What is it with Newcastle? First there is the Cabaye debacle and then there are constant mutterings about a rift in the dressing room. One of the French contingent, Mathieu Debuchy denied any rift of course, saying:
“It’s true that in the dressing room we talk a lot in French. We have a big group of French players. But we avoid always staying together, and we aim to speak in English with the other foreign players and the English ones. But it’s good. There are no issues.
“We have a big group of French players. But we avoid always staying together, and we aim to speak in English with the other foreign players and the English ones. But it’s good. There are no issues.”
Besides thinking that Pardew had put a stop to that sort of thing, this strikes me as odd. It is normal to want to speak to people with whom you’re fluent. If I went to a party that consisted of 11 Mandarin-speakers and Alan Pardew, I’m afraid I’d have to speak to Pardew. I don’t think I’d enjoy that party very much.
This would not mean I had a rift with the Mandarin speakers, merely that I can’t get to the finer points of conversation with them. If fact, I couldn’t even get to “hello.”
Wanting a decent conversation in your native language is not an indication of a rift. A rift is nothing to do with language or nationality. It’s nothing to do with who you choose to talk to or for whatever reason. A rift is something you feel in the air.
Of course there may or may not be a rift in the Newcastle dressing room anyway. The press love a rift of course and they can whip up a load of tosh about one in no time.
The need to deny it bothers me a bit more, but who knows?