A few weeks on from our 4-0 win over Fulham on the final day of the season, several members of the Newcastle squad have been asked to reveal who was the toughest opponent they came up against over the season.
The likes of Perez, Lascelles, Schar and Longstaff got involved, and there was one popular pick – Eden Hazard.
That said, Salomon Rondon gave us a surprise when it discussing the best centre-backs he played against last season, saying his biggest battle came up against Leicester’s Wes Morgan!
Speaking to NUFC TV, here’s what several of our star players had to say when asked who was the toughest competitor they faced over the 2018/19 season:
“I’d probably go with Aguero. He’s just really smart, plays a different style of play that other strikers do. He’s never really in front of you – he’s always behind you. He never lets you touch him and I like a bit of contact and stuff and he’s smart.“
There are many players, obviously, but Hazard has been brilliant. You can see the way he can make the difference. Obviously, defenders, there are plenty of them I could choose but let’s be fair and say Hazard.
There are plenty of good players in the Premier League that I’ve played against over the years and this season’s no different. Salah, Sterling have been brilliant this season. The one that would stand out for me when I have played against them this season is Hazard. I think it’s the ability to stop and start, the change of pace, the way he turns. He’s so hard to defend against – he can go left and right whereas some players can only go one way. Quite a lot he goes the other way – so quick and so fast – it’s so hard to stop so he’s definitely the toughest opponent.
For me, I would say Morgan, the Leicester centre-back. Against Liverpool, Van Dijk and Lovren, it was a tough match against them.
Probably Eden Hazard. He’s one of the best players, of course, in the world. Especially in this league, he is something really special. He’s hard to play against him, to go one against one him is so hard so he’s probably one of the hardest opponents in the Premier League.
“When we played against Tottenham, I thought Eriksen was really good. He was really tough to play against. He just drifted wherever he wanted and we couldn’t really pick him up. Him and Son were really good. When we played Man City, you’ve got De Bruyne and Fernandinho and David Silva..you could name the whole team to be fair! Their three midfielders will be the three toughest you could probably come up against in the Premier League. You see the quality they’ve got so for me to be able to come up against them players was amazing. It’s something I’m hopefully going to be able to do a bit more in the future.“
“Probably Hazard. Not generally, position to position, but in terms of the match, the way the game panned out, probably him. He can do whatever he wants wherever he wants so I’d probably say Hazard.“
“Every season I say the same: Aguero, Mane, Firmino, Salah. They are in a very good season so yeah they are the one.“
“I would say Walker. Man City obviously always have possession and when they have the ball it’s always difficult to go past them because they always have energy. So I think Walker is the toughest opponent.“
“I think Salah. He’s amazing. His performances are very good and I think he’s the top player in the Premier League.“
“Hazard at Chelsea. It was very difficult. He’s the best player in the Premier League so he’s the toughest opponent.“
An interesting insight from the players and a nice little post-season feature from those at NUFC TV.
Watch the clip in full via the link above.