DAN Gosling is determined to save his Newcastle career and become United’s answer to David Platt, according to his agent David Hodgson.
In a remarkably frank interview with The Journal, Hodgson has laid bare the problems the England Under-21 man is struggling with as he battles to revive a Newcastle career that is yet to ignite.
He admits his young charge is “unhappy” at not playing, but insists he still wants to become a success on Tyneside – despite suggestions that the former Everton man may leave in the summer.
Gateshead-born Hodgson – the former Sunderland, Liverpool and Middlesbrough striker who later managed Darlington – feels Gosling’s problems come from trying “too hard” to impress Alan Pardew and not concentrating on his strengths as a goal-scoring midfielder. The 22-year-old has not started a game since a December 10 appearance against Norwich, which was curtailed by his 66th-minute red card.
But Gosling has undoubted ability, accruing three England Under-21 caps before he suffered a devastating anterior cruciate ligament problem.
Hodgson said: “I don’t know what Newcastle United’s thoughts are, they will make their decision. At this stage I have received no indications that they want to cash in on Dan (Gosling).
“If Newcastle decide they do want to get rid of him I would say they are making a huge, huge mistake.
“He’s very professional. I’m not going to say he’s happy because he’s not playing at the moment but he wants to achieve things at Newcastle United and I still think he can.
“I speak to Dan pretty much every single day. I have been a professional footballer myself and have gone through it myself. It is tough but my advice is to stay at Newcastle, a very big club and to make a success of it.”
The problem, according to Hodgson, is that Gosling is trying to adapt the natural game that brought him to national prominence at the expense of the strengths that helped him break through. He told The Journal: “He has to win over Alan Pardew but he’s trying too hard to win over Alan Pardew at the moment.
“He is trying too hard but I don’t think he has to try too hard. “My advice to him is that he’s trying to be that “quarter back” type player and that’s not his job. His strength is his goals and his goal-scoring ability. Look at the stats of the boy going in the box. He gets in the box more than any other player at Newcastle United and he could be that player who scores seven to ten goals a season for them. I would say he’s more of a David Platt-type player.”
Hodgson is the ideal man to advise Gosling and admits that the player has needed picking up at various points since his controversial departure from Everton – an exit that was misinterpreted according to his agent. A serious injury followed by a relapse that required surgery has seen him stall, while others like Yohan Cabaye and Mehdi Abeid have been shipped in from France. But Hodgson hopes he is not judged until the summer. “He has been through a lot of turmoil with injuries and having to relocate and everything,” he said.
“What he really needs right now is a bit of a confidence boost. Everyone needs that when they have gone through a tough spell.
“When he comes back in the summer he will have his first full pre-season for a while and then we will see what Dan Gosling can do for Newcastle United.”