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 NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & 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. I’ve heard afew people say they want game changers on the bench – I have no doubt that Mitro could and would be a game changer off the bench. No CB in the PL would want him coming on fresh when they’ve ran round for an hour.

      (Quote)

  2. I didn’t watch yesterdays Serbia game but Olly has put Mitro’s goals up and they were excellent. It seems he now has confidence. I did watch a Serbia game about a month or so ago and Mitro was the best player on the pitch by a mile and Serbia have some good players.

    I just don’t see how Rafa can’t fit him in when the Managers of Fulham and Serbia can. We know Rafa is a genius tactician, he won 2 La Ligas with Valencia, so devise a plan.

    Am I missing something, or does Joselu play the role that most on here are advocating for Mitro?

    Andy Carroll is just as slow as Mitro but West Ham find a way to use him to frighten the opposition.

    This one I just cannot fathom. You look on here and there is almost universal agreement that there must be a way to get something out of the Mad Serb. And there is almost never universal agreement on anything 🙂 Same on other forums like Eds or the Chronic comments.

      (Quote)

  3. I’ve said many times on here I just don’t get Rafa’s attitude to Mitro and Mbemba. They’re both better than the players he chooses. Total puzzle to me.

      (Quote)

  4. georgio: I think you can add Armstrong to that list. There is no risk there. I think he has 2 years left on his contract and he can’t be on that much, especially compared to some of the PL imports. How much could we possibly get for him?

    Does Rafa just go off some players because they don’t “train well” which basically means that they don’t fit his system?

    I am not complaining about Rafa because what he has done has worked, but there are some strange personnel moves.

      (Quote)

  5. I think Mitro is not played by Rafa because he does not do much defensively.
    I read some quotes by Gayle earlier this year saying that he has had to work on his defensive play and has been improved in this by Rafa .
    Rafa is the polar opposite of Keegan , with Keegan wanting every player to attack and win the game by scoring more goals than the opposition. Rafa wants every player to defend and try to win the game by conceding less goals than the opposition.
    I really wasn’t joking when I posted earlier that Rafa would spend any money from the sale of Mitro on a defender ( and possibly another goalie).

      (Quote)

  6. Oh, and The Chronic are already mentioning 30 million as a possible price tag for Mitro and the WC hasn’t even begun yet. Ryder said a couple of weeks ago we could get 15 million and I said on here that he is an idiot. Now even his own colleagues are contradicting him openly. Isn’t he the chief sports writer?

      (Quote)

  7. Rafa said earlier this year that the way we were going to have to play this season it didn’t really suit Mitros game. I suppose that’s fair enough but maybe we are going to change the way we play next season? I suppose that will depend how successful our transfer window is.

    If we are looking at getting £20m for him then it is a fair bet his replacement must be more?

    If Mitro does leave does that mean we need two new strikers? I don’t fancy our chances of any success with Gayle and Joselu as back ups…

      (Quote)

  8. I would want more for Mitro than current speculation, his stock is rising by the day and I would certainly want more if he is sold to PL club. I would prefer we kept him as have always liked him. Maybe if Rafa can get the players in he wants it will mean his system can change to accommodate Mitro as if we are to believe what’s been said, then it was the system not the player that didn’t suit.

      (Quote)

  9. Stuart79:
    Rafa said earlier this year that the way we were going to have to play this season it didn’t really suit Mitros game. I suppose that’s fair enough but maybe we are going to change the way we play next season? I suppose that will depend how successful our transfer window is.

    If we are looking at getting £20m for him then it is a fair bet his replacement must be more?

    If Mitro does leave does that mean we need two new strikers? I don’t fancy our chances of any success with Gayle and Joselu as back ups…

    snap 😆

      (Quote)

  10. Changing the subject, but …. Well I just sat down and watched the Bobby Robson documentary movie and feeling quite emotional… when you people like sir Alex Ferguson, Gary Lineker, Pep Guardiola, Mourinho, et al… say the things they said, wow, what a guy Sir Bobby was…

    If only Fat Freddie and John Hall had not sacked him, where would he have taken the Toon… being so far from home I got really quite emotional watching the film… if you have not seen it, it’s a must watch… Rest in Peace Sir Bobby! A truly good man!

      (Quote)

  11. Anyone watching soccer aid? I wonder if Ashley has scouts at the match? A few bargains to be had I’m sure. ?

      (Quote)

  12. Dubai Toon:
    Anyone watching soccer aid? I wonder if Ashley has scouts at the match? A few bargains to be had I’m sure.

    </blockquote
    Yeah I got it on to mate, very good so far. Also got the sir bobby dvd, not watched it yet, not had chance.

      (Quote)

  13. Brisvegas:
    If there was a choice between Mitro and Rashford I’d take Rashford.

    Bris – it’s not a choice between though as we already have Mitrovic.

    Would I like Rashford in, yes. Do I think Rashford is a more talented player, certainly.

    For me the debate on Mitrovic is more about judging him against the forwards already on our books.

      (Quote)

  14. Bris – the Rashford deal is obviously speculation, I get that. As is the Rondon deal in the papers today for £16m – speculation I know, but of the 2 I think the Rondon one is probably more likely.

    Would you take Rondon over Mitrovic?

      (Quote)

  15. Stuart79:
    Rondon really isn’t an upgrade on Mitro. He’s an upgrade on Joselu but nobody else.

    Rondon had 24 goals in 108 PL games. He can’t be our main striker otherwise we will probably repeat this year where we were on a roller coaster. He did great in the Russian league but you would have to say he has only been OK in the PL. It really is a crapshoot with these smaller leagues. Consider Slimani who was prolific in Portugal and could hardly get a game at Leicester. And guess who was in the Chronic article mentioning Rondon? Bas Dost.

      (Quote)

  16. kimtoon:
    https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/after-amanda-staveley-ended-talks-14767143

    Kimtoon: these experts never consider the scarcity value of PL clubs or even simple supply and demand. A lot of it is about ego. These billionaires have their super-yachts and want to add a shiny new PL club to their possessions. Some of it is to get some reflected glory for people with dodgy pasts or regimes with dirty human rights records. Then there is Ashley, who gets a billboard for his tat.

      (Quote)

  17. One thing I have never got is why Ashley doesn’t put Sports Direct on the shirts. He could pay the going rate or not, it is his club. I don’t buy the argument that it would hit shirt sales because we already had a legalized loan shark in Wonga.

      (Quote)

  18. Sharpy17:
    Bris – the Rashford deal is obviously speculation, I get that.As is the Rondon deal in the papers today for £16m – speculation I know, but of the 2 I think the Rondon one is probably more likely.

    Would you take Rondon over Mitrovic?

    I’d have to see a lot more of Rondon to make a call on that one. I don’t recall seeing West Brom play at all last season – not even against Newcastle. So obviously he didn’t make much of an impression on me. Not that I saw Fulham much either – maybe 3 times – but at least I know Mitro from before.

      (Quote)

  19. PL clubs offer something that Super Yachts don’t. Recognition. Alan sugar said nobody had ever heard of him before he bought spurs. I’m sure Abramovitch would say the same about Chelsea.

      (Quote)

  20. I looked at Rondon’s record and it is 24 goals in 108 games. Then I relised he was signed in 2015 and his Managers have been Pulis and Pardew. Pulis was happy with a 0-0 against the top teams and 1-0 if he could get it against the rest. And do I have to explain what Pardew did at The Baggies. It makes you think that there might be a player there and it would be almost like for like with Mitro but Rafa would actually play Rondon. With a good WC we might make some decent money on the deal.

    He cannot be our only striker purchase.

      (Quote)

  21. Perez value now being touted as north of £18m.!

    I’d pass on Rondon but take Josh King instead.

      (Quote)

  22. Ed just did a piece on Perez and said his value is 18 million. Where did that number come from? Before Christmas you would probably have thought 5 or 6.

    Honestly, I think they are just making numbers up now. Rafa should get on the phone to Stoke about Shakiri and activate his release clause as well because you are starting at 20 mil now for anybody decent.

      (Quote)

  23. What the hell is happening at Villa? They are said to be losing 6 million a month and their owner cannot get money out of China because of Govt restrictions, if he has any as their were questions about his worth when he bought them.

    More karma. The 2 clubs who had banners when we were relegated are now in deep sh!t.

      (Quote)

  24. Brisvegas: I’d have to see a lot more of Rondon to make a call on that one. I don’t recall seeing West Brom play at all last season – not even against Newcastle. So obviously he didn’t make much of an impression on me. Not that I saw Fulham much either – maybe 3 times – but at least I know Mitro from before.

    Bris – fair enough mate. I hope you can take my word that Rondon isn’t all that good – he’s nee Joselu mind, but he’s nee Salah either.
    Point is, Rafa is on about selling arguably a better forward still in the early stages of his career, for an arguably less better forward in the latter stages of his career.
    If we sell Mitro for £20m and buy Rondon for £16m – only Ashley thinks that’s a good deal mate.

      (Quote)

  25. georgio:
    Perez value now being touted as north of £18m.!

    I’d pass on Rondon but take Josh King instead.

    Georgio – I’m a big fan of Josh King, would love to see him in

      (Quote)

  26. Me too Sharpy. Rondon does work harder than Mitro but he’s hardly the upgrade we need and does miss an awful lot of chances. He is, probably in Rafa’s eyes, a better, more mobile bet in a 451 but I certainly hope we don’t see a lot of that next season. These Rashford rumours are just plain silly.

      (Quote)

  27. georgio:
    Me too Sharpy. Rondon does work harder than Mitro but he’s hardly the upgrade we need and does miss an awful lot of chances. He is, probably in Rafa’s eyes, a better, more mobile bet in a 451 but I certainly hope we don’t see a lot of that next season. These Rashford rumours are just plain silly.

    Georgio – maybe I’m an old fashioned fart mate, but I always think a forward should focus on goal scoring and a defender should defend. This craic of CBs playing it out from the back, and forwards not being defensive enough ??‍♂️.

    Sir Bobby got it pretty much spot on with big Al. You’re dangerous through the middle son, so play the width of the box – leave the wingers for that wide ****, you focus on goals.
    He brought Bellamy in to do Shearers running around and had the wide players creating for him.

    Stick Mitrovic up top, Perez can do his running and let Kenedy (??) and Ritchie do there bit.

      (Quote)

  28. Bournemouth are supposed to be keen on Rodriguez from WBA.
    If they were to get him then maybe they let Josh King leave.

    But I think it’s gonna be another one of those windows where there a bit of a player merry go round – one won’t go until a replacement comes in.

      (Quote)

  29. The good thing there is King complained publically about where Howe was using him. He’d leave in a flash.

      (Quote)

  30. Mark Kleinman‏Verified account @MarkKleinmanSky · 6h6 hours ago

     More

    Exclusive: Poundworld to fall into administration later today after failure of last-ditch talks to rescue bargain retailer; move will make chain the largest British retailer by employee numbers to go bust in an already-grim year.

    Sad day when even the bargain shops can’t stay afloat, take note Ashley.

      (Quote)

  31. Love the pound shops , you can get a two pack of dove soap for £1, it’s £2.50 for two in asda !

      (Quote)

  32.  Mark Douglas Retweeted

    Mitch‏ @geordiedentist · 6h6 hours ago

     More

    Replying to @MsiDouglas @seetrends

    The question was always “how willing a seller are you Mike?” He has bandied around 400m for a while on and off. That’s his magic number I believe. I am led to believe one genuinely interested party still haven’t been given a price. What on earth that indicates I have no idea

    That doesn’t surprise me one bit, never has had any intention of selling, it’s all smoke and mirrors to avoid investing in the club.

      (Quote)

  33. kimtoon:
     Mark Douglas Retweeted

    Mitch‏ @geordiedentist · 6h6 hours ago

     More

    Replying to @MsiDouglas @seetrends

    The question was always “how willing a seller are you Mike?” He has bandied around 400m for a while on and off. That’s his magic number I believe. I am led to believe one genuinely interested party still haven’t been given a price. What on earth that indicates I have no idea

    That doesn’t surprise me one bit, never has had any intention of selling, it’s all smoke and mirrors to avoid investing in the club.

    Im absolutely certain I’m going against the grain here, but I’m not arsed that Ashley isn’t selling to Staveley personally.
    I’d as sooner he back Rafa in the window.

      (Quote)

  34. I love that Russia’s mystic animal for predicting the results is a white cat. Very Bond villain that like innit ??

      (Quote)

  35. Kim, Jabba is in a industry that is dying in its arse. It’s tragic but the one positive will be that his Sport Direct company will suffer too. It might lead him to want to liquidise some assets maybe…

      (Quote)

  36. Stuart79:
    Kim, Jabba is in a industry that is dying in its arse. It’s tragic but the one positive will be that his Sport Direct company will suffer too. It might lead him to want to liquidise some assets maybe…

    Yeah mate the novelty of his type of outlet is waning, I know loads who don’t shop there anymore, maining cause most of it shrinks in the wash 😆

      (Quote)

  37. So within a week Rashford goes from possible loan to ready to sign new 130k a week deal after WC.

    And in more no-****-Sherlock news Mark Douglas reports Mitro’s price could go up he has a good WC. This happens at every tournament, it is not news. But I suppose it is better than making up stories or re-posting them from obscure foreign news outlets in Turkey.

      (Quote)

  38. According to the Chronicle Rafa has drawn up a list of 50+ strikers to pursue. Whilst this is obvious;ly crap, it does give them licence to guess who the 50 are and justifiably argue that rafa has his list. Other outlets can now report that according to a report in the chronicle. And the beat goes on.

      (Quote)

  39. And why would we want to give up on Moreno? We have him under contract so we have control. The Spanish press are just as bad as the British so who knows if there is anything there. He might fancy a holiday in San Sebastian, might want to visit his family and then hey presto the press say he is unhappy. And just because he maybe has talked to a friend at Betis means nothing. Have you seen young people now? Their phones are glued to their hands twittering, instagraming, talking, selfie-ing. It would certainly be no surprise if he was talking and texting to a former teammate.

      (Quote)

  40. We might want to learn a lesson from Thauvin where we gave up too soon. He didn’t look like he was settled but screw that he was under contract so suck it up.

    I am fine with clearing the decks of players Rafa doesn’t want but not for players who could do a job in the squad like Atsu or have only had a year to adapt to the PL like Merino.

    BTW Atsu had a knee operation so he isn’t going anywhere. I also think he may have been carrying the injury but Rafa thought he could give us 20 minutes off the bench. As soon as we were safe he had his operation.

      (Quote)

  41. Stuart79:
    Kim, Jabba is in a industry that is dying in its arse. It’s tragic but the one positive will be that his Sport Direct company will suffer too. It might lead him to want to liquidise some assets maybe…

    The club is becoming his only cash cow. He won’t let it go easily.

      (Quote)

  42. Thauvin is crap. He could have stayed 5 years and would have achieved naff all because he is a pansy with no heart. League 1 is by and large crap. He ain’t fooling me.

      (Quote)

  43. Shamrock:
    Thauvin is crap. He could have stayed 5 years and would have achieved naff all because he is a pansy with no heart. League 1 is by and large crap. He ain’t fooling me.

    Agree, different kettle of fish altogether Sham.

      (Quote)

  44. Shamrock:
    Thauvin is crap. He could have stayed 5 years and would have achieved naff all because he is a pansy with no heart. League 1 is by and large crap. He ain’t fooling me.

    Sham – agreed mate. Piss poor scouting IMO like – it’s one thing to look good in the French league but you need to have the minerals to transfer that & that’s for the scouts to assess that – they got that one, and Cabella very wrong.

      (Quote)

  45. I see Colback is still refusing to take a wage cut. Might be one we struggle to off load permanently.

      (Quote)

  46. Kristan Heneage
    Kristan Heneage
    @KHeneage
    Record in Portugal claim Gelson Martins, Bruno Fernandes, William Carvalho and Bas Dost of Sporting have all terminated their contracts with the club. I doubt this is the last we’ve heard on this one:

    What’s all that about…?

      (Quote)

  47. Stuart79:
    Kristan Heneage
    Kristan Heneage
    @KHeneage
    Record in Portugal claim Gelson Martins, Bruno Fernandes, William Carvalho and Bas Dost of Sporting have all terminated their contracts with the club. I doubt this is the last we’ve heard on this one:

    What’s all that about…?

    Stu – if true I could see all of those players in the PL next season like

      (Quote)

  48. Stu

    Think its because of abuse or maybe even attacks from so called fans. As I understand, because of the abuse/attack, the fees etc can be terminated and they more or less become free transfers, though I could be wrong there about being totally free. If that is the case, bargains for some clubs, though high salaries and signing on fees no doubt

      (Quote)

  49. You’re right, Kim, unlikely non with us. I dread to think their signing on fees and wages. Has Charnley couldn’t wait to tell us in his recent interview a £10m transfer can turn into a £20m commitment. Like it only happens to NUFC…

      (Quote)

  50. Rooney is going to flop in MLS. DC want his name on shirts and because they are opening a new stadium. The players are not technically great but are fast and physical. There are plenty of Mexicans and South Americans as well. If he thinks he can stroll through games he has another think coming.

    Then there are the distances which Gerrard couldn’t deal with.

    DC are bottom of the league so he will not be playing with very good players.

    If there is a curiosity factor and new fans go to see Fat, Slow Wayne then I think they will be disappointed. He is supposedly getting a 3 year contract. There is no way he will see that out and probably will leave after 1 year “by mutual consent”. Basically the same as what happened at Man U and what is happening now at Everton.

      (Quote)

  51. How can these Sporting Lisbon players walk away from their contracts? They get attacked at the training ground by club “fans” but how does that void their contract? I am sure they must have had legal advice an advice from Agents, but wouldn’t the club fight it?

    Wouldn’t a new club be at risk of getting one of these players, paying a signing fee and Agent fee and then a court saying he is still a Sporting player and then having to pay them a fee?

    Just asking. The original story is in The Sun so I am not surprised there is no analysis. And, of course the Chronic switch to Bas Dost but don’t say why he would be free or how he cancelled his contract.

      (Quote)

  52. Eric Sykes:
    How can these Sporting Lisbon players walk away from their contracts? They get attacked at the training ground by club “fans” but how does that void their contract? I am sure they must have had legal advice an advice from Agents, but wouldn’t the club fight it?

    Wouldn’t a new club be at risk of getting one of these players, paying a signing fee and Agent fee and then a court saying he is still a Sporting player and then having to pay them a fee?

    Just asking. The original story is in The Sun so I am not surprised there is no analysis. And, of course the Chronic switch to Bas Dost but don’t say why he would be free or how he cancelled his contract.

    It’s not gonna effect us so I wouldn’t give it anymore thought mate.

      (Quote)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green