Football often has a habit of making a fool out of you and that has certainly been the case with Mohamed Diame.
How else can you explain the fact that the midfielder is now one of the first names on the teamsheet?
If you had declared that back in December, or beyond, then you would surely have been either Mohamed Diame’s mam, or a Mackem.
If he had signed only last summer then maybe you would have still hoped he could prove you wrong but after having already watch him struggle through a whole season in the Championship, he was the longest of longshots.
Fair play to him though, because not only has he shown he deserves to be starting on Saturday at Bournemouth, he has actually put together a run of good performances, with some of those being very good. Anybody seeing a game like the one against Manchester United would refuse to believe just how poor he was last season.
Having now picked up the NUFC player of the month award for January, admits he himself was ‘frustrated’ with how he’d played in the past.
Mohamed Diame states ‘I want to be the player I used to be…’, which Newcastle fans will certainly agree with unless he is referring in any way to what had happened in the first 18 months or so after he arrived at St James Park, as opposed to his career before Newcastle United.
When the team was named at 2pm on 23 December at West Ham, with Rafa forced to put Henri Saivet and Mohamed Diame together in the centre of midfield, there can’t have been many people who didn’t think it had ‘disaster’ written all over it.
Saivet never really had what it takes for Premier League football but Mohamed has never really looked back, featuring as a starter in every game apart from Bright on at home as the December-February run of results has sent Newcastle up to 13th and 28 points, with 11 games to play.
If he and Jonjo Shelvey repeat their Man U display on Saturday then Newcastle would be well on the way to another great result at Bournemouth.
Mohamed Diame talking to NUFC TV:
“I think everyone here knows, I was a little bit frustrated about my performances since I arrived, and to receive this honour is a very good feeling.
“It gives me the feeling that I have to give more and make sure it happens more times.
“I want to be the player I used to be and I know I didn’t give the best football since I’ve been here.
“It has been frustrating but the first person frustrated is me.
“They (Newcastle fans) have to know that.
“I am trying to work hard to make sure I’m keeping this(current) good level.
“Little things (I have changed)…but little things can make the difference.
“Like checking what I eat and working harder at training.
“I always listen to the manager, what he is asking me, but there are some details that you have to look after yourself.”