The new lads we’ve brought into the club last month are good players – there’s no doubt about that – but one of the things that has been a really pleasant surprise is their immediate dedication to Newcastle, and the fact that all the new French lads seems to have stellar characters.
Yohan Cabaye - don’t forget this lad had a blinder on Saturday too
And we have to wonder what Demba Ba thinks – after he suffered a terrible broken nose in the first half and couldn’t continue – but he will have witnessed the phenomenal scenes at St. James’ Park during and after the game on Saturday - and he could have become a long term Newcastle player, but went for the big money at Chelsea instead – which of course is his right.
Alan Pardew has talked about first watching Moussa Sissoko – who is now the Toast of the Toon after two fantastic performances in a Newcastle shirt – when he was at Toulouse:
“The game I first saw Moussa in was 14-16 months ago and I walked away that night wanting to get him there and then.” “I don’t want to say too much about him, because his performance speaks for itself and it doesn’t need me to give a sound-bite because he’s going to get enough headlines, but he’s just been like a giant, that’s all I can say, in training and in everything, the way he’s carried himself.
“He’s a real force of football. It’s only two games in and hopefully we’re saying the same thing in the summer, because those Chelsea players we came up against are top, top players – Oscar, Lampard, Mata.” “They’re fabulous players and we had players out there who looked every bit as good as them and that’s a great lift for us.”
“Yoan’s an established player, a French Under-21 player, look at his history and he’s always scored goals at big clubs in France.” “And, again, a really good character. Sometimes you don’t know exactly what you’re getting. Players tell you ‘Yes, he’s a good character, he’s this and that’”.
“We asked Cabaye what they’re like, but you never know until they walk in. And they’ve been outstanding. All of them who have come in, really nice characters.” “And one thing that’s important, that nobody has asked me about, was evident today: the stereotypical view that French players lack fight isn’t true.”
“We were 2-1 down today and up against it. We showed a bit of fight. So hopefully that buries that one.”
There’s no doubt that the French lads have guts, and they only add to the fantastic team spirit we seem to have in the Newcastle camp at the moment – and that’s after we lost 10 of our 13 league games in that terrible run of games that finally ended, after we were beaten 2-1 by Reading at home, just over two weeks ago.
Six points from the last two games is just what the doctor ordered, but we now have to see how we can win a tough game at White Hart Lane on Saturday afternoon – that’s all that matters now.
Wonder if Ben Arfa will be fit for that game?
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org