Top Player Struggling At Newcastle – But He’ll Come Back

There was a surprise on Saturday with the Newcastle squad when Mikel Merino didn’t make the bench.

So after a great first three months of his career at Newcastle, he got the back injury in late October, and now he is struggling a little bit at the club.

One reason he’s struggling for his place is the emergence of Mo Diame as the holding midfielder, and Diame had another terrific game for us against the Terriers.

Mikel Merino – not in the squad for Saturday

But Merino is still an outstanding young player and Rafa was asked why he was missing on Saturday:

“He was fine.”

“The problem is – and I was talking with him – when you have 18 who are training and players are coming back from international duty and they have not been around, you have to make a decision.”

“Isaac Hayden was training really well to be on the bench.

“We felt if we needed a midfielder, Hayden could be an option.

“Merino, to be fair, was also training well. The only thing is he was not around for some time.”

“Yes – we have few injuries – that’s really positive for us.”

“As I said before, the way that they were training is quite good.”

“That’s really good in any team, but especially when you are under pressure, like teams are at the bottom of the table.”

“When you are under pressure, you need competition.”

“Until Tuesday, that’s it. They have two days, that’s enough.”

The players more than deserved their two days off before preparing for the tough game at Leicester City.

But we’ll give the for former Premier League Champions a game – and if we can get another win, then we will be virtually safe in the league.

And with Stoke losing 3-0 at Arsenal yesterday they are still second bottom and a full 8 points behind us on 27 points.

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Comments welcome.

10 comments so far

  • sing in the corner

    Apr 2, 2018 at 8:44 AM

    Comment #1

    5 people voted for Hayden MOM..
    Thick as planks!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 2, 2018 at 8:44 AM

    Comment #2

    A man who didn’t know what year we last won a trophy ridicules a man who hadn’t realised the transfer window dates had changed. Go figure!!!

  • sing in the corner

    Apr 2, 2018 at 8:45 AM

    Comment #3

    Doing that counts as humour on wearside?

  • Jib

    Apr 2, 2018 at 8:46 AM

    Comment #4

    Aww baby
    passes Jail the Kleenex

  • Jib

    Apr 2, 2018 at 8:51 AM

    Comment #5

    I would imagine any movement of lacelles would be
    with Rafa’s collusion
    Players come
    Players go
    c’est la vie au football

  • Jib

    Apr 2, 2018 at 8:52 AM

    Comment #6

    Should have said
    así es la vida en el fútbol

  • Munster Mag

    Apr 2, 2018 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #7

    I see rafa likes Perez more than a lot of his critics here. Ruddy numb nuts won’t be happy.

  • Slank

    Apr 2, 2018 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #8


    Re your posting about Lascelles.

    I think Chelsea haven’t recovered from the loss of Terry. Lascelles would be a perfect replacement principally because of his leadership qualities.

    If sold it would be a significant loss to the club, that I am sure would have a negative impact on the next season.

    It would be a test for the club to resist Chelsea. I’m sure Rafa would resist any overtures from Chelsea. Similarly any new owner.

  • toonincheek

    Apr 2, 2018 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #9

    Even if Lascelles were to end up at Chelski this summer,
    could you see him being (taken seriously as) captain of
    a squad with so much experience and talent?

    (Not saying that a few of them wouldn’t be better for a
    Lascelles-type slating in training)

  • widowmagandapoke

    Apr 2, 2018 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #10

    Surprised Richie was so low in the ratings. Some of hi hard work must go unnoticed.


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