It must have been a harrowing experience in January for the five new French players who arrived and at the time we had just been beaten at home 2-1 by Reading, and we thought that was the low point of the season – we were wrong.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – things will be better next season
Newcastle did quite well initially with the French players and won our first two league game sat Aston Villa and then at home to Chelsea, but it was after we were eliminated form the Europa League that we really fell apart.
We lost our last three home games 3-0, 6-0 and 1-0 to Sunderland, Liverpool and Arsenal – and maybe the low point of the season was that defeat by Liverpool – the heaviest defeat at St. James’ Park since 1925 – ouch!
24 year-old Yanga-Mbiwa played 20 times for Newcastle since he arrived, and he looked particularly good towards the end of the season at left-back, and he’s talked in the local press today:
“When I first came to Newcastle, it was definitely complicated coming into an entirely different system.” “I have had to adapt to the English game, which wasn’t easy for me. It’s been a case of me working hard and really grafting in training.”
“I’ve had half a season at Newcastle United. I now know how everything works and I can’t wait until next season so we can get stuck in.” “I am sure all the French players who came this year can do well next season.”
“All the French guys had worked under different managers, so we had to come in and each one of us had to buy into the manager’s philosophy.”
“Each manager has his own way of doing things, of course, so there were different things we needed to get used to. “But the manager knows our qualities. He knows what we can give to his team.”
Obviously we didn’t see the best of our five French players over the four months, and it’s always hard to come into a team, especially from overseas, when you don’t even know the language.
But we saw from every one of our new French players, Mapou, Moussa Sissoko, Mathieu Debuchy, Yoan Gouffran and Massadio Haidara, that they can play a bit.
They’ll be much better once they are through the pre-season, and we assume they are all going to English classes overt the summer – one of the difficulties was that none of the new arrivals knew any English in January – and that didn’t help.
It was a terrible season, but with the players we have we should be able o do a lot better next season – and we don’t want to be anywhere near the relegation zone – it’s not good for our health – in fact it’s very bad for our health.
Keep the faith we’ll be much better next season – won’t we? 😀
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org