6 Reasons Why Yohan Cabaye Can Rally Newcastle United
When the transfer window closed, and the Frenchman remained at St. James’ Park following the Gunners’ rejected offer, bridges needed to be rebuilt by the 27-year-old.
Having alienated himself from the club’s support by refusing to play in the Toon’s opening fixtures with Manchester City and West Ham, Cabaye was eased back into the side against Fulham to a noticeably mixed reception.
However, an apology via the Magpies’ official website and a stellar display at Aston Villa looks to have done the trick. Here we look at six ways the former Lille man can galvanise his team over the coming weeks and months.
Leadership in the Dressing Room
In a dressing room that contains over a dozen French-speaking players, Yohan Cabaye’s role behind closed doors at Newcastle United is an important one.
Despite rumours surrounding his commitment to the Magpies’ cause last season, as reported by Luke Edwards in The Telegraph, Cabaye’s influence remains strong within the squad.
His recent indiscipline and subsequent fine aside, the former Lille man has always been held in high regard by manager Alan Pardew, and is back in his boss’ good books.
With controversy firmly behind him, it is hoped the 27-year-old’s influence on his countrymen can bring the best out of the Toon’s French connection.
Invention from Deep
Some of Yohan Cabaye’s best football in the black and white of Newcastle United has come against the backdrop of a 4-3-3 formation. Thankfully, Alan Pardew has re-embraced this format.
The deployment of two holding midfielders gives Cabaye license to roam and use his considerable passing abilities to open up the opposition.
While the Magpies haven’t seen the best of the French international so far this season, it is hoped his game will come together as the weeks—and the matches—go by.
If Pardew can exploit the playmaker’s creativity, the benefits will be felt by the club’s forwards as well as his fellow midfielders.
Threat from Set Pieces
Some of the Frenchman’s best goals for the club have come from dead-ball situations, and his precision from distance is one of his main assets.
Cabaye is not alone in this department, but as long as he is on the pitch, he remains a major threat from free-kicks around the opposition's penalty area.
Inspiration to Others
As Newcastle United’s vice-captain last season, Yohan Cabaye donned the skipper’s armband on numerous occasions in the absence of Fabricio Coloccini.
His voice and leadership skills don’t simply apply to his countrymen. The 27-year-old has earned the respect of the back-room staff at St. James’ Park as well as the players.
Given the right amount of support on the pitch, the former Lille star can play a decisive role this term.
As well as pulling the strings himself, his ability and awareness has the potential to rub off on his teammates and inspire them to greater things.
Getting the Club and the Fans Back Onside
Yohan Cabaye isn’t the first Newcastle United player to get on the wrong side of the club’s famously loyal fans, and he certainly won’t be the last.
His commitment came under the spotlight this summer when he tried to force through a move to league leaders Arsenal, but when the deal failed to gather momentum, the Frenchman was left in limbo.
As ill advised as his self-imposed strike was, his determination to put the episode behind him is admirable, and he has the full backing of manager Alan Pardew.
The Toon boss discussed his importance to the team in a recent interview with ESPN’s David Instone:
He is just as important to us as Rooney is to Manchester United. He’s a player who carries the heartbeat and the rhythm of the team. And it’s the rhythm of the game that he can dictate, that wins Premier League games.
His World Cup Ambition
Though France’s qualification for next year’s World Cup in Brazil is far from certain, a prospective place in Les Bleus’ squad for the tournament will help motivate Yohan Cabaye.
The likes of Moussa Sissoko, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Hatem Ben Arfa all harbour similar ambitions, and if the French can make it through to the finals, Newcastle United could find themselves the fortunate beneficiaries.
Didier Deschamps will be keeping a close eye on the Toon’s contingent if his side make it to South America, and Cabaye will be out to impress his international manager after losing his place for the recent games against Georgia and Belarus.