It’s not something we were expecting, but the form this year of Mo Diame in Newcastle holding midfield position has been little short of a revelation.
Rafa has found the appropriate position for the former Senegal International, and he is making a real difference for Newcastle when it counts most.
After Mo signed for around £4.5M from Hull City in the summer of 2016, he did not have a good season in the Championship.
By his own account, he was disappointed with the form he showed last season.
But he has started every game for Newcastle this year, and he’s playing his best football since arriving at the club.
Mo Diame – in action against Manchester United
Giving up International Football a year ago will also help the 30-year-old former West Ham player.
This is what Mo has said as reported in the Chronicle today
“When you’re in good form, you want to keep going, and the break can be a bad thing.”
“It’s good to keep going and play game after game and training after training and keep the same attitude and the high fitness.”
“I’m enjoying it a lot. It’s what I wanted to since the beginning, but unfortunately, it couldn’t happen, so now I’m trying to enjoy it a lot better.”
“I need to make sure that I stay at a high level.”
“It was a friendly game (last Sunday against Royal Antwerp) that we needed to keep the shape and keep this team in the same attitude and fitness.”
“It was more for the fitness than anything, but it was important.”
“I think that the Belgian team thought that they were going to play against an English team, so they said ‘we have to fight and make some tackles.”
“That’s because when they watch the Premier League that it is, physically, a big battle, so they were prepared for that.”
“It was good. I think that the attitude of the team was good.”
“We were working all week in training. We were working hard, so it was just to get more minutes.”
“After, we’ve got another week without a game, so we need to make sure everyone keeps their fitness high in training.”
“It’s (our next game at home to Huddersfield on March 31) going to be another final, like the game we won before against Southampton.”
“It’s going to be a massive game at home.” “3 points is the goal, and that’s it.”
We are currently one point ahead of Huddersfield with a game in hand and have a much better goal difference (-10 versus -27).
So if we can beat them at home a week on Saturday, we will be in a good position in the league table.
We’ll have 35 points with just 7 games to play and 4 points above the Terriers.
Here’s how things stand at the moment.