It’s fantastic to see some positive news come out of Tyneside over the past couple of days. It’s about time too!
The signing of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa coupled with the imminent capture of fellow Frenchmen Yoann Gouffran and Massadio Haidara will no doubt bring fresh impetus to what must have been a demoralised dressing room after throwing away a home lead against fellow strugglers Reading.
News from various sources also point to the capture of highly rated Moussa Sissoko from Toulouse with many media outlets claiming he has been suspended by his current club after trying to force away a move.
If this also happens…that will be five fresh Ligue 1 faces into the playing squad which has sparked a mixture of positive and negative reaction from fans, players and high profile managers. I haven’t been able to keep up with goings on to be honest as no matter what I read each transfer was (or is) at a different stage every 10 minutes. Sissoko is either in Jesmond Dene or signing in June whilst Mapou holding up the shirt may all be an optical illusion and he’s still signing for Arsenal.
I believe the general consensus from NUFC fans is that they don’t care where they are coming from, we just need players. Our best players speak French so if it makes the likes of Cabaye and Ben Arfa happy then great stuff. There’s also the recent memory of local lad Andy Carroll turning his back on his boyhood club that I still think about, so in my view there’s no loyalty even if they are born and raised here anymore so as much as I’d like to see 11 lads from their hometown battling for the shirt it just isn’t football anymore.
Rival fans have been quick to laugh at us and hoot with derision that we are signing a ‘load of surrender monkeys’ in a survival battle. They would laugh even more if we didn’t sign anyone so what do they expect? Should we follow rivals lead and spend obscene amounts of money on an over-rated Englishman? The examples I could name of overpriced mediocre English players could go on and on whilst we have been thrifty in the market and last year it worked after good scouting by Monsieur Carr.
Two of our young players have also commented on this influx from over the Channel in the shape of Nile Ranger and Sammy Ameobi and whilst Nile Ranger has of course been made a panto villain and brutalised for his comment, Sammy has been labelled as ‘just joking’. I think there’s an element of truth for both parties. Both were getting closer to the first team and getting first team action, which you would have to think will slow down now, so they’re probably a bit bitter as you would expect hot-headed young lads to be. Though I think a lot of our lads have had a bit of a tongue in cheek poke at it. Like we all have?
These two are just a bit too naïve not to realise that anything they write in the public eye will be taken in whatever context people deem fit and may not come across in the context they intended. How they haven’t learnt this yet is beyond me but I certainly don’t think Sammy would slag the club and jeopardise himself in that way. He is hilarious on twitter so was in all probability ‘just joking’ and thought people would get that. Plus he is Shola’s brother so he must be an absolute Toon Hero, it’s his destiny surely?? I reserve judgement on Ranger because, quite frankly, I don’t care what he says and does. I fully ignore him as he ‘luvs tha haterzzz’ so I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. I don’t see a future with him at the club and he’ll be gone soon I would think.
An interesting judgement comes from the well respected figure (in the wider footballing community – maybe not in the Gallowgate!) of Didier Deschamps. He has made some strong comments about Newcastle being a stepping stone club and a road to ruin for French footballers’ International careers.
Alreet then Deschamps, divvn’t play Cabaye, Debuchy, Ben Arfa or Mapou then ya pleb!
Yet, looking a bit deeper, for someone who is passionate about French football and Ligue 1, I can sort of see why he has a bone of contention with us. At the end of the day we haven’t really went about our transfer business over there in the most…how would you say….noble? of ways. Making some of the leagues brightest young talents go on strike and force a move through must be hard for their clubs to bear, particularly having to take a knock down price from a club who has been quoted as – by their own manager – as being ‘very aggressive’. I mean, we weren’t too happy with San Lorenzo recently were we?
Not that I really care about that though, that’s football and it’s happened to NUFC in the past so swings and roundabouts.
Anyway, that’s the round-up as I see it. A lot going on and looks to be another interesting week ahead as we see if there are any more additions (or even departures) in the race to finalise the squad for the task ahead.
And Ladies and Gentlemen, the Revolution WILL BE TELEVISED! (on sky sports news that is)