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Thauvin’s Success Depends On His Mentality – Not His Ability

It was about three years ago that both Arsenal and Newcastle were (very) interested in Florina Thauvin, who at the time was playing for Bastia after he had moved there in 2011 from Grenoble – and he was playing very well and attracting interest of some top clubs.

Graham Carr had been watching him for a little while at that time, but in January of 2013 he stayed in the French League and signed on at Lille, where he was allowed to stay on loan at Bastia for the season, and they finished in 12th place with Marseille second but still 12 points behind Champions PSG.

florian thauvin 99

Florian Thauvin – in action for France U20 side

Florian was supposed to be joining the Lille first team squad  in the summer of 2013, but before he ever played for them Marseille came in with a big wage offer, and over that summer Florian Thauvin went on strike to try to force through the move.

He had to put up with a lot of criticism from the French footballers’ union, who called his actions simply indefensible.

But he got the move – and then two years later he has signed on at Newcastle, and looked really good in his first two appearances for the club over the last five days.

Newcastle meet Arsenal on Saturday, and Arsene Wenger was one of the managers very interested in signing Florian, after he has starred in the U20 World Cup tournament in Turkey, which France won in the summer of 2013 –  beating Ghana 3-1 in the final.

Florian was a big star player for France,  along with former Red Devils youngster Paul Pogba – who is now at Juventus and a star of the French National side.

Two years ago, Arsene Wenger spoke about the then 20 year-old before Arsenal played Marseille in the Champions League, and Arsene  started off talking about Thauvin’s  surprise move to Marseille:

“It was a surprise transfer for me. We were following him and we were interested in him before he joined Lille.”

“For me, he is one of the big prospects of French football. He will go higher. He is only 20. His progress now will not depend on his talent but on his mentality.”

“We saw in the summer that he showed a great mental strength (note – in the World U20 Championships), but you can also question his mentality for the way he behaved towards Lille.”

“Only the future will tell us.”

Florian is a little bit like another former Newcastle player – Ben Arfa – where their skills are not in doubt.

But the Arsenal manager is right when he says Florian success is more based on his mental strength, application and discipline, rather than it being a question of skills or ability, which he has in abundance.

Florian has seemed to be a shy but mature young man since he arrived on Tyneside, and he has an excellent coach in Steve McClaren, who can bring him through and make him into a big star at Newcastle.

But Florian needs to listen to Steve, and take his advice – and then there’s no reason why he cannot become a big star in England.

He’s certainly looked the part in his first two appearances for the club – so here’s hoping.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

11 comments so far

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 26, 2015 at 3:22 PM

    Comment #1

    I’d like Gunter Benz , playing for mainz. 6ft 9 inches tall, powerful and fast. Aged 22 and currently a leader in his team. 5m max wud get him.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Aug 26, 2015 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #2

    That’s the game. I remember thinking, like most people, we’ve got an absolute steal with Duff. Better not to judge on one game, eh?

  • deeps

    Aug 26, 2015 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #3

    Jordan Ferri to Newcastle for £9m is pretty much a done deal. Personal terms and Medical next, completed next Monday. #NUFC
    Found it on Twitter


    Aug 26, 2015 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #4

    someone said last night that the french media were saying that there was no truth in that story….so until it happens i would’nt hold your breathe….hopefully it does and he’s as good as some have said he is on here….spose we’ll see monday

  • martoon

    Aug 26, 2015 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #5

    Jib @134 (last topic) – Interesting that the writing style of Niall & Biffa is exactly the same now as it was then – mildly critical and sarcastic 🙂

  • Pizzicato The New Texas Geordie

    Aug 26, 2015 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #6

    Jordan Ferri… Not even a legit rumor.


    Aug 26, 2015 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #7

    he might b watching the game on sat if any truth in it?

  • Jib

    Aug 26, 2015 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #8

    When it comes to opinions on players there is never agreement.
    Firstly comparing his transfer to Tow vans is a bit silly , Duff was 27 when he came to us , he only cost £5 million (we got 4 back from Fulham) even at Chelsea he was never a prolific goal scorer , he pledged himself to us for the relegation season and only jumped ship when it was obvious his pal Shearer wasn’t going to get the gig , and certainly wasn’t the only one.
    He’s giving a lot back to game in Ireland at the moment with Shamrock Rovers.

  • Jib

    Aug 26, 2015 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #9

    It’s utter rollix old bean


    Aug 26, 2015 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #10

    abdennour to valencia looking more likely and kemen to monaco doin the rounds this morning

  • lesh

    Aug 26, 2015 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #11


    Jordan Ferri? The Shields ferry’s more likely!


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