It isn’t just the number of French players involved at St.James’ Park, it is the quality and profile as well.
Hatem Ben Arfa is obviously big news back home but similarly Yohan Cabaye is seen as a very important and high profile player.
Stephane Lelong from L’Equipe travelled to Tyneside to interview Cabaye and spent a day with our star midfielder, thanks to our intrepid translator Pierre we have summarised some of the best points that have come up in the video interviews and it will also give you a chance to improve your schoolboy/girl French as you watch the behind the scenes videos. Giving you a great insight into how Cabaye is loving it on Tyneside and how your average brilliant, superstar Newcastle United footballer lives his life these days.
The video interview was split into five parts and today we bring you the first two with the rest to follow – enjoy!
Part 1 At Home
On arrival at St.James’ Park, Yohan claims he was struggling with English when he first came but fortunately Demba Ba was here to help him bed in. He feels more adept language-wise since January.
He is surprised at the amount of time off players have to recuperate, at first he accepted it but now feels that he needs to train, hence his gym at home. This is a big difference with France where they train more and he is so used to that that, he has had to continue to train.
Another difference is when they play at 3pm, they meet at 1.15, it’s very different in France as they meet a lot earlier. He likes it as it allows him to stay longer with his family but sometimes he can’t believe that he will play in a couple of hours and he is still at home.
SL “Why did people say you were taking a big risk by coming here?”.
YC “Probably because joining a club who are not in European competition is a risk, you don’t have the exposure”.
He actually felt he had more chance to be part of the national team by coming to England than if he had stayed at Lille. “The journey with Lille in the Champions League could have been interesting but…I needed to come to a new club to prove my ability again than stay at Lille…it gave me extra motivation to prove the critics wrong. For the moment it is working well”.
Watch the first video instalment here
Part 2 At Training
Not generally allowed to go into club to film a training session but allowed because of Cabaye.
YC “it was not easy to drive in England at first but now no problem, in fact when I go back to France I make mistakes, I can’t remember whether it’s left or right!”.
Fans greet him on the way to training, he thinks it is nice. Some are regulars and one (bald head guy) is there every day! (he is the one who gave him a framed picture which you will see in Part 5, for his goal against Manchester United) .
An ex-colleague asks him a question about what training he is now doing as he is amazed that Cabaye has scored with his head!. Cabaye claims to look forward to score with his head like a real striker.
At the training there is a real freedom, you can chose what you want to work on or if you want to work on something specific you just have to ask a trainer. At Lille the training was “top”, here it is friendly, typically English training but Lille was “top”. The training is physical here just like the football.
Watch the second video instalment here