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This New Youngster Already Thriving Under Rafa Benitez

One of our best players in this preseason seems to be new boy 21 year-old holding midfielder Isaac Hayden, who was brought in from Arsenal for a low £2.5M.

Issac immediately impressed in his early interviews as someone who had no doubt he wanted to come to  Tyneside and that he wanted to play for what he considered one of the best managers in the world in Rafa Benitez.

So off the field Isaac got off to a good start at Newcastle and he came across as a really smashing young lad.

isaac hayden ireland smiling

21 year-old Issac Hayden in training

But it’s on the field where he’s also been very impressive and Isaac seems to have already been learning from Rafa Benitez.

This lad is already a good technical player, who can play the simple game and to institutions from the boss.

Isaac has played well in pre-season and last night he was again impressive for 63 minutes before being replaced by local lad Jack Colback.

Hayden fits the profile of players Rafa wants to bring to Newcastle – young players who are good technically, want to come to Newcastle and are hungry and ambitious to become much better players.

From what we can tell Isaac Hayden is already benefiting from the coaching and tactical nuance of Rafa Benitez and certainly his application, temperament and character seem to be first class.

Hayden can play at center-back and at right back and he may be used in those positions at some point in the season but Rafa said he had signed him as a holding midfielder and that’s where Isaac has played in pre-season.

The initial signs are that we have a terrific buy in young Isaac – he’s exactly the type of player we want at Newcastle.

He’s young, good, ambitious, positive and wants to be on Tyneside and help Newcastle to get straight back to the Premier League.

What could be better?

We hope Issac improves as the season goes on and we could well have a big star in our midst.

Hope so.

Comments welcome.

30 comments so far

  • Shadow_Shearer

    Jul 27, 2016 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #1

    I like this lad. He can become a very valuable player to us.

  • Jib

    Jul 27, 2016 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #2

    Slank // Jul 27, 2016 at 2:58 PM
    Made some crack about Rafa starting his signees !
    Listen bonny lad Rafa doesn’t sign players to sit on the bench !

  • Shadow_Shearer

    Jul 27, 2016 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #3

    I wanted to criticise rafa for playing anita on the right, once again he proved the critics wrong when anita scored a screamer of a goal.

  • Jib

    Jul 27, 2016 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #4

    ToonRich // Jul 27, 2016 at 2:02 PM

    Just read (source; Daily mail)…Barca considering Perez as backup to their strike trio :/

    That’s like 6 weeks old !

    What search engine are you using !

  • Slank

    Jul 27, 2016 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #5


    Best wait till the end of the season before judgement can be made with such positativity me thinks.

  • Ian Toon

    Jul 27, 2016 at 3:28 PM

    Comment #6

    Jib- Darlow or Matz Sels?

  • Slank

    Jul 27, 2016 at 3:29 PM

    Comment #7

    Shadow @ 1

    I said a few weeks ago that I thought that this lad could become a standout player for us. I truly hope so.

  • Slank

    Jul 27, 2016 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #8

    Ian Toon

    I can’t see what Darlow has done wrong if he loses his place to Sels.

    Darlow has played with at least three of the defenders who may start (Dummit, Lascelles and Janmaat) and so no familiarisation would be necessary.

  • Jib

    Jul 27, 2016 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #9

    It ain’t your fault
    I’m sure you love the Toon
    I don’t think you have the remotest idea how good Rafael “Rafa” Benítez Maudes actually is !

  • Ian Toon

    Jul 27, 2016 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #10

    Slank- Benitez has done a full review of the players and we’ve shed a lot of baggage and players not in contention for a first team spot. Aside from losing Townsend and Wijnaldum’s goals from midfield were a healthier club for talented young players to break into. Goofy did well last night and created good space for others by intelligent runs.
    Can see another ST, winger/ attacking midfielder and a LB being sought.

  • lesh

    Jul 27, 2016 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #11

    Jib/ Toon Rich

    If the Perez-Barca story’s six weeks old, the Chron’s reporting the same one today.

    Maybe the media’s been dozing and need one of your inspirational talks!

  • Jib

    Jul 27, 2016 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #12

    Matz Sels for his communication with the back 4 or 3 or 5
    He’s Rafa’s new Pepe Reina

  • Jib

    Jul 27, 2016 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #13

    I’ll go down to the Bigg Market – have a few scoops – and GO INTO THOMPSON HOUSE and kick ass !

  • Our Toon

    Jul 27, 2016 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #14

    Darlow made huge errors against spurs Norwich and wba, doesn’t fill me with any confidence

  • Ian Toon

    Jul 27, 2016 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #15

    I take your point. Sels was judged by many at the game on his showing in the Doncaster match. Haven’t seen enough of him in all honesty.

    Saturday’s starting line up could be a good indication along with back four selected.

  • Ian Toon

    Jul 27, 2016 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #16

    Jib- He does seem to favour the tried and tested. 4-2-3-1 I’ve been promoting 4-4-2 at home with Dwight Gale clearly welcoming the little and large format but Mitro is missing for a while.

  • Shadow_Shearer

    Jul 27, 2016 at 4:08 PM

    Comment #17

    Matter of opinions, Can people tell me what yous make of dwight gayle so far??

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Jul 27, 2016 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #18


    Hard to have an opinion so far on Gayle, for me. I haven’t seen enough of him really. Hoping he is a hit, like.

  • Jib

    Jul 27, 2016 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #19

    Dwight Gayle is one of those strikers who gets a goal when it’s needed.
    Not a 3rd and 4th goal scorer in a 5 -0 chinning of some side.
    These type of scorers while not prolific gain you points.

  • Shadow_Shearer

    Jul 27, 2016 at 4:19 PM

    Comment #20

    You couldn’t make it up

    I hope he becomes a hit aswel. Ofcourse it’s still very early days, but it looks to me as the only role he can play is the big man & little man with Mitrovic. Still to early to judge.

  • Jib

    Jul 27, 2016 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #21

    The number of times Beardo popped up out of nowhere to nip a goal when we were on the back foot was unreal – these type of players are worth their weight in gold .

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 27, 2016 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #22

    What a bizarre statement. Rafa doesn’t sign players to sit on the bench. I think you’ll find that it was Dirk Llambeze that didn’t sign players to sit on the bench. If Grant Hanley or Isaacs Haydon aren’t pulling their weight or lose form they will find themselves sitting on the bench!

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jul 27, 2016 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #23

    ust want to ramble on a bit about last nights game at Southend.

    I was in the opposite end to the Toon supporters behind the goal and had a great view of the game.
    I was sat beside my mate who is a big bloke and a SUFC supporter who was even bigger so felt like a filling in a sandwich. The stadium is old and in my mates words really grim with very little leg room between the seats, but wasn’t too bad overall.

    I thought it was a good hard fought game and SUFC were a typical lower league team with good organisation and plenty of fight,. so didn’t make it easy for us which will probably be similar to many of our games this season.

    They had one player called A Trialist who seemed to be on and off the pitch for most of the game and I recko they must have used every player on their books during the game.

    The MOM award went to one of their players who must have been selected by his dad.
    The real MOM was Jonjo who covered every blade of grass in the game and was in no way like some the descriptions I’ve seen of him in this blog, he was positive, hard working and his passing and ball control was first class, very few uber passes attempted. Had this been a home game he would have been applauded off the pitch, I predict that if he continues in the same vein he will be a Tyneside hero this season and be playing for England.

    Lascelles ran him close and as my mate observed SUFC won next to nowt in the air, the whole back line were good and solid its going to be hard for teams to score against us with high long hopeful balls, our big weakness in the past.

    Dummet was good and both of the goals were well taken, Goufron on this showing could be the surprise of the season.

    Gayle for me was very disappointing and didn’t really show.

    Hanley looked like another good big-un.

    The game could have ended 3-1 or 4-1 one as Darlow pulled off a great save in the dying minutes and their goalie had a great game.

    I can’t see why Rafa was disappointed as SUFC defended doggedly and weren’t easy to break down all in all I think it was a good result.

    Oh and by the way the Toon supporters were great and in fine voice and could someone tell me what they were singing?
    Anyway that’s me done for a few more months.

    Back to work

  • Jib

    Jul 27, 2016 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #24

    Not bizarre at all.
    Slank inferred that Rafa signs players by reputation only – which is defo not the case.

    I take it Dirk Llambeze was mocking Derek Llambias’ name .
    It’s the 21st century ffs – grow up !

    It’s not funny or clever.

  • Jib

    Jul 27, 2016 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #25

    Great input
    Don’t be a stranger !

  • Ron Knee

    Jul 27, 2016 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #26

    “Imply and infer are opposites. To imply is to hint at something, but to infer is to make an educated guess. The speaker does the implying, and the listener does the inferring.”

  • lesh

    Jul 27, 2016 at 5:02 PM

    Comment #27


    Do you have to go into Thomson House to find the Chron/ Journal hacks these days? Once was the time, they were to be found in the Printers Pie. Is it still there or has it been re-rubbished like most of the City’s former fine hostelries?

    I must say that finding what I see as a proper pub in the City’s centre seems like a daunting prospect these days. Presumably the likes of The Bodega, Crown Posada and Bridge are still serving decent ale?

  • ToonRich

    Jul 27, 2016 at 5:02 PM

    Comment #28

    Jib, think you must be sleeping today mate…

    Been reporting this for past 8hrs (today)!!!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 27, 2016 at 5:06 PM

    Comment #29

    It was actually what one of Mike’s trusted former employees that coined the name and you were all for him at one stage.

  • veto

    Jul 27, 2016 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #30

    used tobe on this blog all the time when ed started , for past cpl years all i see are same names arguing on every single post , really off putting and disheartening ,
    grow up chaps ,


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