As a special guest on French radio’s RMC Sport, Yohan Cabaye gave an insight into France at the Euros and in particular, Hatem Ben Arfa.

Yohan the next French captain, Hatem ‘right in the head’ and the odd dressing room bust up.

Thanks to Pierre as always for the much valued translation skills.

Yohan, what have you personally achieved at the Euros?

It was positive. I managed to score my first international goal (against Ukraine, and to play well in the matches. The national team is very important. We play for our country and you must give your all. I was hoping to play as much as possible, all season I prepared for this competition.

The France team seemed to lack ambition and taking risks in the Spain game …

Yes, that’s for sure. Even if in the second half, it was a little better, we never put them in difficulty. In the end we can have some regrets. The coach and the staff chose a system to counter them but they scored rather quickly. After that it was more complicated.

Did the reactions in the changing room after the defeat against Sweden contribute towards your elimination?

There was no war in the group. After the defeat against Sweden, there have been players who were agitated. What happened, happened. People expressed how they felt and right after it was over. 

You have not projected a picture of a very together group during the competition …

In terms of attitude, each controls what he wants to do and what he wants to say. In the group, we were all together. For me, the most important thing is the team. We win together and lose together. We all have our share of responsibility.

Living together has nevertheless appeared complicated within the squad …

A lot of the things said, did not happen. I do not know where it’s coming from and why people want to tell this. It’s part of it but nothing really happened.

It lacked a true leader, respected by all, during the Euro …could you become that leader in the coming months?

For me, the national team, it means a lot. I am proud to wear the shirt, to hear the Marseillaise and everything that comes with it. In any case I have always been like that and always will be, I always will be like that. I am ready to do anything for the national team. If you are offered responsibility, I think one should take it. I would with pleasure if necessary. Now, this is not my best quality. But if I have to go against what I consider natural I would be prepared to make the effort without any problem.

How did you find  Hatem Ben Arfa  when it came to leave Ukraine?

I spoke with him on Sunday and he was fine. He has his character. It’s true that it is not always easy but he has ambition. With regards to the heated situation, he may have said things he now regrets but there you are, it happened. Unfortunately for Hatem, they will again point the finger at him. He arrived in this competition with huge ambitions and the desire to do well but when I left him, he was in good spirits and he was right in the head.

While Yohan Cabaye plays down talk of possibly being captain he seems to have the ideal temperament amongst the collection of characters in the French squad. Good to hear his passion for his country which I think is clearly repeated when he steps out each time for Newcastle United.

Talent and the right attitude could take Yohan Cabaye and Newcastle United (and France) a long way.

 

  • Josh Anderson

    France is with go nowhere without the talented and creative Algerian-French players.  Unfortunately, for many French coaches, they expect each Algerian-French player to be another Zidane which is impossible.  Each player is born to be themselves, some of whom could end up to better than Zidane himself, but the coaches have to leave pregidism aside and look at each player as an equal French and give them the respect they deserve, and not a second class French.  Ben Arfa is just as good as Cabaye if not better, and so is Nasri and Benzima.

    This is an issue that France as country has to deal with and resolve quickly if they are to find the next Zidane (Algerian-French) for France like Sami Khadira (Tunisian-German), or Mesut Ozil (Turkish-German) are for Germany.

  • Josh Anderson

    France will go nowhere without the talented and creative Algerian-French players.  Unfortunately, for many French coaches, they expect each Algerian-French player to be another Zidane which is impossible.  All players are born to be themselves, some of whom could end up to better than Zidane, but the coaches have to leave pregidism aside and look at each player as an equal French and give him the respect they deserve, and stop looking at these players as second class French citizens.  Ben Arfa is just as good as Cabaye if not better, and so is Nasri and Benzima.
    This is an issue that France as a country has to deal with and resolve quickly if they are to find the next Zidane (Algerian-French) for France just like Germany found Sami Khadira (Tunisian-German), and Mesut Ozil (Turkish-German) for Germany.