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Opinion

This Rolando Aarons conversation sums up current plight of Newcastle United

6 months ago
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Rolando Aarons is now off for another half season on loan.

After claims of various higher level clubs wanting to take him on loan, the winger instead finds himself in the backwaters of the lowly Czech Republic league, hoping to get regular football with Sloven Liberec who get average home crowds of four thousand.

When meeting the local media this week, Rafa Benitez has been quizzed about Rolando Aarons (see below)

As usual, he is the consummate professional and talks positively about the winger now proving himself.

However, surely the fact that we are still having this conversation about Rolando Aarons, sums up just how desperate the situation is at Newcastle United.

The complete failure of Mike Ashley to back Rafa Benitez in trying to rebuild the club, means that we still have many Newcastle fans hoping that the winger can show that he is good enough to come back and be a success at St James Park.

Whereas I think the reality is that Rafa Benitez has made it quite clear (judge him by his actions rather than his words) what he thinks of Aarons and it isn’t a case of the manager having any belief that he will be any use in the future.

Rafa made clear this summer that the winger was one of those who if he didn’t find a new club, would be having no involvement whatsoever with the first team this season. Indeed, he wasn’t given a squad number or named in the official 25 man Premier League squad, so if this last ditch loan deal hadn’t happened, he couldn’t have played for Newcastle even if Rafa wanted him to.

Reality is that in two and a half years, Rafa Benitez has only given Rolando Aarons two league starts.

The first home game in the Championship when he dragged the winger off at half-time after a feeble performance, then last season Aarons got a start at home to Man City as the manager rested key players and put out a damage limitation team in order to concentrate on more winnable matches during that festive period.

Fans who dream of Rolando Aarons still being some kind of an answer, base it on a couple of decent games that were a few years ago.

We still talk of Aarons as young because we have so few possibilities coming through the underinvested Academy.

He turns 23 in November and has still only started five league games in England.

If he was any kind of a certain standard then Rolando Aarons would be playing week in week out at a club like Newcastle, where money hasn’t been made available to bring in the players needed.

I’m not saying he should be playing at their level but Raheem Sterling is only 23 and he has played at two World Cups and one Euros, Delle Alli is 22 and has played at a World Cup and a Euros, Marcus Rashford the same and he is only 20, never mind that trio’s achievements at club level.

As I say, it isn’t the expectation that Aarons should be matching those three in terms of that level they are playing at, rather that many Newcastle fans still think of Rolando Aarons as a promising one for the future – instead of somebody who in November will turn 23 and by that point has only played five league games for Newcastle United.

Due to Mike Ashley, Newcastle are a club that is stagnating and rather than Rafa being able to bring in players to push things on and move on those who aren’t good enough out, we are left with a failing squad/club where we keep then coming back to options that have failed before, hoping that they will magically improve.

Rafa Benitez talking to BBC Newcastle:

“Rolando Aarons has the potential.

“He need a little bit of consistency.

“He needs to play games in a row.

“I think that is the key for him, for his confidence, because you cannot play a couple of games and then be o the bench, then play 30 minutes and then on the bench.

“So I think he needs to play and he has to prove himself.

“When you analyse his position, and the players you have in this position.

“If you have Kenedy doing as well as he did last year.

“And still you have Atsu, Ritchie or Murphy, it will be very difficult for him to play in this position.

“When you have a young player who was not playing that much, and after, he was injured, so he still wasn’t playing, he needs to play.

“He needs to play, he needs to prove himself and to he needs to prove to everyone he is a good player for us in the future.”
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