We had heard Alan Pardew had done this when the five French players arrived last month – and the news could have come directly from the Newcastle manager himself – but Steven Taylor has explained again that the new players were asked by the Newcastle gaffer why they came to Newcastle – in front of all the rest of the players.
Steven Taylor and new boy Mathieu Debuchy celebrate win over Chelsea
Newcastle had a fantastic January transfer window, and we signed Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Massadio Haidara, Yoan Gouffran and Moussa Sissoko – all from the French League and all for around £18M in total – and there are some great bargains are in there.
This is what Steven Taylor told the Topman magazine:
“Before the Aston Villa game we all sat down for a meal and the Gaffer presented each player with their shirt and asked them to explain why they came to Newcastle.” “Through a translator they all explained that they just wanted to be accepted by the group, give 100% to the team and promised not to let down the players and staff who were already there.”
“It was refreshing to hear them say that to us because too many times I’ve seen players come in, sign their big money contracts and just down their tools and relax. We’ve now got a group of players willing to work hard.” “You can see a player every day without actually getting to scratch beneath the surface and really get to know them.”
“To help that, the Gaffer has arranged a different theme every day for lunch times and we all have to eat together.” “Today we had a French day, tomorrow it’s Dutch and then Senegalese. We eat food from whatever country we’re doing that day, put up decorations with the country’s flags on them, the full shebang.”
“It might only be a small gesture but hopefully it helps the foreign players settle and feel accepted.”
We’re extremely impressed by all our new signings in January - and they certainly seem to have wanted to join Newcastle, and they all have given some great interviews since they arrived on Tyneside – and they’ve all played very well too.
And as we recall the were also asked to sing a song in front of the rest of the lads – so that’s one way in which Alan Pardew is an excellent man manager – because explaining why they came to Newcastle and then having to sing a song will certainly help break down the initial barriers for the newcomers – and for our squad players too.
Oh, and then we hammered Chelsea 3-2 at home, after beating Aston Villa 2-1 on the road for our very first away win of the season – and that helped too.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org