France and Newcastle United – Sink Or Swim?
Exactly which of Newcastle’s French players have realistic hopes of being in Brazil next year is one question.
The more pressing question is whether their national side will even qualify for the showpiece event.
On Tuesday night France twice fell behind to Belarus and if the match had ended in defeat, France wouldn’t even have had the chance of reaching the play-offs if they’d then lost the final group game against Finland.
Happily for our French contingent, France pulled it back and ended up winning 4-2 to ensure at least the two legged play-offs, with only a very faint chance of automatic qualification if Spain slip up badly.
For most Newcastle fans, whether France make it to the World Cup finals or not isn’t a big priority, though how the French dominated Newcastle squad performs most definitely is.
Last night Debuchy remained on the bench with Sissoko only getting the final ten minutes or so, leaving the question of exactly how many Newcastle players have any chance of being part of France’s Brazil squad, if they get that far.
In descending order I’m assuming the players with any hope of being involved are Cabaye, Sissoko, Debuchy, Mapou and Ben Arfa – the first three usually regular picks in Deschamps squads.
It can surely only be a good thing if France make it to Brazil as surely at least part of the reason for those five players coming to St.James’ Park was that it wouldn’t do their international hopes any harm.
With their international hopes surely inextricably linked to Newcastle’s success, or otherwise, this season, the extra motivation of world cup involvement will hopefully help them all raise their games.
Newcastle’s fifth top placing even propelled Ben Arfa back into the squad that went to the Euros in 2012.
With Bafetimbi Gomis recently revealing Deschamps had recommended Newcastle ahead of other clubs (until the move broke down), then it appears to make clear that France’s main man isn’t seeing playing at St.James’ Park as a hindrance for his potential world cup players.
It is now down to our French contingent (and their teammates) to show they deserve to play France and more importantly, Newcastle United.
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