Sunday night saw Yohan Cabaye’s PSG take on Marseille in what is referred to as ‘Le Classique’, or ‘Derby of France’, this despite the two clubs being almost 500 miles apart.
In the build up to the match, Yohan Cabaye was interviewed by Le Parisien about the match and the ex-Newcastle midfielder couldn’t help referring to the Newcastle v Sunderland matches as a ‘real derby’. Thanks as always to Pierre for the invaluable translation skills.
It’s different to the games that I could play with Lille. Everyone knows the rivalry between the two clubs. But we do not yet feel something special in training. The pressure will certainly come as we approach the end of the week. But we understand that for the fans, this is something important. In the last two days, many people talk to me about it. I’m excited and looking forward to the atmosphere, the game, everything that goes with it. At Newcastle, we also had a hot confrontation against Sunderland. A real derby. I like this kind of game and I’m looking forward to it.
Well, Yohan did get to experience his first ‘Derby of France’, all four minutes of it!
PSG were already two goals up thanks to Maxwell and Cavani when Cabaye replaced Matuidi for the last four minutes.
So he can now add a derby win to his achievements in France, to go alongside a semi-final win to qualify for the League Cup Final and his PSG Champions League debut which saw a four goal crushing of Schalke to guarantee last eight qualification.
Not a bad start to his new career, if you ignore how long he’s actually been on the pitch…
His derby win was four minutes of action, the League Cup semi saw 19 minutes of pitch time, while the Champions League experience was all of 23 minutes – which also featured his first PSG goal.
The only 90 minutes Yohan has managed since his move was a regulation 3-0 win in the league over Valenciennes.
His total time on the pitch, in all competitions, now numbers 3 hours 37 minutes, spread over seven appearances.
The win over Marseille more or less guarantees the League title as PSG moved eight points clear with Monaco surprisingly beaten by St.Etienne.
While Cabaye is racking up the substitute appearances he now looks nailed on to be awarded a Ligue 1 winners medal to go with his one at Lille, while PSG will also be hot favourites for the League Cup, not to mention big contenders for the Champions League.
This of course brings us to the modern chestnut of player choices, players who are very very good like Cabaye and Ba, but who aren’t good enough to walk into any team – unlike an Ibrahimovic or Hazard.
So both Ba and Cabaye sit there much of the time without the opportunity to use their talents but pick up bigger wages and medals along the way.
Maybe the most bizarre example of this situation is Demba Ba somehow picking up a Europa League Winners medal for Chelsea last season, despite being already cup-tied for Newcastle!
You truly couldn’t make it up.
In Cabaye’s case I’m guessing that the question is just what he will do after the honeymoon period ends with a World Cup adventure in Brazil, sitting on the PSG bench week after week will quickly lose its appeal next season.