Former Newcastle United midfielder Mohamed Diame has given an interview with BEIN Sports about his time at Newcastle United.
Rafa Benitez v Mike Ashley! Former Newcastle player Mo Diame speaks to @AndyKerrtv about the rift.
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS) September 12, 2019
The above clip is the ending of the three-minute interview but Mo, who now plays for Qatari side Al Ahli, started the interview with an endearing remark. This is what he said about his former club:
“For me this is a massive. After the big four, Newcastle is the best club in England. Now I’m not surprised Newcastle fans are not happy.”
Diame then went into the situation with his contract but was very diplomatic about it. He wanted a longer deal but was only offered the one-year extension. So thinking of his career, he decided that he had to leave the club.
Then the interviewer, Andy Kerr, asked Mo if Steve Bruce had been appointed earlier if that would have affected his decision. This is how he responded:
“Maybe, but to be honest, I had a really good relationship with Rafa Benitez. It wasn’t about Rafa, he’s always been amazing with me. It wasn’t about who was the manager. It was more about the chairman and Lee Charnley, who made the decision. Yeah, I would be happy to play again under Steve Bruce.”
The interview then moved onto the situation with Mike Ashley. Kerr asked Mohamed if it was hard as a player having an owner that was so unliked by the fans:
“It’s difficult for me to talk about things I don’t really know. I don’t want to judge people. I met the chairman once when we had a dinner with the team. He told me about his life and what’s happened and how he grew up. I know it was tough.
“I had a good feeling with him, and I can’t really judge something that I don’t know about. I can’t say if it was Rafa’s fault or the chairman’s fault because I don’t know.
It was a very diplomatic response by our former-midfielder but does fall into line with how many players have responded when asked about the owner. Mike Ashley is just never present at the club, so the players seem to have minimal contact with him.
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