Yohan Cabaye again underlined his importance to Newcastle with another masterful display in the 3-1 win against West Ham.
The game could have been viewed as a potential banana skin, with West Ham fighting for their lives at the foot of the Premier League table and coming off the back of a morale-boosting win against Cardiff last weekend.
But Cabaye scored twice from midfield to ensure an important away victory was earned. One which puts the club just one point behind seventh-placed Manchester United in the league table and keeps them in contention for European football. A commendable feat considering their struggles last season.
Can Newcastle keep Yohan Cabaye this summer?
In 19 league appearances this season, Cabaye has now scored seven goals and assisted a further two, per ESPN FC, including the winner in Newcastle's 1-0 victory against Manchester United, as reported by BBC Sport.
Cabaye's performance against West Ham gave a suitable overview of his talent, his first goal coming in the 16th minute when he placed the ball home from close range, keeping a cool head under pressure.
Throughout the game Cabaye was allowed too much time and space for a player of his class, and West Ham paid the price.
Guardian journalist Jacob Steinberg tweeted that Cabaye was in fine form for the Toon Army:
Another chance for Newcastle, Sissoko through, straight at Adrian. Cabaye on a different level.— Jacob Steinberg (@JacobSteinberg) January 18, 2014
His second goal, a freekick in stoppage time at the end of the game after Hatem Ben Arfa was fouled by Andy Carroll, displayed his talent from dead-ball situations.
Cabaye swung a right-footed effort to the near post, which West Ham goalkeeper Adrian could only palm into his own net.
Arsenal were quoted £22m for the France international, as reported by Neil Ashton in the Daily Mail, and had a bid of £10m turned down for the player last summer which seems an extreme under-valuation now.
Cabaye didn't take part in Newcastle's first two games of the season, as reported by Alan Oliver in the Mirror, after becoming disillusioned at his failed transfer to Arsenal.
But the way he has reacted since, becoming the driving force in Newcastle's surge up the Premier League, has been nothing short of inspirational.