Rolando Aarons started his first ever home Premier League game at St James Park on Saturday but found himself in the unusual position of left-back.
The winger though says he will play anywhere that he is asked/told to play and summed the position up by declaring ‘It is Newcastle United…not Rolando United’.
A major transformation for the player in recent weeks, both in terms of opportunity and where he has been played in the team.
Rolando Aarons started his first ever Premier League game in the defeat at Watford and played left wing-back, then on Wednesday he came on for Paul Dummett at half-time and slotted in at left-back.
Like the rest of the team, Rolando Aarons looked a lot more comfortable against West Brom than against Everton, with the winger/full-back saying that playing at St James Park ‘gives you more confidence and motivation’ and points out that United are unbeaten at home since the turn of the year, winning two and drawing against Manchester United.
However, it also helped all of us that West Brom were shocking and ultra negative, with the useless Anichebe isolated up front. Down at Goodison Rolando Aarons had Aaron Lennon up against him and had a tough time, culminating in a rash challenge for a penalty.
It will be interesting to see what Steve McClaren will do on Saturday, with Jamaal Lascelles available but surely Paul Dummett not likely to be included.
If Rolando Aarons keeps his place (and position) then he would find himself up against players of the quality of Willian and Ivanovic, then we would really find out if he can do a job at left-back.
With Moussa Sissoko and Andros Townsend looking to have the wing positions sewn up for the moment, Rolando Aarons is likely to have to be patient as he awaits a chance in his true position.
The god news for the young winger though is that now in the space of two weeks he has played more Premier League minutes in total than he had played previously, plus made his first PL start and his first PL first eleven at St James Park.
Until the end of the season he needs to stay fit and be ready for wherever Steve McClaren wants him to fill in – like all young players so much of it boils down to opportunity.
Rolando Aarons talking to the official club website:
“Obviously it isn’t my position but I’m a team player and I’ll do anything I can to help the team…it is Newcastle United…not Rolando United, and if the head coach asks me to play somewhere, that’s what I’m going to do.
“I will always give 100% for the team, no matter where I play.
“I thought we did very well. Obviously we could have made the game a lot easier for ourselves but three points is three points and it takes us up the league, so we’re happy.
“Playing in defence, your goal is to keep a clean sheet and that’s exactly what we did. There was never a point where I thought we weren’t going to win the game. I thought we were very comfortable throughout and it could and probably should have been more than just 1-0.”
“We had a difficult time (v Everton), myself included, so it was important to get back in front of the fans and give them a performance.
“I think (playing at St James Park) gives you more confidence and motivation and I think that helped me out today.
“The gaffer has been talking to us everyday since Everton about bouncing back and getting a reaction from the team and I think we did that.
“We’re out of the bottom three which was our goal at the start of the day and now it’s just about staying clear of that.
“In the situation we are in we need to make St. James Park a fortress and the past few games we have started to show how good we can be at home.
“We are unbeaten here (in 2016) and want to keep that run going as long as we can because it could prove crucial at the end of the season.”