Captain Cabaye in Europa League action last season
Ever since joining Newcastle from French side Lille in 2011, Yohan Cabaye has been the maestro in the Magpies’ midfield. The man who the defence instantly look to supply, the France international has pulled the strings from central midfield and been the main creative force in the Newcastle side.
However, last season Cabaye was far less effective, struggling to make an impact on games and orchestrate proceedings like he did when Newcastle stormed to a fifth-place finish in the 2011-12 Premier League season.
Next season, Newcastle must find a way of getting the best out of Cabaye, if they manage to retain the services of their star midfielder as interest from other clubs mounts, according to The Guardian.
That means abandoning the route-one style that blighted last season and playing a shorter passing game that allows Cabaye to use his natural ability to control games.
When the 27-year-old has the ball at his feet in midfield, Newcastle are a dangerous side. The movement of the likes of Papiss Cisse, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yoan Gouffran opens up the pitch for Cabaye to supply a trademark through ball and create chances.
Some fans criticised Pardew for playing his chief playmaker too deep last season, but in truth, Cabaye is at his best when he collects the ball from defence before looking to create chances. The problem was that there was nothing happening ahead of him last year, so there was no option of a through ball, which led to the hopeful punts up the pitch towards the forlorn figure of Papiss Cisse.
Those punts need to give way quickly for Newcastle to get back to where they feel they belong, mixing it with the Premier League’s biggest names and fighting for European qualification once again.
It shouldn’t be too hard for Pardew to figure out how to get the best out of his midfield playmaker, as he has already unlocked the ability of Cabaye when he first brought him to England from Lille two years ago. It should simply be a case of going back to what worked for the Geordies, playing a system which allows Cabaye to take the match by the scruff of the neck and dictate the fortunes of his side once again.
They must keep hold of him first, though.