Newcastle United might be an established Premier League side these days but, for many Toon fans, that's not quite enough. Once associated with a swashbuckling playing style, the club has come to be perceived as a dour version of itself in recent seasons.
It should be music to the ears of supporters, therefore, that one of the most exciting players to have ever donned the famous black and white shirt is keen to help the club back to its entertaining best.
“I would love to, because Newcastle were my first club in the Premier League and they deserve better,” David Ginola tells the February 2021 issue of FourFourTwo, in shops on January 13 and which you can order online now. “Geordies deserve to have one of the biggest clubs in the country, in Europe, in the world. They’ve got the potential, but for many years things have been done in very weird ways, not making the club better. I want to see the club being successful and not only in terms of results – in terms of stability and how they work with the academy too.
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Ginola, 54, feels he could be suited to a director role at a big team and, having fallen in love with the club and the city during a two-year stay between 1995 and 1997. The Frenchman feels he understands what Newcastle need to get back to their best: a little bit of local soul.
"When I played at Newcastle, Geordies were in the team and they gave us something important – the heart of the club, the passion," he beams. "I have so many ideas and I’d love to put something in place in a club, the way I see football, everyone aiming for the same thing, like a family. You need to explain to the fans, ‘We have a project, and I’ll tell you exactly what it is’.
Ginola, who recovered from a heart attack in 2016, sees the success of one of the biggest club's in Europe as the blueprint Newcastle must follow in the years ahead.
“If I worked for Newcastle, it would be easy to say, ‘I’m going to buy a Spanish guy, a French guy, an Italian guy, a German guy and I’ll make the team great’. That’s an easy way: you’ve got the money and you buy the best players around, but I’d want to bring the academy players to the first team, a bit like Barcelona under Joan Laporta, with Messi, Busquets, Pique, Xavi, Iniesta. When you’re a foreigner and you arrive at Barcelona, you see that most players were at the academy, and they’re the soul of the club. You need a soul – that’s what’s going to make you win trophies.”
To read the full feature interview with David Ginola, order the February 2021 issue of FourFourTwo magazine here with free delivery.
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