With only 15 days to go until Newcastle United’s season kicks off, Georginio Wijnaldum has issued a timely warning.

With only 66 minutes of football so far with his new teammates, the former PSV midfielder says that he doesn’t know how long it will take him to adapt to the step up to the Premier League.

Wijnaldum is desperate for as much football as possible and has said that if it was up to him, he would have played the full match against Portland Timbers second team on their dodgy artificial pitch.

However, the Newcastle player understands why Steve McClaren made the decision, the Newcastle Head Coach stating that he’d protected certain players by either not playing them at all, or as in the case of Wijnaldum (45 minutes) and de Jong (14 mins) only giving them limited time on the pitch.

Georginio Wijnaldum speaking to the the Chronicle:

“I always looked at the games in England and wondered what it would be like.

“The players are helping me but I must do it for myself, I work hard on it , we will see how much time I will need (to adapt to the Premier League).”

The right move:

“I feel good already because I knew it was the right move (to Newcastle), I want to play and I wanted to play the second half at Portland as well.

“The trainer (Steve McClaren) has to make choices and he has a reason for because we’ve more games to come, I hope that I start against Sheffield (United) and play longer.”

Far too many overseas players have been thrown in at the deep end at St James Park, instantly put in the first team after arriving – rather than being allowed to gradually adapt to the challenges of the Premier League.

In the past it has been desperation and lack of other options that has usually been the cause of this policy, something that other clubs who take the longer term view don’t do as a matter of habit.


After last season’s mess, I think we all know how desperate this team is for new inspiration and character, so we all wait to see how Steve McClaren tackles the challenge.

The Newcastle boss only has three matches in seven days to properly look at his options to start against Southampton and with only Wijnadlum looking sure to be involved against Sheffield United, time is against him.

We wait to see how soon Mitrovic is involved and hopefully Chancel Mbemba is announced today.

I’m guessing though that it would be a real longshot for McClaren to start all three against Southampton.

  • Altamullan

    This guy (Wij-guy?… Wij-aye-guy??) looks a class act. Great all rounder, with good organisational and leadership qualities. I’ve read how highly SMc rates him (best player in Holland last year) and similarly Siem dJ (best player in Holland, when SMc managed there) and wonder whether he is going to play them both (mainly) as a pair who join attack, or defence as needed through course of game. I think he has called it a double six formation. I’m picturing fluid total football (or a heedless chicken midfield!) Anybody know more?

  • desree

    the double six pairing alternate attacking and defensive duties and sit behind a midfield 3 and 1 striker. my thoughts were he would partner collback in that double 6 with sdj advanced in a no10 role, sissoko on the right and aarons on the left perhaps.
    I’d prefer to see a pacier winger than sissoko.

  • Altamullan

    Good call desree ( having problems with posting, a pols if duplicate): a better fit with their strengths. De Jong looks like a no.10 on what we’ve seen, though SMc will have seen/know more. I can Colback and Wijnaldum being a cracking pairing in that formation. Both have energy/athleticism, a bit of bite, and good eye for goal (Wij-aye-man looks a great finisher). This maybe has implications for Tiote and Sissoko: two great players who could command high transfer fees, but maybe surplus to requirements. Especially if somebody like Shaqiri is available for wide right role. With Aarons on the left, that could be a formidable midfield.

  • desree

    Sissoko for shaquiri, that would be a great piece of business. I’d see abeid being a better replacement for collback than tiote. Sissoko maybe an interesting no10 choice if sdj doesn’t get fit

  • MilitantGeordie

    desree Sissoko was the fastest runner in the Premiership last season..

  • desree

    was he on superstars last season