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The Man Who Is Key To Shaping Newcastle’s Season

10 years ago

Cabaye’s first season in English football last season was a revelation. His energy, range of passing and class on the ball transformed Newcastle from a long ball team to one of the best counter-attacking teams in the league.

His lethal passing in games like Swansea and West Brom away and Liverpool at home gave Papiss Cisse six goals in those three games – and Newcastle nine points.

That passing has not been as slick this season and the goals are not flowing as easily for Newcastle. Much has been made about getting the best from Ba and Cisse as being key for our attacking game.

I believe that it is Cabaye who is the one who we need to utilise to reach the heights of last season.

To get the best out of Cabaye,  Pardew must make some big decisions. He has to put the performance of the team above any player. If we play the best football and are winning the most games playing 4-3-3 then this is what we must do. If that means rotating Cisse and Ba, then so be it. If they do not like it, then I am sure we will be able to find someone who does.

Using only one striker frees up an extra place in midfield. I believe this place should be filled by  a defensive minded player, who would in turn free Cabaye up to play further forward, allowing the Frenchman to play in positions just behind the opposition defence, where he can do some real damage.

This season, one of the biggest problems has been the link between midfield and attack. We have attempted to bridge this gap in two ways.

The first is by bypassing the midfield area altogether and playing long passes into the front men. This, for me, is no good. The better defenders in the premier League will clear passes like this easily. The second way, is by giving the ball to Hatem Ben Arfa and hoping that his individual brilliance can lead to a goal. To do this in a game where we are struggling for ideas is fine. This is precisely the sort of thing Ben Arfa is in the team for but to rely on him as much as we have done, won’t work over the course of a season.

So using Cabaye’s ability to find space and pick a pass would be crucial to us scoring goals. Another benefit of having Cabaye playing this role would be that his work rate and determination would see him dropping back into midfield, as well as defending from the front and closing down opposition defenders on the ball.

I think away to Liverpool would be a great place to test this out as playing four in midfield against Liverpool’s five would surely see us outnumbered. Especially without Cheick Tiote in the side.

I would go to Anfield to play a counter-attacking game, similar to the one used against Swansea away last season.

Going something like this, using the following players in a 4-2-2-1-1 formation;

Krul; Anita, Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Santon; Perch, Bigirimana; Ben Arfa, Gutierrez; Cabaye; Cisse



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