Who can remember French Day?
On this day in 2013, Newcastle celebrated the French revolution that was taking over St James’ Park after their January acquisitions.
The Magpies brought in Moussa Sissoko, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Mathieu Debuchy, Yoan Gouffran and Massadio Haidara in January 2013, five French players. They joined fellow Frenchmen Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa, Sylvain Marveaux, Romain Amalfitano and Gabriel Obertan.
Newcastle were consistently buying players from the French market during this period of time. They would bring in cheap players with huge potential with the aim of selling them on for a profit.
How French Day went down
The day was all a bit weird. There were French dancers, the French national anthem was played, Blaydon Races was sang in French, and fans in the East Stand held up blue, white and red cards to produce a French flag.
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On the pitch, Newcastle were taking on Southampton, as Alan Pardew’s side looked to distance themselves from the relegation zone.
Things got off to a bad start when Morgan Schneiderlin put the Saints ahead, who is ironically French.
By half-time, Newcastle were in front. Sissoko equalised before a Papiss Cisse stunner made it 2-1. Rickie Lambert drew Southampton level in the 50th minute, before Cabaye and a Jos Hooiveld own goal made it 4-2 to Newcastle.
Six years on, and none of the players celebrated on French Day are still at the club.
In fact, Newcastle rarely even shop in Ligue 1 nowadays. Then again, we don’t really shop anywhere…