Plenty of kind words have been sent in the direction of Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye since he signed for the club in the summer. The focus seems to be on how the club can get the most out of him and his midfield partner Cheik Tiote. It’s fair to say that Cabaye wasn’t permitted to play his expansive, creative football against QPR, as his side favoured a more defensive set-up. The balance was altered, however, for Newcastle’s game against Aston Villa where he proved to be the dynamic force that drove the Magpies forward and led them towards a 1-1 draw away from home.
With the physically more imposing Tiote enforcing the midfield, Cabaye was able to appeal to all the best aspects of his game. His excellent vision and ability to pick out a pass in combination with his ceaseless desire to get forward and take a shot whenever the opportunity arises is starting to make him look essential to this Newcastle United midfield.
This shoot on sight approach has given Newcastle more threat from midfield and will give their goal-hungry forwards a chance to pounce on any resulting rebounds.
Best of all, he seems to have boundless energy. I’ve seen some describe his partnership in the centre of midfield with Cheik as the best outside of the top four and I’d find it difficult to disagree. The two work so well together and only look to be improving.
If he can add goals to his game, he truly would give opponents cause for worry.
Newcastle United may well have lost Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton over the summer, but it looks like Alan Pardew made the right moves to right these wrongs. Let’s face it, at £4.5 million Cabaye was an absolute steal and is up there with any other footballing bargain you could care to mention from this summer.
Some have claimed that he is struggling to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League, but with Tiote in tow, bossing the midfield, that appears to be something of a moot issue. This is something that Pardew himself has noted, whilst singing Cabaye’s praises:
“He is the sort of player you pay good money to watch. He was beautiful today in some of the things he did,” said Pardew. “He needs to get a grip on the hurly-burly of the Premier League and he has struggled a couple of times, but if we can get him on the ball he is an outstanding player and that is why he is in the French national team — it is not a mystery.”
If Cabaye continues to perform on a weekly basis, then there’s no doubt the French national team will come knocking. One thing’s for certain however, when Newcastle United persuaded this 25-year-old to leave Lille, they picked up an absolute bargain.
Written by Harry Cloke
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