22 year-old defensive midfielder Isaac Hayden was one of our new recruits last summer who subsequently became a starter last season in what turned out to be a truly successful season.
We got back to the Premier League at the first time of asking and we are back in the big money.
And Newcastle didn’t just get an automatic promotion spot but we also won the Championship by winning the last three games.
That was after having some ups and downs (mainly downs) immediately before that as the young players seemed to get nervous as they were close to reaching the only goal of the season – automatic promotion.
Rafa Benitez with Isaac Hayden
Isaac thinks the job Rafa has done has not got the plaudits it deserves, but it was always going to be difficult for a world-class manager in the second division in England to get any real credit – whatever Rafa did.
That’s why we thought Rafa took a huge risk with his career when he stayed with Newcastle last summer, but he has come out on top as have Newcastle United.
Rafa has come though this season a better manager and Newcastle have come through it as a better club and hopefully will now be led by Rafa in all football matters to success.
From the meeting last Tuesday night it certainly looks that way.
This is what Isaac has said as reported in ChronicleLive:
“I think it’s been a little bit underestimated how good a job he has done, because it’s difficult as a manager to get arguably a whole new squad.”
“He’s got 12 new players in.” “He’s lost players who were important last season for the club, or termed ‘big players’, and he’s got the right characters back into the club.”
“Everyone wanted to do well and work hard. “It’s not easy to gel, and especially to get the formation and tactics right.”
“But everyone has worked hard, and it’s credit to the manager and the staff.”
“It’s not just the manager.” “It’s the fitness coaches, the backroom staff who maybe don’t get mentioned. It’s everybody.”
Isaac made 38 appearances for the side last season including 31 starts and scored two good goals.