The curious case of Mo Diame – A huge season ahead for NUFC’s player of 2018

Around Christmas time last year, it would have taken a brave Newcastle fan to predict the rise of Mo Diame in 2018.

He was jeered off the field at St. James’ in a mid December defeat to Everton and had put in a series of lethargic and poor displays – leaving fans mystified as to why Benitez kept playing him.

Fast forward six months and he has been instrumental as Newcastle secured an impressive top half finish and without doubt our top performer in 2018.

His turnaround has been nothing short of incredible, but the Senegalese powerhouse is facing another big test this coming season:

He’s actually playing for his NUFC future 

It is easy to forget as he’s been our best player in 2018, but he is actually out of contract next summer. He turns 31 next week so will be almost 32 when his current deal expires next summer. He’s been brilliant, but he’s got it all to prove again this season if he’s to earn an extension. It is well documented Rafa needs to trim the wage bill so he might need to assess whether he sees Diame as part of the long term at NUFC.



He may also face competition as Merino has vowed to become an ‘important player’ for us. Let’s hope Merino can use the rise of Diame as inspiration for him to improve his form which has been the polar opposite to Diame, outstanding early season and poor in 2018.

Can he maintain his 2018 form?

 This is the important question and he has been so good recently it is hard to imagine him going back to his poor form when he initially joined. His own turnaround coincided with our turnaround in form, allowing Shelvey to thrive – meaning, it would be quite a disaster and setback if he suddenly went back to his form of 2016/17 (or first part of last season)

He really was outstanding and just like we’d be weakened if we lost Kenedy, we’d be set back considerably too if he suddenly went back to his old ways. He has been dominating midfield in some all action displays and did all the dirty work that’s allowed the likes of Kenedy and Perez to shine.

Relying on him maintaining this form is a big risk

It would still be a gamble for Newcastle to presume he’ll be as good in 2018/19 as he has over the past 6 months.

He’s looked a new man and different player all together, but he’s getting older and we can’t forget that he’s actually struggled for the vast majority of his two years stint at NUFC.

Not signing a midfielder to compete with him would be very risky and will be on Rafa’s mind as he formulates his transfer plans this summer. Even if he still performs as he has been recently, an injury would cause us all sorts of problems with a lack of depth in the squad. Ideally, we would have Shelvey, Diame, Merino and a new midfielder firing on all cylinders.

What’s your take on Diame – will he replicate his recent form in the coming season?

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Simon Riddlesden

Lifelong Newcastle United fan and East Stand season ticket holder. Observations from a supporter who has followed NUFC during Champions League participation and through relegation, taking me from Milan to Scunthorpe.

436 thoughts on “The curious case of Mo Diame – A huge season ahead for NUFC’s player of 2018

  1. Kintoon: I brought up the legal standing of Sporting Lisbon contract cancellations because it means we will now have Bas Dost links/articles on the hour, every hour.

    Hopefully we will sign a front line striker just to make this link go away.

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  2. Eric Sykes:
    Kintoon: I brought up the legal standing of Sporting Lisbon contract cancellations because it means we will now have Bas Dost links/articles on the hour, every hour.

    Hopefully we will sign a front line striker just to make this link go away.

    We are linked with him every window anyway mate , even without this latest stuff flying around.

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  3. Mark Douglas‏Verified account @MsiDouglas · 49m49 minutes ago

     More

    Anyone moving for Bas Dost should consider this…. Sporting will take legal action against him for terminating his contract.

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  4. I very much doubt that Rafa will be looking at Bas Dost.
    He may have had a look at the Bas Dost player profile and here are a few quotes from it;
    ‘Sportings offensive process is entirely based on getting the ball to Bas Dost in the box, where the striker now effectively lives’.
    ‘His defensive work during open play is minimal’ .
    ‘His low participation in the build up process means he is averaging a career low 18.7 passes per 90 minutes’ .
    I don’t think that meets with what Rafa will want.

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  5. There’s talk that Mbemba could be on his way to Porto – could that deal be used as a sweetener for getting Das Boot in.
    We take a bit of a hit on the Mbemba deal if they don’t complicate Boot coming to us with legal nonsense over his contract – it’s possible.

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  6. PremAndUp:
    Bas Dost was at Sporting not Porto. Moussa Marega is at Porto. I’d take him.

    Prem – aye mate, I just realised, it was a nice idea while it lasted 😂

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  7. Im going to put it out there and day that I think Bas Dost is overrated by Toon fans. Dont think he is the answer to our problems up front.

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  8. In fact, like many here I would rather Mitro stayed. He did score a few in the EPL in his first season and I think he is more than capable of leading our line. My comvern had always been his temperament. He did well with Fulham in that regard, desoite that 1 incident he got away with! But then most players get edgy from time to time. Harry Kane for example.

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  9. Shamrock:
    Im going to put it out there and day that I think Bas Dost is overrated by Toon fans. Dont think he is the answer to our problems up front.

    Sham – I’m not pissed on Das Boot personally and wouldn’t pay £20m nevermind £40m.
    But I do think he’s a good CF, I do think he’s a huge upgrade on Joselu as that tall forward Rafa seems to like to have in the squad – I’m thinking Murphy, Joselu type forwards.

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  10. Sharpy17: Sham – I’m not pissed on Das Boot personally and wouldn’t pay £20m nevermind £40m.
    But I do think he’s a good CF, I do think he’s a huge upgrade on Joselu as that tall forward Rafa seems to like to have in the squad – I’m thinking Murphy, Joselu type forwards.

    Sharpy, Bas Dost doesn’t defend enough for Rafa, I’m with Sham, rather keep Mitro.

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  11. http://c.newsnow.co.uk/A/941928397?-11058:809:3

    This is the worse click bait I’ve ever seen!!. The headline on Newsnow is new arrivals imminent – get in!! you think, let’s see who we are about it sign …. SOILER ALERT – these nuggets are tell you about scholarships!!!

    But go into it and they coin it in from the adverts displayed on this bullshit article … the worlds gone to the dogs I tell you!!!

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  12. Sharpy17:
    http://c.newsnow.co.uk/A/941928397?-11058:809:3

    This is the worse click bait I’ve ever seen!!.The headline on Newsnow is new arrivals imminent – get in!! you think, let’s see who we are about it sign …. SOILER ALERT – these nuggets are tell you about scholarships!!!

    But go into it and they coin it in from the adverts displayed on this bullshit article … the worlds gone to the dogs I tell you!!!

    Wait for SSN to show it on yellow bar mate, skip the click bait altogether .

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  13. Next Spain manager is on a hiding to nothing. After this WC the guts will be ripped out of the team and they will be on a rebuild and probably not for the Euros but for the next WC. It happens to all great teams and there is usally a cycle. Players likely to retire are Iniesta, Silva, Ramos, Pique and Buquets.

    Maye Rafa would take it but I would let the next coach take the fall and then pick up the pieces for the next WC.

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  14. I still tip Spain to win the WC but not with any high confidence. There are other teams that are just as good like Germany and Brasil. Then you have loads of talent at France and Belgium which if it comes together could easily go all the way. Finally, there is Argentina who don’t seem to know how to fit all of their attacking talent into a cohesive unit, but any team with Messi has a chance.

    I don’t think it will be Argentina because Messi would have to carry them for 4 games in the knockout stages.

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  15. Article form The Chronic defending their clickbating. They basically admit this is what they do because that’s how they get paid now. That’s fair enough, but what about Lee Ryder 🙂 There’s no excuse for that.

    I see why they repeat certain themes and rumours seemingly ad infinitum because not everybody reads about NUFC every day. But they do go a bit too far sometimes, cough, Bas Dost.

    https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/clickbait-explaining-way-chroniclelive-covers-14776365

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  16. I sort of sympthize with what The Chronic are saying. There is a lot more leeway on a blog, especially in the comment section. The Chronic cannot come out and say that Pardew is a dick or that Ugly John would fail as soon he was appointed which I said. They also need some facts to backup what they say. When the club released a summary of the accounts saying there was a 25% increase in the wage bill in The Championship, logic said there was something funny going on. It was also a hunch that turned out to be true. I don’t think The Chronic could have said that. And they don’t want to get on the bad side of NUFC becasue they could be banned again.

    We better get used to it because it is not changing.

    My main problem is all the papers/blogs not putting what the article is about in the headine. It is always “NUFC scout 27 year old”. I know why they do it, because it gets the clicks, but it is still annoying. I mean, if they put the name in and you have already read an aticle on it you will probably move on. If they write “27 year old” you might click on it, read the 1st paragraph and move on but you are still counted as a view for their advertisers.

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  17. 399 comments or something like that… no more articles?

    If Rafa has a list of 50 strikers, we will likely get number 49 as a loan on deadline day… 😣

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  18. Eric Sykes: Stuart: I just put up the same thing and expressed a bit of sympathy for them. However, they admit clickbaiting so I think it is OK for you or me to say some of what they write is just clickbaiting.

    Yes, Eric. I think there is obvious click baiting going on but there are also interesting stories too (not the click bait) even if they don’t come off.

    I notice the BBC sports website have a gossip page too but they don’t get accused of click bait. I know they don’t have adverts but it’s still the same service the gossip Column offers.

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  19. Dubai Toon:
    399 comments or something like that… no morearticles?

    If Rafa has a list of 50 strikers, we will likely get number 49 as a loan on deadline day…

    😆 😆 😆

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  20. Stuart79: Yes, Eric. I think there is obvious click baiting going on but there are also interesting stories too (not the click bait) even if they don’t come off.

    I notice the BBC sports website have a gossip page too but they don’t get accused of click bait. I know they don’t have adverts but it’s still the same service the gossip Column offers.

    Stuart: go back a few comments and you will see I have some sympathy for The Chronic.

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  21. icedog:
    ime hearing dog shit

    no surprise there Ice, fatty will be on his hols and lee will be hiding under his desk with his hands on his head rocking back and forth muttering some unintelligible thing about agents fees and not being able to compete.
    We have mastered busy doing nothing to a fine art.

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  22. The Chronic write an article today defending their journalistic integrity and then I see Chris Waugh write about 8 players NUFC fans should watch at the WC because we have a chance of signing them, on loan or otherwise. Lotus Cheek and Rashford are 2 of them. And Gondolin, Russia’s star player scouted by all of Europe’s top teams. They babble about integrity and justify clickbaiting and that they have a “duty to report” what other papers and news sources say, and on the same day write utter tripe.

    I think there are 732 players at the WC, surely they could have found more realistic targets than LC, Rashford and Gondolin?

    Do the Chronic really have a “duty to report” obviously made up links in The Sun and The Mail. Even more, they say they need to report what goes on on twitter. Half of twitter are rude, delusional clowns so if that’s where The Chronic are looking for stories we may as well just dismiss everything they write.

    Again, I have some sympathy but I think as journalists they have a DUTY to do some fact checking and not just pass on twaddle.

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  23. Eric Sykes:

    I think there are 732 players at the WC, surely they could have found more realistic targets than LC, Rashford and Gondolin?

    Hmmm .. maybe gondolin is worth a punt 😉

      (Quote)

  24. Sorry, his name is Golidin. Tuttosport are reporting Juve are close to signing him beating out Arsenal. Mirror report Man U are also showing interest. He’s 22 and Russia’s rising star. Does this sound like we have a chance?

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  25. Chris Waugh is saying that Chelsea want to sell Kenedy with a 20 million asking price. I am not sure if I believe him but at 22 NUFC would be a good move. Other clubs interested according to Waugh are:

    Arsenal: yeah right, Chelsea would sell to Arsenal

    PSG: You really want to compete with Neymar on one side and MBappe on the other – the 2 most expensive footballers of all time.

    FC Bayern – if you can’t get a game at Chelsea you are unlikely to be first choice at Bayern

    This is gossip that I do not believe but I suppose Waugh thinks it is his DUTY to pass it on.

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  26. If it is true that we can get Kenedy for 20 million and Rondon for 16 I do not see why we could not cover that. Mitro and a few scraps should do it. The scraps being Sels, MBemba, Joselu and Colback.

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  27. Eric Sykes:
    Sorry, his name is Golidin. Tuttosport are reporting Juve are close to signing him beating out Arsenal. Mirror report Man U are also showing interest. He’s 22 and Russia’s rising star. Does this sound like we have a chance?

    bob hope and nee hope

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  28. Eric Sykes:
    Chris Waugh is saying that Chelsea want to sell Kenedy with a 20 million asking price. I am not sure if I believe him but at 22 NUFC would be a good move. Other clubs interested according to Waugh are:

    Arsenal: yeah right, Chelsea would sell to Arsenal

    PSG: You really want to compete with Neymar on one side and MBappe on the other – the 2 most expensive footballers of all time.

    FC Bayern – if you can’t get a game at Chelsea you are unlikely to be first choice at Bayern

    This is gossip that I do not believe but I suppose Waugh thinks it is his DUTY to pass it on.

    £20m seems reasonable so we can forget him…

    Next

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  29. HEY OLLY:

    All the papers are doing their World Cup predictions. How about an open thread on here? You can start us off. The questions seem to be, but feel free to edit, obviously:

    Winner

    How far will England go

    Best Player

    Golden Boot

    Biggest Surprise

    Breakout Player

    Biggest Loser (team or player)

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  30. There’s BBC documentary on Sunday night where the Daily Mail say that Allardyce is jealous and thinks he should be there and was treated unfairly. I assume it is mainly about the England prospects as the game is Monday and that Fat Sam and his massive ego are in it for comedy value.

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  31. Eric Sykes:
    If it is true that we can get Kenedy for 20 million and Rondon for 16 I do not see why we could not cover that. Mitro and a few scraps should do it. The scraps being Sels, MBemba, Joselu and Colback.

    I would love Kenedy to come back and on a permanent deal. I’d take Rondon as well as he’s certainly an upgrade on Joselu, but he’s no goal machine. I’d like to see us get a more proven goal scorer is too – even if it is only on loan

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  32. Eric Sykes:
    HEY OLLY:

    All the papers are doing their World Cup predictions. How about an open thread on here? You can start us off. The questions seem to be, but feel free to edit, obviously:

    Winner
    Brazil

    How far will England go
    Quarters

    Best Player
    Isco

    Golden Boot
    Neymar

    Biggest Surprise
    Peru or Poland

    Breakout Player
    Rashford
    Someone from likes of Colombia or Senegal

    Biggest Loser (team or player)
    France
    Pogba

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  33. Today the Chronicle is full of articles quoting current players who are still away from the area. Quotes all from last season. They’re still reporting that Rafa and Charnley have spent 2 months locked in talks everyday.
    Yet for some unknown reason I read the damn thing every day! 🙄

    £20m for Kenedy? The same guess as me. Chelsea have said nothing.

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  34. Spain have sacked their manager. I might have to change my prediction they would win the WC. Let’s see what the fallout is but remember the France mutiny a few years ago when France had good players but were crap because they all disagreed with the manager. The England mutiny against Capello when the players threw John Terry under the bus? This doesn’t usually end well.

      (Quote)

  35. Eric Sykes:
    HEY OLLY:

    All the papers are doing their World Cup predictions. How about an open thread on here? You can start us off. The questions seem to be, but feel free to edit, obviously:

    Winner

    How far will England go

    Best Player

    Golden Boot

    Biggest Surprise

    Breakout Player

    Biggest Loser (team or player)

    There’s a new featured article set to be coming out this afternoon so how about we put all the predictions in that one?

      (Quote)

  36. Dubai Toon:
    399 comments or something like that… no morearticles?

    If Rafa has a list of 50 strikers, we will likely get number 49 as a loan on deadline day… 😣

    Thought I’d keep it to about 1 new featured thread per week so you guys aren’t jumping to a new article several times a week (which happens in season due to pre/post match articles).

      (Quote)

  37. I was told this morning that Rafa’s transfer budget is “round about the same as last season.” That’s not big enough. I would like to know why we were told we couldn’t compete with clubs who had been in the PL for a year more than us and now we’re tols we still can’t compete with them even though we’ve had that elusive year in the PL.

    On 9th August I fully expect to be done with this football club whilst the big piece of lard leaves.

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  38. Rafa been told his budget is the same as last window so the storey goes,if thats true he will walk imo

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  39. Even Nottingham Forest are just about to spend £13.2m on a player! FFS! What is happening here? Why are we being told we are about as wealthy as Bury while every other club is moving with the times?

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  40. Claims in the Chron (I know) that Rafa does know his budget. He’s not thrilled as it’s similar to last year but isn’t kicking off about it. Sales, as ever, as the key to signings. Not a great idea. Anderlecht will only offer £1.5m for Sels. Let’s hope Mitro doesn’t break a leg!
    We’re all complaining but I haven’t noticed much activity from anyone else yet. As usual everyone’s on holiday.

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  41. If it’s the same as last year we are ****ed, cause Wolves and Fulham won’t be shy on strengthening.
    What the hell is up with this club, we cannot be that poor.

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  42. We need to keep Mitro and play him if we are that skint as well cause you won’t get much up front for £10-12 m theses days.

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  43. If you do remember Lascells and Diame fight end of 2017. when our caption pushed Diame to work harder and Rafa never got involved and made sure they sort it out themselves. Then we heard of a team dinner paid by Diame.
    This was the turning point of new Diame which we have seen all of 2018. i would give crdit to our Caption and Rafa.
    The other player that i think needs a kick up the ass is Murphy. the guy is got pace but sometimes dont track back. I would play him No.10.

    Lets get Kennedy, striker, AM, LB and some loan signing (striker, defender and CM)

    We should not look at Table position but look at points collected every year.
    Last season we had 43pts
    18/19 we should target 50+pts
    19/20 we should target 60+pts
    20/21 we should target 70+pts
    21/22 target 80+pts
    now this is how we progress, at the moment if a team stays still and dont invest in players they go backwards by -10pts per year
    To gain +10pts we need to recruit x3 better players than we have now and the existing players improving by10%
    so in 5 years we can be competing with the top 4 teams.
    All this is possible with Ashleys tight ass if we can hold onto Rafa and ashley trusting rafa to spend.
    budget to achieve 10pts per year on
    18/19 we need a budget of $100M
    19/20 budget $150M
    20/21 budget $200M
    21/22 budget $250M
    Can ashley plan and deliver the budget if we keep up with out target points????

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