Yesterday he spoke exclusively to nufcTV and perhaps made an enemy of himself with some fans by claiming that Newcastle United was not his first choice of club. He also said a rather cryptic comment regarding meeting either the club or Hatem Ben Arfa at Clairefontaine without ever really specifying who this conversation was with – maybe it all happened in his head or maybe the conversation was planted in his subconscious while dreaming. We shall never know, sadly.
If truth be told, I was happy for the honesty he displayed. A lot of players read from a script and past players comments and it all gets a bit boring after a while. Hearing about how they were childhood fans and slept in their Fairs Cup replica shirt as a child that they bought from Toff’s during the families annual pilgrimage to St. James Park to worship Joe Harvey only sounds genuine to the ill of mind.
Speaking to France Football – which I think is the Evening Chronicle’s new name – he had this to say:
“Indeed, I was very close to joining Liverpool. People knew I was a free agent and I didn’t want to extend at Rennes but in January, Newcastle were the very first to contact me. Then, there was Liverpool, and I gave them my consent but I never stated it was already done with the Reds.”
“Then, last Thursday and Friday, there were some changes and I made the decision to sign at Newcastle.”
“The medical at Liverpool went off smoothly, I am fit to play and perfectly healthy. Actually, things already established had to be negotiated again.”
“So I decided to change my mind and sign with Newcastle, who never gave up. It was not a second choice.”
“That club has big impact in England, with a wonderful stadium and amazing fans. The club also has a lot of ambition.”
I know, I had a quiet giggle at ‘ambition’ too.
In seriousness, I’m in a fairly cynical mood today and just can’t shake this nagging feeling that this was forced by the backroom staff after realising that the reaction to his comments would probably be less than ecstatic.
Regardless of whether we were first, second, third or even his last choice all that matter is that he’s wearing the black and white and will, undoubtedly do the business for us and at the end of the day that is all that matters. The simple fact of it is: he did chose us.
Viennent sur nos garçons!