Siem de Jong had revealed that even when he returned to fitness, Steve McClaren still didn’t consider him for his squad.
The Dutch international midfielder says that after fully recovering from his freak eye injury, he had hoped/expected to be at least on the bench against Bournemouth in that crucial relegation clash.
Instead, in what proved to be the very final disastrous Steve McClaren selection, Siem de Jong was left out of the entire 18 man squad and saw the likes of Emmanuel Riviere start, whilst Yoan Gouffran, Henri Saivet and Seydou Doumbia made the bench ahead of him.
Siem de Jong was given the final 20 minutes at Leicester last night and brought some composure to Newcastle’s attempts to grab a point.
Interestingly, the only three Premier League games that de Jong has started this season, have seen Newcastle unbeaten and picking up seven points of their overall 24 point total.
Siem de Jong started in the wins over Liverpool and Tottenham, plus the less convincing draw at home to Aston Villa – his last start which was three months ago.
Whilst the cultured former Ajax man still has it all to prove in a black and white shirt after an injury-blitzed time on Tyneside, how McClaren thought the likes of Gouffran were a better bet than Siem de Jong, just about sums up his management.
Interesting to see what Rafa Benitez makes of Siem de Jong, a player on who there was great expectation when he arrived – but 20 months on, we are still yet to see whether he will actually have a career at Newcastle United.
Siem de Jong speaking to the official club website:
“Last week (v Bournemouth) I was fit but I wasn’t selected for the squad, so I was a bit disappointed…but I needed to train for this week. I’m glad to be back on the pitch.
“I had a small chance at the end and with a little bit of luck you score a goal which will change your luck, but I’ll keep on working hard.
“The eye is fine. It has taken a while to fully heal and it was quite a nasty injury, it needed treatment in the hospital. It was quite a shock when it happened and I was quite scared about seeing normally again, but it has all gone back to normal so that’s a good thing.
“Of course it (losing to Leicester) is disappointing. You want to win every game and we need the points. We had a few opportunities – not big chances – maybe in the end we could have got a draw, but Leicester are a difficult team to play against.
“I think we made it difficult for them as well to play, but it wasn’t enough to get a point and we need to improve that for the next game. I think there are some positive points we can carry on to the next game, and it’s going to be another really important game for us, so we have to focus on that one now.
“You always want to win or at least draw a game, and you’re always disappointed afterwards when you get nothing. We need to get the positives in and the negatives out, and we need to improve this week.
“We only had three days to train with the new manager, so hopefully a few more days we can improve a little more and it’s an important game coming up next week.”