It’s no surprise that the cry babies are out in force now that the Yohan Cabaye PSG move has been finalised for a decent, if unspectacular, fee.
Before I discuss this much further, some facts:
1. Cabaye went on strike earlier this season because Newcastle rejected a paltry offer from Arsenal for his services.
2. He has played very well this season, which has generated a higher bid from a Champions League club which is backed by oil revenue from a State.
3. Cabaye was NOT a forerunner in the Ballon D’Or award, which would suggest that he is replaceable.
4. There are some very big clubs which sell players if the fee exceeds their own valuation of them, especially if the player wants to move.
5. The value of Newcastle’s playing squad, according to a respected website that judge such matters, has increased every year since we returned to the Premiership.
Moving on to speculation, rather than facts, the main gripe seems to be that Newcastle will not re-invest any money they received into the squad as Ashley continues to take money from the club. This is despite the fact that Ashley has only taken back a fraction of the money that he has loaned to the club (interest free) and that the value of that loan to Newcastle United far exceeds any loss of income which comes from providing free advertising for his shabby retail chain.
Today’s media has focused on Cabaye moving to a club with much greater “ambition” than Newcastle, but there has been no mention of the fact that PSG only have that, because they have virtually unlimited amounts to spend on the team.
If your kids ask you to buy them a Bugatti Veyron for their birthday, do you tell them that you don’t have the ambition to do that or do you tell them that you have to be realistic and live within your means?
Cabaye is 28, wanted to leave, and his valuation had reached its peak level so he was sold – a bit like Dimitar Berbatov at Tottenham who, in case anyone had noticed, have used that money to build a better squad that has challenged for a Champions League place in recent years. A similar story exists at Borussia Dortmund, where they have always been forced to sell when a player’s wage demands exceeds what they can pay in order to keep him.
Of course, Newcastle may not buy anyone as a replacement but history would suggest that we use any windfalls we get very well, with Graham Carr having an excellent record in the transfer market. He is, in effect, our true Director of Football, whilst Joe Kinnear gets the title for some reason. We do take our time about getting players in, but we don’t get it wrong very often – we can’t afford to.
Whilst the mooted moves for Cabella and Grenier are welcome, there’s no guarantee that they will sign, or that we’ll pay enough for their clubs to let them go at this stage. As shown with Debuchy, Cisse, Sissoko and De Jong, we normally back our scouting team by getting players in once the selling club realises that we aren’t going to be taken for a ride like Freddy Shepherd so regularly was – using the bank’s money, naturally.
The truth is that there is no immediate need for a Cabaye replacement – we can take our time and build for the future by getting exactly the right player at the right price. Hatem Ben Arfa (who is more talented than Cabaye) hasn’t even been able to get in the team recently, whilst Anita was criminally wasted by Pardew until recently. In Anita’s case, he probably still wouldn’t be anywhere near the team unless Perch had been sold without Pardew’s approval!
Don’t get me wrong – I’d love to see us sign Cabella or Grenier this transfer window because, if we do, we’ll have once again exited a transfer window stronger than when we entered it since Luke de Jong has also signed. However, I think I’ll give the wailing and grinding of teeth over Cabaye’s sale a miss, if you don’t mind.
Despite what the media would like to portray, I see real progress at Newcastle on the playing front and the sale of one player doesn’t change that.
After all, we have a much better team now than we ever had whilst Nolan, Barton and Carroll were around.
I’m willing to bet that the squad that starts next season will be stronger again but I appreciate that not many will see it that way.
You can follow Waseem on Twitter @WShak1