How though does Peter rate the current team and the French revolution that has arrived on Tyneside?
‘France Football’, which is the foremost football publication over the other side of the Channel, interviewed Peter Beardsley and found out he was a bit(!) of a fan of Yohan Cabaye.
Thanks yet again for the invaluable translation work by Pierre.
BEARDSLEY << MA FEMME CROIT JE SUIS AMOUREUX DE CABAYE >>
BEARDSLEY – “MY WIFE THINKS I’M IN LOVE WITH CABAYE”
LOCAL ICON AND FORMER INTERNATIONAL player (59 caps) Newcastle (1983-1987 and 1993-1997) and now in charge of youth development for the club. He deals with the youth teams from seven to twenty-one years old.
HOW WAS THE ARRIVAL OF THE MASSIVE FRENCH CONTINGENT ORGANISED?
“Cabaye played an important role. He is a great guy as a player but also as a man. It was the trigger for everything. Of course, Graham Carr, who is responsible for overseeing our scouting in Ligue 1, did an outstanding job. He has a knack for finding players before others but what you need to stress about the French, is that besides being good technicians, they are also good guys who smile all the time.”
“Because they are better technically. In any case, superior to the English. The French have a technical education. From a young age, they learn to tame the ball, with good control of the feet. Physically, they are also ahead of the English at the same age. Clearly, these are mature players who come to us. A player like Cabaye, today, is a very good deal for the price (5M€) it cost us.”
“Well, if we don’t take into account their English, they are happy to be here. Importantly, they understand football and the local mentality. A guy like Sissoko has completely transformed the atmosphere of the club in a few days. Only ten days ago everybody was down. Now, everything has changed.
You know, a Newcastle player has to be a little more than just a player. Here, the involvement in the local cultural fabric is fundamental. Every two weeks, the players go to schools, hospitals, nurseries. We try not to send two French at the same time, because of the language, but they get involved a lot.”
HAS THE CLUB ADAPTED TO THIS CULTURAL CHANGE?
“We have done it for some time, given the number of foreigners. For example, every Thursday, after training, we organize a ‘foreign’ meal. We prepare dishes from the country of origin of one of our players: Senegal, Ivory Coast, Netherlands, Italy, Argentina … And France of course!
The training ends at 13:30pm but the players stay until 4pm to share, but also to communicate and integrate with each other. Be together above all. Besides that, we also have a French translator.”
IS THERE A PLAYER THAT LINKS BETWEEN THE FRENCH AND THE CLUB?
“Cabaye is fantastic in this work. Every day, and since the beginning, he tells us what he does, wherever he goes. He is a role model. He watches over others. For us, it’s called ‘low maintenance’. With him, you do not need to worry about where he will hang out in the evening or where he will get drunk in a pub. Importantly, he inspires others.
I tell you, he is an example. My wife even thinks I’m in love with him ... (Laughter)”.