Moussa Sissoko reveals his big Rafa Benitez regret as he makes honest NUFC admission..

Moussa Sissoko claims he was ‘very sad’ when Newcastle were relegated back in 2016 – stating that he still wishes Rafa Benitez arrived earlier that year, believing we would have stayed up if he was given more time.

Sissoko left Tyneside in the summer of 2016 to little fanfare – most Toon fans were amazed Tottenham Hotspur were prepared to pay the reported £30m fee. The Frenchman has drastically improved in the Spurs engine room this season but still often flatters to deceive.

Here’s what the midfielder had to say when reflecting on his time on Tyneside during an in-depth interview with the Mail:

“My first relegation. I was very sad. Newcastle are a huge club with massive fans and the potential is big. On the pitch, we did not do enough. We did not show our quality.

“I believed Newcastle would come straight back up but I went to Tottenham to fight for titles.



“I actually wish Rafa Benitez was there for more than the final three months of that season because we would have stayed up if he had come earlier.”

Benitez is universally respected in the football world – our relegation was mainly due to the failings of previous boss, Steve McClaren. It is credit to Rafa when you reflect on where we could be if he hadn’t stayed – most teams don’t bounce back, let alone stay there.

Benitez actually made Sissoko captain during their time together, so there is a clear respect there. However, Sissoko may have had the same gratitude from Newcastle fans if he wasn’t constantly angling for a move away to the clubs of his ‘dreams’ whilst playing for us – or his inconsistent lackluster displays when we needed him most.

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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.

One thought on “Moussa Sissoko reveals his big Rafa Benitez regret as he makes honest NUFC admission..

  1. I wouldn’t keep labelling his performances the season we went down as lack lustre, that whole team was devoid of normal football life under McLaren, no training 48hr before a game, not even a slight stretch on a Fri or sat, what’s that all about ?? That’s Mclarens downfall he tried something absolutely absurd and it failed and he lost grip of what he was doing at Newcastle, Sissoko for me tried in games and when it failed his head went down, no leadership to push fight and spirit exactly what Lascelles said to them all in the dressing room back then…hate to see a lot of blame laid at Moussa door we all have dreams of playing for ‘Our Dream Club’ even Lord God Sir Alan Shearer said himself…plenty others in that team that went down that escaped unscathed…

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