If there’s one thing Isaac Hayden would have learned well at Arsenal, it’s saying the right thing to the media. He’s taken the first step in proving that following Saturday’s defeat if his words have been accurately reported by The Chronicle.
“It is disappointing and we sound like a broken record after last week”, he said with alarming accuracy. That’s the big test in the next two games; turn the opening bad spell around and win. It doesn’t matter if the ball flies in off the referee’s backside, just taking three points is the starting point.
Newcastle started the season as everyone’s favourites and the bookies have yet to change their minds. It doesn’t mean success will come automatically and a manager of Rafa’s experience will know that.
But we’ve got to show the fight. We’re the big club and the scalp everyone wants to take. As Hayden said later, “It was like their cup final; they defended resolutely and made it difficult for us,” before admitting Huddersfield were more dogged all over the pitch. “It was difficult for us to get on the ball in dangerous positions, especially in the centre of the pitch it was hard.”
Realism isn’t in short supply though. The former Arsenal player knows it’s all down to us. “That is what we will face this season and it is about us finding the solutions:
“We have to come up with those solutions when teams drop off, like Huddersfield did. They weren’t spectacular but they defended and hit us on the counter attack.
“Teams will do that and they took their chances and we didn’t.”
It’s the right attitude which is encouraging. But attitude and ability, although intertwined in footballers, are entirely different things.