Gini Wijnaldum has once again been talking about his year on Tyneside.
The Dutch midfielder saying that ‘you forget how you can enjoy football’ when you are struggling.
I think most of us have watched far too many seasons at St James Park when we ‘forget how you can enjoy football’!
However, unlike Wijnaldum who demanded a move to jump ship after only nine months into his Newcastle career, we can’t just switch clubs.
The former PSV player and his Liverpool teammates are fighting it out with the Manchester clubs for the third and fourth Champions League places but Wijnaldum only has games at West Ham and Watford to prevent it being two full seasons without an away goal in English football – despite scoring 16 goals at St James Park and Anfield.
The perception of many supporters, particularly Newcastle ones, that he goes into hiding far too often at away matches.
Wijnaldum claims that he had ‘good intention when I went to Newcastle…’ and certainly he wasn’t the biggest reason for Newcastle being relegated.
A long list goes in front of him, headed by Ashley, McClaren, Charnley, Carr, Pardew, Carver, Kinnear, Wise and many others…and that is before you get to players who were culpable.
However, Wijnaldum could certainly have done more to prevent the relegation, as could almost every other Newcastle player with rare exceptions.
The Dutch international kind of acknowledging this fact, when he talks of being at Liverpool now and competing towards the top, saying ‘When I am enjoying my football I can give my best’.
Surely that goes for most players but the ones that stand out are the ones who will still give their best in a struggling team, unlike the likes of Sissoko, Wijnaldum and Janmaat who were more interested in who their next club was going to be as Newcastle sank into the second tier.
Gini Wijnaldum talking to The Mirror:
“I had good intentions when I went to Newcastle…
“In the beginning we were trying to play football but as soon as you don’t win games. the confidence goes away and basically you are fighting to survive.
“You forget how you can enjoy football.
“At the end of the season my joy disappeared – it was about fighting. It wasn’t football anymore.
“When I am enjoying my football I can give my best.
“Then it is OK because I know I’m a good player – when I am enjoying myself I can be even better.
“Pressure is part of football especially when you play for a big club like Liverpool.”