Mohamed Diame has endured a frustrating first season at Newcastle United, with the Senegalese midfielder often being playing just behind the front man in Rafa’s side this season – a position the big man has never looked comfortable in.
Not only has this role failed to suit the powerful midfielder’s style of play, it is not a position Mo has been familiar with over his career, with the 29 year-old often playing in a deeper role as a box to box central-midfielder during his successful spells with Wigan and West Ham.
In last night’s victory over Burton Albion however, Rafa Benitez opted to play Diame in his preferred position, alongside Jonjo Shelvey in central midfield, as opposed to in the number 10 role he has struggled to get to grips with this season.
Diame, who recently admitted to this being his worst season to date, went on to enjoy a much improved performance at St. James’ Park, seeing Newcastle fans take to social media to have their say on Mo’s display in a deeper role:
Been saying all season Diame would be far more affective in central midfield. Mom tonight for me #NUFC
— Gazza (@Gazonca) April 5, 2017
No surprise to see Diame look more comfortable & confident in a deeper CM role. He's played there most of his career at Wigan / West Ham!
— Yawn Gouffran (@YawnGouffran) April 6, 2017
Poor Diame, plays arguably one of his best games of the season and the ref is hogging the limelight.
— Catherine Shields (@CatherineeeS) April 5, 2017
Hopefully Rafa will take note & play to his strengths. His style & phsique don't suit that of a no.10 – he's played in CM 99% of his career.
— Black&WhiteBarmy (@BlackWhiteBarmy) April 5, 2017
@tfweeklypod now lads tonight Diame did have a good game. Much much better in a deeper role
— Kev (@venison_barry) April 5, 2017
Diame class tonight. Much more like it – always said a big unit like him would be better played deeper. He's always been a centre-mid Rafa!
— Geordie Rafa (@Geordie_Rafa) April 6, 2017
Just seen a newspaper give Perez a higher mark than Diame. What game do these people watch??
— Ryan Payne (@RyanPayne10) April 5, 2017
On the other hand I thought Diame, Anita, Lascelles and Mbemba were all fantastic. Ritchie was AGAIN on another planet tonight! MOTM. #NUFC
— HeisenBurns (@BenArfaChance) April 5, 2017
Your MOTM tonight? Thought both Mbemba and Diame had fantastic games – Ritchie too of course!
— Talk Toon! (@_TalkToon) April 5, 2017
Diame was MOTM
— Matty (@MattyRowan98) April 5, 2017
Let’s hope Mo can build on this performance last night, with the Senegalese player having much more to give on Tyneside than he has shown thus far – especially if he can continue to convince Rafa in his natural position.