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Could there be too many Frenchmen on Tyneside?

Usually you find disclaimers at the end of pieces, but, in this case let me put it right up front, through this article we don’t want to court controversy, we just want to get the supporters view or should I say the Spectator’s view on the situation.


Many of you would agree that Newcastle united have really done well in the recent transfer windows in getting real value for their money.

The real success stories have come from France, notable mentions going to Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa. Others include Sylvain Marveaux and Gabriel Obertan. United have also recently confirmed the signing of Romain Amalfitano from Reims.

Apart from fast-becoming household names, many younger lads have been brought in from across the channel; namely Medhi Abeid. Even in the close season there have been a lot of French names that have been linked with a move to St.James’s park. All of them have been thoroughly scouted and fit the bill perfectly at SJP.

The bottom line is that if any player is good enough then he should play forNewcastle, irrespective of their nationality or any other parameter. However the thought is are there too many too many French nationals on Tyneside and is it a necessarily a bad thing.

Of course united have been bitten more than once by some less than ordinary French players which include, Jean Alain Boumsong, Louis Saha, Sylvain Distin and most recent Fabrice Pancrate (remember him). So, there lies an extra need to be twice or maybe thrice shy.

The other negative implications could also hinder the progress of the squad. It allows cliques to be formed between players and then groups could be formed which does affect team spirit.

An example of this was when Manchester City had too many Brazilians (Robinho, Elano and Jo) in their squad and that affected the  squad to some extent undermined the authority of then manager Mark Hughes. Another point being it gives a very parochial view of the transfer system. The supporters too would like players from different parts of the globe. This will bring in a different playing style and qualities and of course, variety is the spice of life.

Having delved into the potential negatives let me just say that scouting in France has brought his due rewards with some excellent signings. The fact that Newcastle finished 5th in the previous campaign was a lot down to their contribution. As for the forming of cliques that job is for the coaching staff and the manager Alan Pardew, who works hands on to make sure nothing of that sort transpires. Players who could not adapt to life on Tyneside can happen to anyone of any nationality.

It is ultimately down to the manager and the board to decide whether a player X can fit into their philosophy, can embrace the club’s or country’s culture. Personally, I would like Newcastle to bring in players from other countries or continents may be, without affecting the football naturally. After all winning football is good football or the only football and as the saying goes, don’t fix what isn’t broken.

Tell us your views as to what you think should be done, should be stick with what we are doing or twist to something else?

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About Himanshu Dhingra (115 Articles)
I am a Newcastle United Fan and an Economist by Degree, Follow me on Twitter @HD_07. I love Indian Politics, Cricket, Formula 1, lawn Tennis

7 Comments on Could there be too many Frenchmen on Tyneside?

  1. William Batey // June 6, 2012 at 6:09 pm // Reply

    Good Job 🙂

    I think for now we should keep looking at the French market, but should be bringing through a decent amount of young English players for the future…as well as some Frenchies too!

  2. The policy seems to be working.
    We have a good reputation in France and are getting plenty of positive media coverage.
    With HBA and Cabaye in the French squad, hopefully talking up Newcastle, we may get more players wanting to come to the Toon.

    btw Medhi Abeid is Algerian, although he speaks French.

  3. I think Pards has it under control. It was important for him to insist that the players speak English at all times with each other so that you don’t run into a clique problem

    • Himanshu Dhingra // June 8, 2012 at 10:01 am // Reply

      The onus is on Pardew and his staff

    • Yeah I am sure he does. He is definitely a people manager- an approachable guy – shown by him getting the best out of Hatem Ben Arfa. You can see this clique idea at chelsea. Fine, they won two trophies at the end of the season, but it was the players differences in nationality and culture which spurred on the trouble under AVB. If you’re not playing well, the players begin to break away from each other.

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