Ginola: French players need to adapt
Former Newcastle United attacker David Ginola has advised the club’s current French contingent to quickly adapt to their new surrounding or risk failing in the Premier League.
• Ryder: Forgetting Kinnear
Ginola joined Newcastle in 1995 after completing a move from Paris Saint-Germain making over 50 appearances for before moving onto Tottenham.
Ginola admitted it was a shock to the system when he made the switch from France to England, but believes his quick assimilation into life on Tyneside helped him to become a star in English football.
And now with so many French players at the club, the 46-year-old has told his compatriots it is time they became honorary Geordies.
"If a club wants to buy 10, 12, 15 French players - or Spanish, or German - that's up to the club. The only concern is that they do well for the club,” Ginola told the Mirror.
"When I was at Newcastle, I was on my own. I had to discover things by myself - language, environment, new way of life.
"When you are from Saint Tropez, and you play four years in Paris, and you arrive in the North-East of England, you think that people speak English, but in fact they speak Geordie. So for me it was like a foreign language - but another foreign language.
"So I said to myself that would be difficult. But having said that, I did everything I could to be accepted - learning the language, doing my best every day in training.
"The best reward for me was that people questioned how I would do in England and in the North-East but I arrived on July 14, started the season and I was voted player of the month for August.
"It means I settled down pretty quickly and learned about things pretty quickly, and this is what they should do."
However, Ginola warned that cultural acceptance was a two-way street, calling on past experiences differing factions led to club disharmony.
"You can't just arrive in Newcastle and say, 'I'm just going to live my life, I don't want to understand the culture',” Ginola said.
"It could be bad if all the French players stick too much together; you don't speak English, you speak French together in the dressing room. I guess there will be some rules in the dressing room that the French should speak English. That could be a problem.
"It's also a problem with English-speaking players. I've been in this situation before when I was speaking in French with some of my friends, sometimes English players start to get annoyed because they think we are talking about them.”
One French player that Ginola said will quickly return to top form is Yohan Cabaye - despite the former Lille player’s uncertain future at the club.
Newcastle reportedly rejected a £10 million bid from Arsenal for Cabaye’s services in the summer transfer window, with Monaco, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain also linked to the midfielder.
But Ginola believes the 27-year-old has too much to lose this year, predicting he will want to show his ability with the World Cup creeping over the horizon.
"(Transfer window is) gone now, it's behind him,” Ginola added. “He's looking forward. In front of him he has got the World Cup next summer in Brazil. He has to get his place back in the French squad and to do that he needs to put in some good performances for Newcastle. It's as simple as that.
"The team needs him, he's a good player. He's a big asset for the club. I don't think there are many players as good as him.
"He can deliver, he can score goals, he can tackle and track back, he's got good vision. He's a complete player. They need him, but he knows as well that he needs Newcastle.
"When you look forward in your career, you play for a club and first of all you need to be good with your club.
"If you want to expect anything else, first things first you need to play well for Newcastle, and then things will follow."