Newcastle players did not care enough to beat relegation says David Ginola
26 May 2009 11:41
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The Frenchman was one of the leading lights of Kevin Keegan's title-challenging St James' Park side during the mid-90s but has been left devastated by the club's relegation from the Premier League.
Whilst many point the finger of blame at owner Mike Ashley for a series of blunders, the former Tottenham and Aston Villa player has held the players responsible for dragging the club into the Championship.
"When Alan Shearer came back we talked about whether he would be able to save and club and my view on that was simple: you could change the manager every week," Ginola said.
"If the players are not concerned about the situation it means nothing, especially when you are fighting against relegation.
"You must forget the football, it's just about needing results, getting the points and save the club and these days it seems as though the players are not concerned by the history or by the club itself by the people or the fans."
The 42-year-old played 58 times for Newcastle when they were dubbed the 'Entertainers' and he claimed the camaraderie that helped Keegan's team challenge Manchester United for the title is now absent.
"You can say everything about players, about managers, about crossing the ball, scoring it's just the mentality – it's the people you have around you in the dressing room," Ginola said.
"The players are not humble at all. I was in the dressing room at the training ground when Keegan was there and I met the players. The atmosphere in the dressing room is not the same any more.
"They don't talk to each other any more. They don't share things. Winning games is not about putting names on a sheet, it's something you prepare and organise during the week before a game. It's the way you talk to each other and react.
"What can you do? What can you say? To be honest, we talked about the former team we had and the spirit on the dressing room and the involvement of the players in every single part of the game.
"Everyone was doing his part the forwards and defenders. Okay we didn't win anything but we tried very hard and managed to do something great." Now Ginola wants those players that survive this summer's cull will ensure the club bounce back into top-flight football.
"It's just about attitude and I'm sorry they don't have to be disappointed that much," he said. "They have to go down and try again with brand new people and try to do it differently.
And I'm pretty sure that in a few years time they will come back even stronger but the problem is that they need to start again from scratch. It's not a question of money. It's how you use the money to but the players.
"It's not just about buying the best players around it's about buying the players who are able to play in the North-east of England, especially at St James' Park because Newcastle is a special area with special people and you have to understand what is going on in this part of the world.
Newcastle are now aiming to slash their wage bill following relegation but Ginola claimed that could be problematic.
"When you are talking about contracts and stuff like that it's not easy because I'm pretty sure that most of the players will be more concerned about themselves today rather than the situation of the club and what I'm going to do next year and things like that," he added.
"If I was there I would tell them listen, you've done something very bad this year. You play rubbish football and you will have to play in the first division next and try to bring the club back to the Premier League.
"But it won't be like that. And you know what; most of the players will go. They don't want to play in the first division. They will go and the club will buy new players with the capability of taking the club to the top.
"All the recruitment of the players I think was wrong. I didn't see in many years Newcastle challenging for anything properly as a team. They changed manager so many times. New players came in. It was like a mess. It wasn't simple Ginola insisted Manchester United set a shining example to clubs like Newcastle.
"When I look at clubs like Man U there is a big lesson because they are more humble," Ginola said.
"You have to be more humble to play football these days and first of all that is the people inside the club and if you show the right attitude it will rub off on the players as well."