Garth Crooks names NUFC’s unsung hero & the “quite brilliant” moment that impressed him most

It’s about time someone outside the North-East appreciated Mr Isaac Hayden.

Thankfully, the BBC’s Garth Crooks has done exactly that when selecting his latest Premier League Team of the Week.

Here’s what he’s had to say about the mighty and inspirational Hayden following our heroic win over Southampton last weekend:

“For me, Newcastle’s 3-2 win against Southampton on Saturday was the match of the day. The conditions became progressively worse but the quality of football under the circumstances was just tremendous.”

“Newcastle played with 10 men for half-an-hour and nine men for 18 minutes – including seven minutes of stoppage time – but miraculously held on for three points.

“Isaac Hayden was magnificent in the last 20 minutes of this fixture.”

“His clearance off the line from a Danny Ings sliced shot was outstanding. His ability to sense the danger and hold off the Saints bombardment was quite brilliant.

“Hayden has now played more Premier League games against Southampton without ever losing than he has against any other side in the competition (P5 W4 D1 L0).”

That goal-line block to deny Ings really was brilliant and a moment that single handedly won us a few extra points!

Mind you, I think Isaac’s only unsung and underrated if you’re not a Toon fan. We all know how important he is too us and it’s was a truly fortunate day when he changed his mind about moving and stayed in the North East.

He never ever lets us down and shows time and time again the commitment, desire, and passion that we want to see in all our players all of the time. I’m biased, I know I am, but whether he plays at CDM or CB, I’m not sure there’s a player in the PL who regularly offers those three traits come rain or shine.

Certainly not an English one and that includes Declan Rice!

I note that in some quarters he’s been touted as a Captain. I wouldn’t disagree with those sentiments but sometimes a player can be a leader without needing the armband and Isaac is all that and more.

People have talked about an England call-up. I’ll tell you now that because of the way the media approach the talk about the squads and Southgate selects he’ll never get called up and that’s no bad thing for us. Does he deserve a call-up? Probably but I’m happy for him just to be ours.

Isaac Hayden is fast becoming a NUFC legend and one of those players that will be revered and remembered long after he’s gone. He’s a throwback in that he plays for the love of the game and his Club and will always give 100%.

Long may he remain in black and white.

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