As the start of another season edges closer Rolando Aarons finds himself in a similar position to where he was 12 months ago.
A strong pre-season last year elevated him from a promising youngster to a genuine first team contender. Now he finds himself once more trying to prove himself.
Although he made his breakthrough last season, injuries decimated his campaign and as a result was limited to only six appearances. In that short period he was able to show glimpses of why he is so highly regarded by those at the club. His early season form included goals against Crystal Palace and open the scoring against Manchester City in the cup, with the latter regularly reported to have an interest in Rolando. After that injury unfortunately all but ended his campaign, making only one appearance after November (a substitute appearance at Loftus Road).
While many Premier League footballers spend their summer break partying in Ibiza or Las Vegas, Aarons spent much of his, hard at work in preparation for the upcoming campaign. His summer began by representing England under 20’s in Toulon and helping them to a fourth placed finish. After that Aarons spent time training with “Back2action”, In order to ensure that he would be in the best possible condition to put the injury frustrations of last year behind him.
The work that he has done over summer seems to have paid off with impressive cameo displays against Gateshead, Atlas and Sacramento Republic. However it was against Portland Timbers 2 where he really showed his talent. First he set up Georginio Wijnaldum for his first Newcastle goal before scoring two of his own, the first being a classy overhead kick of his own making, the second a powerful strike from outside the box.
Steve McClaren seems to be a fan of his talents and hopefully the new manager can get the most out of the Jamaican born winger.
Rolando has shown that he undeniably has the talent to make him a success for Newcastle but now it is up to him so show off his ability on a consistent basis. If he stays fit then I have no doubt that he could be one of the real stand out performers in the Premier League this season.
Amid rumours of a new contract for Aarons being imminent it is vital that Newcastle move quickly to get him secured on a long term deal to wade off interest from others, of which there would be no shortage of suitors.
At the moment he is unique within the current squad of players. Alongside his youthful energy and exuberance it is probably fair to say that he offers the most pace, as well as being our only genuine left winger. With the arrival of Aleksander Mitrovic from Anderlecht, Aarons could become a vital player. By all accounts Mitrovic is very strong in the air and would depend on quality delivery from wide areas and therefore his arrival spells good news for Rolando.
Based on his Twitter feed no one recognises more than himself the importance of this season and is very determined to be a success. It is now up to Aarons to his undoubted talent over a long period rather than the unfortunately short bursts we have seen so far. If he can do that then who knows how far he and we could go this season?
Despite being Newcastle’s top goal scorer last season; fans seem to be taking the shirt right off the back of the Senegalese striker and selling him off at any opportunity.
Cissé who signed for United back in January 2012 made an instant impact on the premier league as his debut strike against Aston Villa rippled the back of the net as it hit the top corner of the goal. That same season Cissé fired NUFC to fifth in the premier league table as he netted 13 goals in 14 games, including a sensational brace versus Chelsea.
The following season Cissé struggled to find the same form as he produced in his debut season but despite this he featured in 36 premier league games scoring a handful of crucial stoppage time winners which helped secure United’s Premier League status as a tiring European campaign had a blistering impact on league performances.
Cissé’s third season at the club was one to forget for everyone involved, scoring his first league goal on Boxing Day, and his second and last in April against newly promoted Crystal Palace. The striker’s season came to a sudden halt as he was substituted against Swansea in April, after the game it was revealed that he had broken his kneecap during the came and would undergo surgery.
Last season saw Cissé back to his best, netting 11 goals in 22 appearances, this was somewhat overshadowed by two off the ball incidents in games against Everton and Manchester United that Cissé was involved in. Cisse was charged with dangerous conduct and banned for a total of three games by the FA after he intentionally attempted to thrust his elbow (twice) into Everton’s Seamus Coleman’s face during a corner. Later in the season Cissé faced a yet another charge by the FA, this time missing a further 7 games as he was punished for a spitting incident with Manchester United’s Jonny Evans.
So what does the future hold for Newcastle and the Senegalese striker?
Without Cissé’s goals last season United would have surely been relegated, but his lack of discipline could have been an important factor as to why Newcastle found themselves in an end of season relegation scrap. Despite him missing a total of 16 premier league games; almost half of the season Cissé ended the 14/15 campaign as NUFC’s top goalscorer, scoring once every 105 minutes with only Man City’s Aguero and league winners Costa beating that ratio.
With the striker recently turning 30 years old Newcastle will undoubtedly be thinking about his sell on value rather than his goal scoring ability. So maybe we have seen the last for Cissé on Tyneside and the search of a replacement to wear the famous black and white striped number nine shirt begins.
So the worst kept secret in football is about to be told to anyone who’s been living under a rock for the last six months with Steve McClaren set to take up the vacant head coach position at long last.
On Tuesday afternoon, news broke that interim head coach John Carver and his assistant Steve Stone has been removed from their positions at the club as the decks begin to be cleared for what fans hope will be a new era. Goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman remains in his post for now but with former United manager Alan Pardew making eyes at the man he appointed in 2010 it’s a question of how long before another vacancy is created.
McClaren will arrive on Tyneside after being sacked by Derby County last month following a dismal end to the last campaign which saw the Rams miss out on not just promotion but the play-offs altogether, and after being dismissed from their rivals Nottingham Forest previously his appointment is struggling to catch the imagination of many NUFC supporters.
Whilst not my first choice, I feel that it is important to back the incoming appointment. Yes, we could have and probably should have been going for someone who is better but in my opinion McClaren is a superior upgrade on the departing Carver and the man who left at the beginning of the year, Pardew.
He is highly spoken of by many in the game, especially after his coaching role at Manchester United. Let’s not forget he is being hired as a head coach rather than a manager.
The England role will always be a black mark against his name, he probably knows he should have done better, and his club career being patchy over the last few years it’s a tough task for him to join and rebuild a mess of a football club.
Here’s hoping he is backed by the regime. He’s the man they really wanted at the end of the day. Fingers crossed we see the McClaren that won a trophy at Middlesbrough and FC Twente rather than the one who struggled in Germany at Wolfsburg.
Newcastle United – “Your Club”
Earlier today Newcastle United released a statement confirming that John Carver would remain in charge for the remaining three games, three games that could play key to United remaining in the Premier League.
Carver has failed miserably since he was trusted by the club’s hierarchy to step in to replace the void ( albeit a rather small void ) that Alan Pardew left earlier in the season.
The news that Carver would remain in charge hasn’t really shocked anyone to say the least but the club made an unbelievably lack of judgement ending to the statement, one of which has left fans even more angered.
“All parties accept responsibility for the current situation but are determined, together, to ensure this Club – your Club – retains its Premier League status.”
It has been a very along time since Newcastle United has been a fan club. Everything that this club once was is just a distant memory fading into the background of a once respected club in world football.
A stadium which once echoed chants of “Tino, Tino” as the striker netted his third goal to beat Barcelona in the Champions League. A stadium which once housed 50 thousand passionate Geordies who counted down the days with excitement until they would next walk through the turnstiles. A stadium that was the heart of a city, a stadium where there was “only one Bobby Robson”.
Now all we have left is a concrete billboard plastered with the tack brought along with Mike Ashley, now just an empty shell full of disappointment, broken hearts, pain, anger and worst of all …..apathy. All that remains is a grey building that casts a cold shadow over the city, a shadow that darkens the hopes of those that once loved the club.
This used to be “my” club, now it’s his.
Mike Ashley Out.
Defended a bit,
Give away free kick,
Rivierre falls on his arse.
Williamson bottles the game,
Janmaat joins him,