Newcastle have the youngest starting eleven in the Premier League, and a lot of our players are getting used to what it’s like playing in the Premier League every week.
Rafa Benitez is keen to get more competition in every position in the team and when January rolls around it looks like he would like to bring in a left-back, striker and number 10 (withdrawn striker) to keep the competition for places strong.
We have three good central midfielders at the moment in new boy Mikel Merino, Jonjo Shelvey and Isaac Hayden with the former two starting the last game at home to Liverpool in the excellent 1-1 draw.
Mikel is doing very well and scored two goals for the Spanish U21 side during the International break.
Isaac was great for us last season in the Championship, but he has admitted today he has not been good enough so far this season.
Isaac Hayden – unhappy with his form
The 22-year-old is anxious to improve under Rafa Benitez, and he gets a lot of advice from the experienced manager on how to improve various aspects of his game.
This is what Isaac has told the local press as reported in the Chronicle:
“I’m realistic about these things and I don’t think I was harsh on myself.”
“I set myself high standards and I understand my game, I understand what I need to improve on.”
“I just believe I’m an honest person and if I have a good game I feel I can say I’ve had a good game, and if I’ve had a bad game I feel I can say I’ve had a bad game.”
“I’m not afraid to admit things or take things on the chin.”
“It’s something that I felt and I spoke to the manager about it, watched clips back, etc., etc., but it’s about becoming the best player you can be.”
“We’ve got a young group, you’ve obviously got me and Mikel and Jonjo in there at the minute fighting for positions in the team.”
“It improves us, obviously having Mo Diame who can play there too, it just keeps improving us.”
“Everyday we keep improving, we’re still young and we’re not the finished article by far.”
“It would be a bit silly to waste our potential and the resources we have got with the manager and the coaches; the facilities are good, the stadium is good, the training ground is good.”
“We have coaches and a manager who are willing to give us their time and effort, which is not necessarily something a lot of managers and coaching staff would be willing to give.”
“If we can keep using that information and advice, then we’re always going to improve.”
There may be a way of starting Jonjo, Mikel, and Isaac together in the same team.
But it’s expected that Jonjo and Mikel will start again at Southampton on Sunday afternoon.
Another win in that game is just what the doctor ordered.
What do you think?