Yohan Cabaye has reflected on his ‘cup adventures’ at Newcastle United as he prepares for Saturday’s FA Cup final against Manchester United.
After leaving St James Park in 2014, the midfielder never expected to get the chance to appear in an FA Cup final, though in reality the midfielder has already accepted that after only a short time at Newcastle United.
In his first season on Tyneside, Yohan Cabaye played in the third round FA Cup win over Blackburn, Newcastle recovering to win 2-1 with a goal from Jonas Gutierrez and that famous wonder run & goal from Hatem Ben Arfa.
That was followed by a fourth round defeat at Brighton and Yohan Cabaye’s last connection with the FA Cup whilst at Newcastle, proved to be a retrospective three match ban handed down in February 2012 following an incident in that Brighton match.
Following Mike Ashley’s club policy, the next two seasons saw Yohan Cabaye and numerous other Newcastle best players left out of United’s FA Cup matches, helping to ensure third round exits both times.
Yohan Cabaye claims that as well as being important to him, it was the same for Alan Pardew even when the pair were together at Newcastle United.
Cabaye says he would have loved to have experienced at Newcastle the kind of feeling he got when beating Watford in this season’s FA Cup semi-final, Palace having also beaten fellow Premier League clubs Tottenham, Southampton and Stoke, as well as Championship outfit Reading.
Cabaye suggests that the reason for the differing cup experiences at the two clubs could be down to ‘the group mentality’ being different.
Of course there has to be desire from the team itself but when your club has a stated aim of not trying in the cup competitions and then leaving out the best players as a matter of policy, it surely only guarantees the kind of early cup exits that have characterised Mike Ashley’s time at St James Park.
Yohan Cabaye asked if he ever expected to get to an FA Cup final:
“To be honest, no, at Newcastle the cup runs were very bad and I now have the opportunity to play in a big game.
“The semi-final was fantastic, the atmosphere was very good and yes, I’m disappointed I didn’t get that with Newcastle.
“The cup has always been important to the manager (Alan Pardew) even at Newcastle, maybe the group mentality is different…
“All the players know how important the cup is, to get a trophy, we’ve had a fantastic run and beaten four Premier League teams – now we are in the final, the players are focused and determined to win.”