The problem with doing a player by player review of the Newcastle United squad for the 2015-16 season is this: If you start from the back... it's depressing. If you start from the front, it is also depressing. I suppose that it's not surprising when dealing with a relegation season that bad performances are plentiful. Oh, well. We're doing this.
We're on to Massadio Haïdara who is fun to type because you have to find the umlaut. Another fun thing to do when considering Sadio is playing the "what might have been" game. What if Callum McManaman didn't break Sadio's leg those years ago? Oh, well. 7 appearances after looking like he was Steve McClaren's choice at left back. Here we go.
Eric: 22 appearances in two and a half seasons for the injury prone defender tells the tale of a talented player that can't seem to stay on the field. This season proved to be no different with Massadio only earning 555 total minutes of football in 7 appearances. While I rate Haïdara quite highly, the simple fact is that the young man just can't stay healthy and if you aren't healthy you can't play and...well, you can guess how that story ends. Under normal conditions I would rate such a season as incomplete given the small sample size but we're trending now. It's hard to see Haidara finding life in the Championship any easier to cope with from a physicality standpoint.
Logan: I really like Massadio Haïdara. The Chronicle did a compelling story on him rushing back from injury, and I do think that in due time he will be a valuable part of Newcastle’s future. After an abysmal year health wise, a stint (however long it may be) in the Championship could be really, really good. Dummett already said he envisioned staying with Newcastle, however should he leave I think Haïdara would be a good fit in his place. This is straying away from total rationality, but think if the two mainstay fullbacks from this season leave, a Haïdara/Mbambu fullback combination could be exciting in the long term. This season, however, was a lost one, as we all know.
Brian: Haidara missed 79% of the season in 2015/16. The general sentiment is that he was rushed back (by self, club or both?) and in doing so was never going to heal. Would he have made a difference? His history with the club does not warrant optimism as even when healthy his sheet doesn't say anything to promised potential. This club needs a general overhaul on the back line, and if we're going to keep anyone it must someone like a Dummett who at times gave something on the pitch. Time to admit this was a failed signing and move on.
Jim: I don't think there's much to say about Sadio that hasn't been said. The idea of him is great and lovely. If he was on the 10-match judgement plan that Steve McClaren set up before the first kickoff of the season, well... he didn't even make that. He looked defensively passable (he is still a young player, mind) and exciting on the overlap. None of this matters, though, if you can't stay on the pitch. As I mentioned in the intro, what if games are fun, but just like in physical science, potential is just stationary energy until you get it moving. Here is an unfair rebuttal point I will make to Brian though that he can't respond to until after this posts: What are your feelings about Rolando Aarons? Excited to keep him for the future? If you're willing to hope one gets healthy and not the other... On that note (and this isn't the point of these, but whatever) - envision a healthy Haïdara/Aarons left side. You're welcome.
Composite Grade: Incomplete