Exclusive – Cabaye Interviewed In Uruguay ‘I Was Alan Pardew’s Messenger’
Last season Yohan Cabaye became an even more influential figure when the French contingent doubled in January.
Alan Pardew made him captain in the absence of Fabricio Coloccini and was commonly seen by the fans as a pivotal figure in trying to help to quickly integrate the five new arrivals, especially with them landing in the middle of a relegation fight.
However, on the eve of the match, Yohan Cabaye gave an exclusive interview to Canal+, here is our exclusive translation of the interview.
(Interview with Gregory Novak from Canal+)
GN “Roughly a year ago, was the Euro a good Euro for you; you finished the Euro and problems and injuries and operations followed, first and foremost where do you feel you are physically?”
YC “Ok – touch wood. The pains have nearly all disappeared, I no longer have the big worries that I had in the middle of the season, but I have suffered all season. After the Euro it was not easy but I hung on. For the moment it’s ok and I look forward to restart from a good base next season.”
GN ”During the season you referred to having suffered from depression, was it really depression that you have experienced?”
YC ”Yes it is, one must not be afraid to mention it. It was difficult but it is now behind me. It is. Everything is ok”
GN “What triggered it?”
YC “I don’t really know, it is difficult to explain; I swapped country, I swapped championship. I did not have a break in December which despite what we think, is useful, then the Euro followed. It is a competition that demanded a lot physically and mentally. I think it was due to that and feel I learnt from it and hope not to repeat the same mistakes.
GN “So do you feel that the physical demands were intrinsically linked to how you felt?”
YC “Yes I think so, I think so”
GN “What made you think that that’s what it was?”
YC “I am not sure but the injury gave me a break, perhaps I needed a break to come back and come back better, I feel that I did link it to it.”
(A cut in the transmission….maybe other content was discussed with regards to his depression, as the next bit moves to something completely different!
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GN “How do you explain how the club suffered this year and were so close to relegation?”
YC “I don’t know but it shows that in football that everything can be right one minute and then not the next. You have to always remain vigilant (watchful, attentive) about the future. But it was a very complicated season and towards the end we were suffering.
There was only one thing and it was to get away as quickly as possible from relegation. It is a good job that we managed to save ourselves before the last match as playing at home with the pressure of the public would have made it harder. Also it would have led to some bad publicity for the French players. They arrived in numbers in January and at the beginning it worked well and then we went through a bad period. If we had been relegated it would have been very difficult and we needed to avoid it come what may.
It was a complicated season. To pinpoint reasons for this I don’t really know, it is a bit of everything. We did not particularly prepare well in pre-season; the beginning of the season, Europe and the extra matches, plus a smaller squad and a younger one. We encountered difficulties in playing in 2 competitions, also physically a lot of injuries and players were missing. We rarely managed the same starting 11 in consecutive matches, all this added to the complication.
GN “You referred to the arrival of a French contingent and at the beginning it all went well and almost presented as the saviours of Newcastle, yet when things started to go slightly wrong you became a little bit of a target, has there been difficult times for the French contingent?”
YC “ …no there has not been any difficult time, the group lived well together. There is no doubt that if the group was working well, people would have said ah that’s great, that the French have come to help the club, unfortunately it did not work that well so obviously it became our fault, for the ones who arrived in January. It is important not to attribute all this negativity to the group who arrived in January. We will use this to help us for next season.
It is always complicated to all arrive together; the club did as much as they could to help, with an interpreter to help them settle. It helped, but in some ways it didn’t, as they constantly had to rely on things being translated and also speaking French (Basically what he is trying to say is that in the end they all spoke French amongst themselves and the translator( only one!!!) probably died of exhaustion!!! ) Everything is always complicated because of the language. But with regards to the overall group (in other words the whole squad) there were never any tension, if anything the group lived well together and we all stuck together to avoid relegation.”
GN “We noticed that you were made captain and wore the armband, did Alan Pardew ask you to effectively hold a certain role amongst the French players?”
YC ” Yes to create the link between them and the coach or the coaches, at times when things were explained but they did not really get it, he would ask me to put the point across and translate. It was important for them to help them integrate. Yeah, I was his messenger.
GN “You did not feel at any time that by being the representative of the French community, that it went against you and you ended up being the one targeted by the club or the fans?”
YC “No I don’t think so, I took the responsibility wholeheartedly and did the best I could, in all cases for the interest of the players and the coach. People are entitled to interpret this the way they want, but I have always done things for the good of the team; so the team can feel better.”
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