Rafa Benitez indicated before playing Chelsea that his team included some players who he hoped to be moving out in the remaining days of this transfer window, little doubt that Massadio Haidara was one of them.
One of the many disastrous signings made under the Mike Ashley and Graham Carr plan of buying ‘bargains’ from abroad and hoping they increase in value.
Instead, Massadio Haidara has proved nowhere near good enough and Newcastle have found it impossible to shift him out of the club.
In the Summer it looked as though he was returning to France but the defender refused to take a pay cut in return for the chance of actually playing football, preferring to stay at Newcastle and pick up Premier League wages.
He hasn’t started a league match since September 2015 and in his five years at the club has made only 23 Premier League starts.
Whilst injuries have also played a major part, he simply isn’t good enough, and certainly if any interested clubs were watching at Chelsea, then it looks certain he will see out the remaining months of his contract at St James Park, or get paid off early just as Rafa did with Obertan and Marveaux to get them out of the club.
Haidara’s start against Chelsea was his first since playing in the 3-0 FA Cup defeat 12 months ago and he really struggled defensively.
As we have seen previously, the Frenchman has a little bit of ability and did a couple of decent things going forward but at the back he is a liability, TV replays showing him simply strolling back as Chelsea scored the killer second goal.
It would be great news if Rafa could finally move players in and out this month but there is probably as much chance of finding a new club for Massadio Haidara, as there is of Ashley finally backing his manager with any buys.
Yesterday’s defeat wasn’t solely down to Haidara of course, he was just one of a number of poor players, but his presence was just yet another reminder of the failure to buy quality under Mike Ashley, the policy of buying cheap from weak leagues abroad and hoping for the best, proving far more costly in the long run.
Massadio Haidara talking to NUFC TV:
“We are really disappointed…I think the result was harsh.
“We did well until the 31st minute and pressed well, we had a couple of chances and didn’t take them.
“Against teams like this, if you don’t score then it is very hard to carry on after that, because they have the quality to score goals.
“But we can be disappointed with the result.
“We had a couple of chances (in the first half) with Jonjo Shelvey and Dwight Gayle but we didn’t score and if we had scored the game could be different.
“We could see the difference between the two halves, the first half really good and the second half we had less chances – Chelsea pushed higher and made it difficult for us.
“I am happy to play my first 90 minutes (of the season) with the first team but I am disappointed with the result afterwards.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Chelsea 3 Newcastle 0
Chelsea: Batshuayi 31,44 Alonso 72
Possession was Chelsea 61% Newcastle 39%
Total shots were Chelsea 18 Newcastle 9
Shots on target were Chelsea 8 Newcastle 6
Corners were Chelsea 5 Newcastle 4
Referee: Kevin Friend
Darlow, Manquillo (Murphy 77), Lascelles, Clark, Mbemba, Haidara, Saivet, Hayden (Atsu 83), Shelvey, Ritchie, Gayle (Joselu 64)
Woodman, Diame, Dummett, Yedlin
(To read instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the match go HERE)
(To view the fan Newcastle player ratings and to add your own go HERE)
(To read what Rafa had to say after the match go HERE)