Back in 1996 and 1997, David Ginola was part of one of the best Newcastle United sides in history.
Under Kevin Keegan’s stewardship, the Magpies were great fun to watch and brilliant going forward, and only the slenderest of margins kept them from winning a Premier League title that their play arguably deserved.
Things are a little bit different down at St. James’ Park nowadays, with chairman, Mike Ashley, running the club as his plaything for all intents and purposes.
Though that hasn’t deterred the now 53-year-old Frenchman from pitching for a place on the club’s board, and with it, his blueprint for how Newcastle could bring back the glory days.
“I would love to (return to the club), because Newcastle were my first club in the Premier League and they deserve better,” he told FourFourTwo.
“Geordies deserve to have one of the biggest clubs in the country, in Europe, in the world.
“They’ve got the potential, but for many years things have been done in very weird ways, not making the club better.
“I want to see the club being successful and not only in terms of results – in terms of stability and how they work with the academy too.
“If I worked for Newcastle, it would be easy to say, ‘I’m going to buy a Spanish guy, a French guy, an Italian guy, a German guy and I’ll make the team great.
“That’s an easy way: you’ve got the money and you buy the best players around, but I’d want to bring the academy players to the first team, a bit like Barcelona under Joan Laporta, with Messi, Busquets, Pique, Xavi, Iniesta.
“When you’re a foreigner and you arrive at Barcelona, you see that most players were at the academy, and they’re the soul of the club.
“You need a soul – that’s what’s going to make you win trophies.”
Though his thoughts are likely to fall on deaf ears as far as Mike Ashley is concerned, if the club can eventually find a company to take them over, without any hint of controversy, they could do worse than hire Ginola as a Director.
It’s about time the Geordies got to experience that feelgood factor again.