Former France international Laurent Robert has talked today about the new Newcastle side, who have a number of French players in their ranks.
Laurent Robert – while at Newcastle
Laurent played for Newcastle 129 times from 2001 through 2006, with 30 goals, and from 2005 through 2006, was on loan at Portsmouth.
Laurent was signed from Montpellier when Bobby Robson was unable to get first choice, Dutch winger Boudewijn Zenden from Barcelona, who signed for Chelsea in 2001.
This is what 36 year-old Laurent told the BBC today from his home in Clairefontaine:
“I played for four years at Newcastle and it was the best time of my career,” “When I played, I had Sylvain Distin and Olivier Bernard.”
“We had three French players and the communication was very important.”
Robert has been pleased and rather impressed with the way in which the French players have settled in quickly at Newcastle this season, and made an almost instant impact:
“I saw Yohan Cabaye two weeks ago when he came to play for the national team. I spoke to him and he really likes it at Newcastle. He knows the fans like him.”
“Ben Arfa’s a player who likes to win. Newcastle was the best thing that could have happened.” “He’s now confident, has a good relationship with his manager, and it’s great for the player.”
“I don’t believe the standard of their play will drop in the winter,” “The weather and cold doesn’t matter. In Lille the winter weather is just like it is in Newcastle!”
That last line there was in response to a question about whether the Frenchmen at Newcastle will be able to maintain their good form, over the cold English winters, and the freezing Newcastle winters.
But France isn’t exactly like Miami in the winter either.
WE suppose they can always wear gloves, which Laurent did when it got cold, which reminds me that Bobby Robson at the time tried to dissuade the Frenchman from wearing the gloves, because it just wasn’t done.
They are now used a lot more these days, of course, even by English players.
Players must have been tougher in the old days, because some players just wouldn’t be seen dead wearing gloves on the field of play. 😀