Former Newcastle United midfielder David Ginola has revealed that he had no doubt that fellow Frenchmen Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa would be successful at the club and believes both have the ability to fire them into the Champions League.
After the departures of key players like Andy Carroll, Jose Enrique and Joey Barton, many critics questioned the aspirations of Alan Pardew's side but the form of the French pair - along with Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Cheikh Tiote - have seen them rise to the brink of qualification to Europe's elite club competition.
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“Players like Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa were already well-known stars in France. It’s no surprise that they are helping Newcastle push forward towards Europe," he said.
“Cabaye won the double last season with Lille and is a born winner.
“Hatem is an amazingly talented player from France who we all knew about. He is a player that can produce magic when nobody expects it.
“Fingers crossed, he will be on the plane with Les Bleus for Euro 2012.”
Ginola also feels that Pardew has built a squad based on a strong team ethic and applauded the way the club has turned things around.
“I’ve said all along that the spirit within the dressing room is the most important thing. We had it when I played," he added.
"The Geordies turn out every week to see their team, when you put in the effort they can see that and you will be loved.
“It [European football] would be long, long overdue. Newcastle is a club that should be in the Champions League.
“The days when I played were great and we should have won the Premier League title, I hated not winning the title but in football you have to look forward.
“For me, ever since Chris Hughton came in things have changed for the better, and that has continued.”