Sorry that my website has been so quiet this week, now that you’ve heard my big news I hope you can appreciate why. The move isn’t something that I would have predicted a few months ago, yet a year long loan with Olympique de Marseille at the Stade Vélodrome became my dream a few weeks back, and a reality last night.
Thank you and good luck QPR
It’s strange leaving the Premier League, albeit for a year loan, as it’s undoubtedly the best league in the whole world and my place in the game for the last 10 years – how many people can claim that. At the same time this move to l’OM feels perfect for me and where I’m at, right now. It feels strange and exciting.
I’m grateful to the people the deal made this happen – let’s say that it had a few twists and turns. So thanks to my agent Willie Mckay, l’OM Sporting Director José Anigo and President Vincent Lebrune (pictured with me above). I would also like to thank the QPR owners and exec management team Tony Fernandes and Amit Bhatia for supporting the move. Last but not least I want to thank a handful of my old team mates at QPR who were supportive, my family and close friends and of course the most important decision maker and better half, Georgia.
Good luck to everyone at QPR for this season, they’ve made some great signings for the club – what would you expect of Mark Hughes backed by quality owners. Not least Mbia who was somebody that I initially looked forward to playing alongside at Marseille. Let’s not forget that I’m a contracted QPR player for two more years after this loan ends – who knows about my QPR future a year from now.
Falling love with the game again
I’ve said this before and I appreciate it sounds cliche, my core driver to break from the Prem is to fall in love with the game again, I said it when Fleetwood was on the cards. Reducing the ban was always complete nonsense from the media, Mark Hughes and I never saw it that way since I’d have to serve the ban somewhere and sometime, it’s not going anywhere unfortunately. It’s common sense.
Moving to France and playing with a European giant like Marseille helps me realise this goal on a level that I couldn’t have imagined until now. A few of my mates have questioned me about a Marseille move being right, yet I knew in my stomach that it was perfect to enable a break from the Prem but still be with an elite team, experience a new culture, learn a new language and to feel that I am moving out of my comfort zone, pushing myself again. After all, how many Englishmen play on the continent and do actually do well? Sounds like another blog post in me there answering that one.
The best birthday pressie ever
Tomorrow (Sunday the 2nd Sept) is my 30th birthday and I couldn’t wish for a better present, 30 is such a milestone especially as a footballer, it’s a time when you start to wonder how many playing years you have left and a total contrast to the upstart who debuted at City in what seems like only a few years ago. I’m confident that I have a good 5-6 years in me yet, I’m fortunate that I have a great, natural engine and good people around me – so it’s all about being injury free and doing the business on the field. I want my remaining years in the game to be my best, I feel in my stomach that’s gonna be, too.
In case you wanted to know the ban from the English FA still stands in France, this means my first league game is sometime in November (I’m not 100% sure exactly just yet). I already feel like a kid debuting again, I literally cannot wait. I hope my countrymen and women will be cheering me on and have a new interest in Olympique de Marseille.
I’ll keep working on the site with great content and looking forward to showing you a new perspective on the game from Marseille – any ideas about what you want to see and know, just tell me!