Newcastle midfielder Isaac Hayden is very straight and explains why the Premier League is so good.
That’s because the players are better than leagues like the Championship – which we won last year to get promoted straight back to where we belong.
Isaac has been interviewed in the Chronicle today, and he comes across as wanting to get better as a player, and in that sense, he’s very much like 21-year-old Mikel Merino.
And at least at the moment both of them are fighting for the central midfield position next to Jonjo Shelvey in the Magpies side.
But maybe Rafa will move Mikel into the withdrawn striker (number 10) role on Monday night at Burnley in place of Ayoze Perez, and then all three could start the game together.
Isaac Hayden – trying to improve every week
It will also be interesting to see how Mikel performs in that role.
Here’s what Isaac Hayden has said about his own form and the game last Saturday against Crystal Palace:
“I’m just enjoying it. I’m going to have bad games and good games.”
“But I’m learning as I go along and trying to improve week by week and take little things from each game.”
“Staying fit this season is the most important thing for me. I just want to try and stay fit and do my best.”
“The players are just better in the Premier League. That’s it. The tempo’s quicker.”
“The players you’re playing against week in, week out are just better players.”
“The divisions don’t lie. The players who play at that level for a long time aren’t bad players.”
“People might look at it and say ‘Crystal Palace are in the bottom three’, but they’ve got some very good players in that team.”
“They made it very difficult.”
That’s one thing we really like about the players Rafa brings into the club – they are ambitious and want to improve their game at Newcastle.
Maybe that’s just one reason we are doing so well and improving as a team as the season progresses.