Mapou - 'Toon Dressing Room Will Be Fine!'

Last updated : 27 January 2013 By Footy Mad - Editor

Yanga-Mbiwa completed a £7 million move from Montpellier on Tuesday, and Newcastle have 10 French players in their squad and 14 who speak the language as their native tongue.


That has led to criticism from Liverpool’s former French manager, Gérard Houllier, who said his country’s takeover of the St James’ Park dressing room would cause “problems” for team spirit.

French sports paper L’Equipe has also accused Newcastle of using Ligue One like a “discount supermarket”.

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa: “I have always followed the Premier League and Newcastle when I was in France.

“The fact there are so many French players here meant Newcastle was on television back home far more than any of the other teams.

"Newcastle has always attracted French players. Once one comes, it definitely sparks interest in others to come and play here, for example Hatem Ben Arfa is here and now I am as well.

"Once that happens, it will generate even more interest with other French players about coming to the club.

"When you see that, it gives you the desire to come here, to play for Newcastle and discover the league for myself.

“There were other offers, but it was Newcastle who showed the greatest interest in signing me.

“The fact there are so many French people here, and the fact the club showed their willingness to really support me and help me settle, was very important.

“In my own mind, Newcastle United is a massive football club. I don’t have any ideas or thoughts about relegation going through my head.”