we’ll get a Cpl of loans in and a Cpl out of contract or in their last year which will keep the spending down.

    I’d be surprised if Rafa hasn’t already got a wish list or 3 already, it’ll be a interesting window to say the least.

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  • Thump

    May 1, 2017 at 9:26 PM

    Comment #9

    @WWSBRD: That explains his hesitance to jump into certain challenges, and some of the lapses in concentration. Fair play to the lad for playing through it, but I kind of wish he’d have got himself sorted sooner rather than taking risks with his health.

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  • magspuggy

    May 1, 2017 at 9:28 PM

    Comment #10

    I get called unrealistic for saying 50-100 mill
    However i expect the club to spend that.
    Who we buy i have no idea.
    Nothing in the prem comes cheap (unless we buy mackems )

    Ashley will back rafa
    Rafa will buy young talent and mould them into better players who can be sold for profit.
    Fattie will like that.
    Staying in the prem gets tat direct on the tv
    Fattie loves that.
    Rafa will take us to europe.
    Fattie cant wait.

    Shearers 150 estimate would cause us issues with the fa fair play rules imho.
    We could do with it imho and could spend more on our under 23s to help raise funds for the first team.

    If we dont spend to catch up what chance do we have ?

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  • G

    May 1, 2017 at 9:29 PM

    Comment #11

    For all those who seem to think spraffing cash breeds success, bear in mind oved the last 3 seasons Sunderland have been the 3rd highest spender. That worked out well!

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  • WWSBRD

    May 1, 2017 at 9:32 PM

    Comment #12

    Thump
    Aye don’t disagree but rather shows his importance to the team if Rafa didn’t push for him to have it sorted earlier.. still though tough lad four months in the Championship is exhausting enough without being in constant pain

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  • magspuggy

    May 1, 2017 at 9:39 PM

    Comment #13

    Aye G. But we have a world class manager and penfold gets the tax back.

    Even spending cant make you stay up annd we want much much more than that.

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  • lochinvar

    May 1, 2017 at 9:39 PM

    Comment #14

    Any chance that Ashley will sell to new owners who then sanction a larger spend ?
    Maybe the new shirt sponsors will be an indicator of future ownership ?

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  • giimps

    May 1, 2017 at 9:40 PM

    Comment #15

    Im not sure if Ashley will back Rafa with huge sums this summer, more than likely it will be a staged payment scheme providing he keeps us in the league.
    Ashley wants the club to be self sufficient so wont want to be pumping loads of money in before its earned, my belief is that Rafa will get whatever is owed from previous sales and whatever he can get from player sales in the future, next year the same plus whatever is profit from club expenditure.
    We may expect the new sponsorship deal to go directly to recruitment too which will help.
    By my reckoning we should have a reasonable £30 m from previous sales, possibly 10m from sponsorship deals and possibly £25-30m from player sales.
    Unfortunately this will probably mean selling a few favourites , Mitro and possibly Perez as well as the serial underachievers, colback,dejong,thauvin,saivet,sels,lazaar,gamez,murphy,hanley.
    Rafa will probably accept this and we can start to build a squad for the future , Rome wasnt built in a day so expecting a huge transfer budget in our first season while maybe needed, is not practical or affordable…..imho

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  • JamesToon

    May 1, 2017 at 9:41 PM

    Comment #16

    150m is ridiculous,

    anywhere between 50-100million would be a fair budget for ashley to give. Clubs like bottom half clubs haven’t spent anywhere near as much as the figures being quoted, although we do need a fair amount of quality to improve the spine of the team which will cost around 50/60mil.

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  • manxpie

    May 1, 2017 at 9:48 PM

    Comment #17

    Has everyone forgot the charnley thing from not so long ago be lucky to get much more than 30 mill and generate more from sales 50 to 150 mill is crazy when we are talking about ashley

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  • ShirebrookToon

    May 1, 2017 at 9:49 PM

    Comment #18

    6 more sleeps til super Sunday 🙁

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  • magspuggy

    May 1, 2017 at 9:53 PM

    Comment #19

    If we are owed money for players and they are sold from the new clubs would we get payment in full then ?
    Not that i expect sissoko to sell for profit.

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  • WWSBRD

    May 1, 2017 at 9:56 PM

    Comment #20

    manx
    Am with u but it fighting a losing battle pointing it out

    magspuggy
    Depends how the deal is set out mate we will likely never know

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  • Klatoon

    May 1, 2017 at 9:58 PM

    Comment #21

    150m is not so over the top. Having watched watched Swansea against manure, it was clear we are atleast 5 quality starters ( and 3 subs ) away from being able to compete with them…and they are facing relegation!

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  • jimmysmith

    May 1, 2017 at 10:00 PM

    Comment #22

    Well all the teams beneath Everton are pretty ordinary, and even the Toffees are quite a bit behind the senior sides. So for sure in my opinion we are only about 3 or 4 starters and two good young squad additions from challenging Everton for seventh under Benitez, who I think would have guided the group of players that took us down into the top ten had he had them from the get go, and certainly can guide his own group into it.

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  • manxpie

    May 1, 2017 at 10:01 PM

    Comment #23

    Aye ww now unless the new sponsor is paying man city kind of money it just ain’t happening

    How we let levy get away with paying 30 mill over 6 seasons is a joke like god knows how its set up but at the end of the day they will have to pay up

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  • jane

    May 1, 2017 at 10:02 PM

    Comment #24

    common sense will likely prevail.

    it’s not the amount of money that is spent it is what it is spent on and the manager is most important.

    not a lot of changes are needed to stay up. we’ll be able to compete with the 2 other promoted teams at least.

    but a generous investment spent wisely should get mid-table with Rafa.

    Rafa is not going to demand more than is reasonable the Ashley etc will back Rafa.

    biggest problem will probably be fans expectations!

    just seen the Liverpool goal!

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  • manxpie

    May 1, 2017 at 10:03 PM

    Comment #25

    In 10 years of Ashley klatoon it is way way way over the top lol

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  • jane

    May 1, 2017 at 10:05 PM

    Comment #26

    just do the sums £150m is not going to be available, all the players wages for the whole season have to be paid as well.

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  • WWSBRD

    May 1, 2017 at 10:06 PM

    Comment #27

    manx
    Aye this money people are spending must be coming from somewhere I’ve not spotted like

    On the Spurs deal might be based on appearances or goals though which he will likely not reach so they might not have to pay who knows (Martial deal at Man Utd is built like that pretty sure they just had to pay 5plus mill after his last goal)

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  • jimmysmith

    May 1, 2017 at 10:07 PM

    Comment #28

    Not crazy at all to think Ashley will go into his own pocket again. His “loan” to the club has been added to a number of times, it’s interest free, and there is little at all to suggest he’ll ever ask for it to be “repaid” before he sells. His concept of having the club wipe its own nose is an aim, but not set in stone in terms of the season to season running of the club, and the circumstances surrounding this upcoming season make it almost impossible. Benitez will be telling Ashley he has to spend, and Ashley isn’t in much of a position to imagine otherwise.

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  • AncientC

    May 1, 2017 at 10:15 PM

    Comment #29

    Sunderland have spent around £53 million over the course of the last 3 years. I would be very surprised if that is the 3rd highest spend over that period in England. Some of the bigger clubs would spend that on a single player.

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  • manxpie

    May 1, 2017 at 10:19 PM

    Comment #30

    Jesus if it is we really are fusked lol
    Jimmy Ashley is all about profit
    He even said from his own mouth his pockets were empty that was just before relegation you are all gonna be very disappointed I feel

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  • manxpie

    May 1, 2017 at 10:21 PM

    Comment #31

    On a side note is pardew pregnant!?

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  • jane

    May 1, 2017 at 10:23 PM

    Comment #32

    looks like it

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  • jane

    May 1, 2017 at 10:25 PM

    Comment #33

    i didn’t think Sunderland have been huge spenders.

    i’d rather have Ashley than Short.

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  • Bobbybee

    May 1, 2017 at 10:27 PM

    Comment #34

    Doesn’t take much for people to start thinking the worst. Wait and see. Rafa’s already spoke to Ashley on the phone and he looked and sounded very upbeat about the prospects. He won’t be expecting anything like 150m, he’s realistic. No idea what Shearer thinks he’s playing at, but he’s not helping. Show me a team that has just come up that’s spent half of that ffs. As I keep saying, you won’t fix this overnight. We need to be patient. Next season’s not about launching an attack on the top end, it’s about starting to rebuild. I think he’ll be happy enough just knowing that Ashley intends to back him longer term.

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  • manxpie

    May 1, 2017 at 10:30 PM

    Comment #35

    Bobby again over 10 years of Ashley it’s not thinking the worst it’s thinking the norm in fact getting 30 mill is thinking positively

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  • Bobbybee

    May 1, 2017 at 10:41 PM

    Comment #36

    Manx, to be fair, the first few years were about getting the club stabilised. Ashley has made some seriously bad mistakes over the years and nobody can deny that. The last couple have shown signs of a change in direction. Better to just wait and see imo. Not too long to wait really, the final match is Sunday and then we’ll find out soon after that. How many on here had Rafa refusing to stay last summer? Plenty. Ditto the press. He stayed. Fat man backed him. We don’t know what happened in January but that’s water under the bridge now. Looking at Rafa’s body language after talking to Ashley, I think it’s good news. As long as we don’t expect too much – like Rafa won’t be, he’s very realistic and gets the economics. The facts are nobody knows. Not me, not you, nobody. Rafa looks happy. He said he thinks it will be fine. No point getting down when there’s no reason. There’ll be plenty meltdowns on here next season, starting with the first game we lose and relegation is nailed on. 🙂

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  • OneAlanShearer

    May 1, 2017 at 10:52 PM

    Comment #37

    The thing is I think you can either come up with a side that is well balanced and build on it or have a real pop at building a side once you’re up.
    Ashley didnt even allow rafa to build a side with a chance once up or even to assure promotion. As usual he gambled.
    I’m still yet to see Ashley commit and show real ambition.
    Every season he stops us short of being competitive.
    It’s going to be very interesting if he actually gives rafa what he wants or falls short yet again.
    Gk – we need a better first choice with darlow as understudy and elliot 3rd choice. Sell the other 2.
    Right back keep yedlin as 2nd choice sell anita. Sell gamez.
    Cb – keep clark and lascelles to compete for 2nd choice but a 1st choice. Sell hanley and Mbemba.
    Left back – keep Dummett as 2nd choice sell haidara and lazaar.
    Lw – keep aarons as 3rd choice, buy atsu as 2nd choice but buy a 1st choice. Sell gouffran.
    Dm keep hayden to challemge for 1st choice as he has a big future. Sell colback.
    Playmaker – keep shelvey as st choice but buy an alternative to challenge him as he can get lazy.
    Rw – Ritchie 1st choice all day long. Buy a fast back up player.
    Striker – buy 2 top quality strikers. Keep perez and gayle as backup. Sell mitro and Murphy.

    Sell the vast majority of players out on loan. I want to see what rafa can do with a team of his own players. Not half a team.

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  • jane

    May 1, 2017 at 10:54 PM

    Comment #38

    Pardew thinks Newcastle will stay up if Rafa stays.

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  • LewSpi v2.0

    May 1, 2017 at 10:54 PM

    Comment #39

    Why have people not yet learned to not take what these men say at face value? It’s ALL politics.

    When he said last season “the coffers are empty”, it was a message to other clubs saying “we won’t be walzing into negotiations with tens of millions and paying over the odds”

    When Rafa said in the Italian press last week “I left inter because the owner wouldn’t spend on the team” it was a message to Ashley, but he cleverly added “the team at inter was very old, we needed it to be younger” to really capture fat mikes attention.

    When shearer said “this team needs £150million” do you really think that’s a stab at the team? Do you really think he thinks we’re gonna get that? Of course it’s not, he’s preparing Ashley, if anything he’s setting the bar too high so that even if hey settle for less, it’s still high. It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if Rafa had got in touch with shearer and asked him to do it.

    There are some very important meetings coming up and these are all politics leading up to them. Look back at rafas press conferences over the last couple of weeks EVERYTHING he says is for Mike Ashley’s attention.

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  • Nufc-83

    May 1, 2017 at 11:05 PM

    Comment #40

    Numpty of the night award goes to Jimmy who thinks we are 3 starters away from challenging Everton. Then we wonder why we get called deluded!

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