Gini Wijnaldum says that he wants to ‘celebrate in another stadium’ but thankfully he is referring to doing it with Newcastle United.
With an excellent and potentially season saving total of nine goals from only 13 matches at St James Park, it is baffling as to how he is still to score away from home in the Premier League in 12 attempts.
Obviously Stamford Bridge on Saturday would be an opportune moment for that run to end…
Looking back at last season, it is interesting to see that of the 12 matches where Wijnaldum scored in the Dutch league, eight of the twelve were away matches. The attacking midfielder scoring nine of his 14 league goals on the road.
This further suggests that Steve McClaren’s negative tactics at away games are the main factor in Newcastle’s pathetic away goals total of six, including Wijnaldum’s blank so far.
After winning the league it must have difficult for Wijnaldum to leave both his home environment and walk straight into a relegation fight, yet despite this, the Dutch international says ‘it has went well so far’ in terms of settling on Tyneside.
The Newcastle midfielder also crediting conversations with Steve McClaren and Lee Charnley having reassured him that he was making the right move.
Gini Wijnaldum speaking to BBC Match of The Day magazine:
“In the beginning, I never thought that I would play for Newcastle but my manager told me that this was a big club.
“In Holland we don’t know how big the club is, but this is a really big club. I spoke with the manager (Steve McClaren), he called me before I signed, and he gave me a really good feeling to sign for Newcastle. Also, Lee Charnley did a good job of explaining why this was going to be a good choice for me.
“After that, I had a good feeling about it and I just followed my heart, that’s why I chose Newcastle
“It’s difficult because we don’t win a lot of games. Last year (at PSV), even if we played some bad games, we would win them (and won the league).
“This year is different because we don’t win a lot of games, so now you must show character and show that you can also fight.
“Last year at PSV we had to fight to win every single game that we played. This year, we fight to not lose a game and not to be in the relegation zone. It’s difficult.
“It’s not easy to settle in if you come to a new club, especially in your first year, but it has went well so far.
“I am glad that they are happy with me, it makes me happy. I want to do my best on the field because I know the fans like me.
“Sometimes it’s difficult to understand what they’re saying, but I just ask what they mean.
“I can speak English quite well, but there are some words which I don’t know and it’s difficult to explain what you mean, but if I ask the players or other people how to say something, they will help me
“The people on the street, sometimes they speak Geordie and when I say ‘Sorry?’ they realize I don’t understand, so they speak with less accent so I can.”
“I love playing in front of our own fans but I’m looking forward to scoring an away goal now.
“I think I need that, but also the team needs it and it’s going to be better for my confidence if I can score an away goal. I want to celebrate in another stadium.”