It seems life is still tough as a footballer for former Toon loanee Nabil Bentaleb.
He came to Newcastle knowing that if he impressed the ex-Spurs midfielder could have been lining up against Gareth Bale next weekend having earned a permanent move.
Instead, despite looking like a neat and tidy footballer in rare flashes, he didn’t really affect any game he played for the black and white. He always looked so casual/lackadaisical when he played for us and seemed like a real luxury player who allowed his man to burst past him or his head to drop way too easily and far too regularly.
He took risks in possession and lost the ball in awful areas. When things weren’t going for us, he always seemed to let his head drop very quickly. Say what you like about Steve Bruce and I’m no fan but not signing Bentaleb was definitely a good decision not to sign him.
Back in Germany and despite seemingly surplus to requirements, he actually played his first game for Schalke in 18 months against Bayern Munich and made history. He was part of a side that were hammered 8-0!!! It was the biggest ever victory by any Bundesliga club in the opening game of the season, and he was slated by Schalke fans on social media soon after the match.
A picture (see above) of Bayern celebrating one of the goals has Bentaleb in the background and his demeanour reminds me of him when we got hammered in his horror show at Man City a few months ago – head down and despondent.
He’s reportedly one of Schalke’s highest earners on a ridiculous £90,000 a week! Rather them not us and a timely reminder that we were much better off signing Jeff Hendrick on a free.
Elsewhere, Crotone open their account in Serie A with a near-post tap-in from none other than a certain Emmanuel Riviere getting into a position he and we could only have dreamed of when he was in Toon. The keeper will be disappointed but it was a fantastic cross into a really dangerous area.
Then there was a debut for Florian Lejeune for Alaves against Granada. Despite someone called Joselu scoring a bullet of a free kick for Alaves, it was a 2 – 1 defeat for Flo on debut with an error leading to a goal and a yellow card thrown in.
Funnily enough, former Mag Kenedy also came on late and almost scored after bursting past the Frenchman late on!
Meanwhile, Yoshinori Muto was an unused substitute for Eibar in their opening 1 – 1 away draw and a fellow called Adam Armstrong got a hat-trick for Blackburn to take his tally for the season to 5 already! Perhaps he’s worth a look at!