Mohamed Diame determined to enjoy the moment 89 days after everything changed
Up to 23 December 2017, Newcastle United had lost all of the Premier League matches Mohamed Diame had started, NUFC scoring only one goal in these games.
To be fair there had only been four of them but also fair to say that Diame would have been one of the last names on the teamsheet for any Newcastle fan.
With Newcastle facing life in the bottom three on Christmas Day, they travelled to West Ham on Saturday 23 December, knowing only a win would prevent that scenario.
Up against another struggling side gave you some hope…but then the team was announced and we found out that unexpected extra injury problems meant that Rafa was forced to play Henri Saivet and Mohamed Diame in the centre of midfield.
To the surprise of us all, both players were influential in a surprise 3-2 win, the pair of them both scoring.
That win over the Hammers has seen Mohamed Diame now start 11 of the last 12 Premier League games and in those Newcastle have won four, drawn four and lost three (twice to Man City and the defeat at Anfield.
With 16 points from those 11 PL games with Diame, that is more like top eight form than relegation struggles.
If both Mohamed Diame and Jonjo Shelvey can keep this recent form up until the end of the season, then it will give Rafa Benitez a massive boost and a big dilemma, when it comes to looking at his priorities in the summer transfer market.
Newcastle fans have also been quick to jump on the Mohamed Diame bandwagon and give him credit for this change in fortune, proving once again that any player can win the supporters over if they do it on the pitch.
“Huddersfield is going to be another final, just like the last game [3-0 v Southampton].
“It is going to be a massive game, three points, that is it.
“When you are in good form you just want to keep going.
“It is good to keep going, to play game after game, train and train, keep the same attitude and high fitness.
“I am enjoying it a lot and it is what I wanted since the beginning [at Newcastle].
“Unfortunately, it couldn’t happen, so now I am trying to enjoy it a lot better and I need to make sure that I stay at a high level.
“It [Royal Antwerp] was a friendly game that we needed, to keep the shape, keep this team in the same attitude and fitness.
“I think they thought…going to play against an English team, so have to fight and make tackles.
“When they watch the Premier League that [is what they see], physically, a big battle, so they were prepared – it was good and I think the attitude of the team was good.”
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