Nothing like putting the pressure on a player who is yet to even play a full Premier League match, but Peter Beardsley has been lavishing praise on Siem de Jong.
The summer signing returned to action and scored as a late substitute against Swansea last Saturday.
Even though John Carver says he won’t be fit enough to start against Leicester this coming weekend, fans are hoping that the Dutch midfielder will supply the quality in the attacking third of the remaining games that has been missing for pretty much the whole of this season.
Peter Beardsley though has gone a big step further than just hoping, he claims that the signing from Ajax is better than he was as a player….
“I wish I was as good as him (Siem de Jong), he is different class.
“I love watching him – I love the way that he trains and his understanding.”
“If I was as good as he is going to be then I would be delighted, I think he is different class. I’ve always liked him and you can tell he’s a proper footballer.
“The ones who played with him in pre-season in New Zealand obviously loved him.”
A student of the game:
“They understood what he can do, he is brilliant around the place.
“He is so positive and he loves the game, he is a student of the game and he wants to be a part of Newcastle.”
Like most of you I look at those quotes with two different hats on.
In one hat I obviously want to believe what Beardsley is saying, considering many United fans rate him arguably the best player to ever play for Newcastle. So if Siem de Jong is better than the best ever player…
However, with my other more negative hat on I remind myself that Beardsley is of course one of Mike Ashley’s leading cheerleaders, having frequently come out with outspoken comments in support of his boss who also happens to own the club. With the possibility that Beardsley is coming out with over the top praise to deflect attention away from the now sustained pressure from supporters for change at the club.
The reality is no doubt somewhere in between.
Siem de Jong was a very effective player in the Dutch League and scored a lot of goals for Ajax and numerous titles for the club from the capital.
On the other hand he has played only 4 minutes of competitive football for his country, has been out of action on seven different occasions with injuries in the last 20 months, plus is attempting to step up to the standard of the Premier League. Something that has been beyond many of his compatriots, including those with many more international caps than him, including his brother Luuk when on loan last season.
At this moment in time I would settle for Siem de Jong being fit in time for the start of next season on 8 August. I just hope the push to get him playing more before the current season is over, doesn’t lead to the player ending up being back amongst the injured.