Newcastle defender Steven Taylor says he has begun learning French to help him fit in with his new team-mates.
Alan Pardew’s squad is now 41 percent French-speaking after the recent arrivals of Yoan Gouffran, Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Moussa Sissoko, among others, from Ligue 1.
Taylor said he had been listening to ‘teach-yourself-French’ CDs in his car after seeing Yohan Cabaye learn English in the same way.
“I’m talking all the time, probably with a terrible accent, but I’m trying. Thumbs up means good. I got a Spanish GCSE, not French,” he told The Mirror.
“It’ll be nice to learn a bit of French, just in case. Yohan Cabaye did the same with the car CDs when he first joined and he’s fluent in English now.”
Taylor said too many Newcastle players had become complacent this season and hopes the new signings can inject some healthy competition into the squad.
“Since I was 17, Newcastle were always signing new players. I always saw it as a challenge. New players coming in freshens the squad up and you’ve just got to rise to the challenge. You’ve got to better yourself, not sulk,” he said.
“You’re at a massive club, deal with it – it’s part and parcel of professional football. The best thing you can do is, when you get the chance, you’ve got to perform.
“There have been players here the last few months who have got too comfortable, they’ve been too settled in their position.”
The 27-year-old does not mind where the players come from, as long as they improve the side.
“Competition is healthy, I think it is important. You want the best players. You look at the top-four teams, the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea, and they are full of players from around the world,” Taylor said.
“It’s a melting pot and we want to attract the best players from all the best leagues.”