Habib Beye, who we signed from French Club Marseilles on the last day of the transfer window in August has been talking to the Journal about coming to Newcastle United.
Marseilles did qualify for the Champions League for this season so Habib forfeited his chance to play in that league to accept the opportunity offered at Newcastle.
He is still good friends with Didier Drogba of Chelsea, who of course he played with at Marseilles.
Let’s see what our new right-back has been saying about Newcastle.
Habib Beye – in training yesterday at St. James’ Park – getting ready for Sunday’s game
Habib spoke to the Newcastle Journal today on his recollections of Newcastle United:
â€œI remember playing here for Marseilles in the semi-final (UEFA cup) and I remember that it was a fantastic atmosphere,â€ â€œWe won in Marseilles, but we drew here. I remember it well because I played against Alan Shearer.â€
â€œHe was a big personality in Newcastle and a very good player. I remember Newcastle were a very good team back them. We were playing them in the UEFA Cup semi-final, so that shows how good they were.â€
â€œThe memory of that game is one of the reasons why I signed for Newcastle in the summer. In Marseilles, we have 55,000 people at the stadium for big games. I remember St James’ Park being a passionate place to play football and that is very important for me.”
” It was important for me to come to a club like Newcastle that can challenge in Europe.â€
We’ve heard quite a few players say that. Certainly the atmosphere at Newcastle’s St. James’ Park can be electric and it’s very impressive to players like Beye who appreciate the passionate side of the game. Beye spent four years in the south of France, having moved there in 2003 from Strasbourg. He helped the club qualify for the Champions League last season and Marseilles beat Besiktas 2-0 earlier in the week in their first game in their group. They are in the same group as Liverpool. Habib hopes to have the same impact at Newcastle.
Beye went on:
â€œNewcastle have the potential to be as big as Marseilles, maybe bigger. But we need to be back in Europe. We have to have a good season and finish in the top five or six so that we can get back into Europe for next season.â€
â€œI think Newcastle is one of the best places to play in the Premier League. They have the best fans, but it is very important that we are in Europe. The fans expect to be watching European football.â€
Also looks like Chelseaâ€™s Didier Drogba is a fan of Newcastle, as he recommended Newcastle to his friend when Habib was considering Sam’s persistent offer. Habib continued:
â€œI am still a good friend of Didier and I speak with him regularly. He was very happy to see me join Newcastle and I look forward to playing against him.â€
â€œDidier said good things about Newcastle and said it would be a good club for me. He told me to come here because it was the perfect club for me in the Premier League.â€â€œHe thinks it is the best league in Europe and I am pleased to have a chance to play in it. It is very different to France, but it is the best.â€
â€œI have a lot of friends that play in England I told Drogba that I was thinking about moving to England and he said, â€˜The Premier League will be very good for youâ€™. I told (Diomansy) Kamara that I was thinking of joining Newcastle and he said, â€˜It is a very big teamâ€™.”
“Everyone was complimentary.â€
The fact that we were able to attract players of the caliber of Habib Beye augers well for us in the future. As we mentioned, Beye gave up playing Champions League football with Marseilles this season to come to Newcastle, so it was no small sacrifice. But he’s got a great reputation as a fine right back – and the sooner he starts playing regularly in that position for the club the better. We’re very glad to have players of Beye’s ability – and character – at the club.