Newcastle are trying something different – and should be applauded

Siem de Jong
Siem de Jong

It’s good to talk.

But footballers aren’t always keen to speak.

This pre-season, however, it’s been different at Newcastle United.

The club has been open with fans and media alike over the past few weeks. And that’s a good start.

Every player that was asked for an interview in the mixed zone at the AOK Stadium on Wednesday after the club’s 3-1 win over Wolfsburg stopped to speak to journalists.

They were honest and engaging interviewees.

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They all spoke well.

It was the same in Ireland last month during the club’s training camp at Carlton House.

Siem de Jong’s remarkably candid interview about his wretched run of injuries is one example.

Newcastle are trying to be more open.

The club, as we all know, hasn’t always been that way.

Better communication with supporters, be it through the club’s own website and social media channels or through other media outlets, is important.

United started to open up last season in the Championship.

So many of the club’s new signings last summer had interesting stories to tell. And they told them.

The club also better highlighted the work it does in the community through the Newcastle United Foundation.

Rafa Benitez’s side were winning on and off the pitch.

Relegation was long forgotten.

Everyone was looking forward. Together.

Of course, it’s easy to be positive in pre-season before a ball has been kicked in anger.

And the team will be up against it in the Premier League this season after a year out of the top flight.

Newcastle have made many PR mistakes in the past.

But in an age where fans and journalists can’t get near players at many Premier League clubs, United are trying something different.

They’re trying to be open.

And they should be applauded.

Hopefully, Newcastle can get it right on and off the field this season.