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Eyes forward

6 years ago

The departure of Remy Cabella to Marseille has once again ignited the clouded romance of a section of Newcastle United fans, with many disappointed that Cabella wasn’t given more time to prove his worth in the Black and White shirt.

But are some Newcastle fans often blinded by an almost nostalgic attitude towards departing players?

Yohan Cabaye’s move to Crystal Palace this summer was met by disbelief and a general consensus that Newcastle had missed an opportunity to once again sign their former enigmatic talisman.

For Palace to attract a player like Cabaye to Selhurst Park is most certainly a coup, but let’s not forget, Cabaye is nearly the wrong side of 30, and £10m does not represent value for money.

This is also a player who went on strike to try and force a move to Arsenal back in 2013. .

Whilst I loved Cabaye when he was at his best, his attitude most certainly did him no favours overall.

If one player is coveted by Newcastle fans even more than Cabaye, then it is Hatem Ben Arfa.

He COULD have had it all. But again, attitude problems littered his stay at Newcastle, along with most of his career for that matter.

Personally, his goal against Blackburn in the FA Cup is the best goal I have ever seen in person. It was outstanding. His goal against Bolton was even better. But these moments of brilliance merely highlighted how good Ben Arfa could have been.

Whilst watching Ben Arfa take on one too many players and lose the ball for the umpteenth time was undoubtedly exciting at first, it inevitably became frustrating.

It started to become apparent that Ben Arfa was not a team player, did not track back, did not defend, and ultimately was lazy. You need more than that in the modern game. Hence, why Hull were more than happy to cut his season long loan short.

Judging by his slightly overweight appearance on his Nice debut, the level of professionalism required to compete in the modern game, just wasn’t there for the mercurial Frenchman.

And where would be if Andy Carroll’s name wasn’t mentioned. Nearly every transfer window since he left to join Liverpool, Carroll has been linked with Newcastle by many newspaper gossip columns.

Most Newcastle fans have come to the conclusion that it is just lazy journalism, but the clamour from some fans on social media for the return of Carroll baffles me every time.

Carroll was good in the Championship, and magnificent in the first half of our Premier League return. But how Mike Ashley managed to get £35 million for Carroll still baffles to this day. Quite simply, the greatest sale/heist in Premier League history.

But aside from his excellent early form for Newcastle, Carroll has been a crock ever since. West Ham paid £15 millionfor the striker, to see a return of 27 games in 2 years. At 26, he should be entering the prime of his career, but is again injured.

I could go on. Even Jose Enrique’s name has been mentioned to solve the problem left back position. In hindsight, Jonas Gutierrez made Enrique look a better player than he was, something that has been found out at Liverpool.

Is this a modern trait of social media? Possibly.

I cannot recall fans clamouring for the return of Andy Cole, David Ginola or Jonathan Woodgate for example, players who performed well for Newcastle and went on to have good careers elsewhere. Maybe everyone was just less aware of it, as communicating with large sections of the fan base wasn’t as easily available as it is today.

What is certainly true is that Newcastle fans need to move on when a popular player leaves.

In the case of Remy Cabella, he was just too lightweight for the Premier League. Fancy footwork and a few stepovers did little to impress.

As a number 10, he was simply a player Newcastle didn’t need. With the arrival of Georgino Wijnaldum, Siem de Jong’s return and even the possibility of playing Perez or Sissoko there at a push, Newcastle were overstocked in that position.

What Newcastle are crying out for though is a winger, especially a left-sided one.

A lack of creativity let us down last season, and with a striker like Mitrovic who thrives on crosses, someone like Thauvin fits the bill perfectly. If he keeps his attitude in check, and develops into the player he could be, Newcastle might just have found themselves a gem.

So it’s time to look forward instead of back. If Newcastle can recruit another centre-back and ship out some dead wood, this could be a very productive season indeed.

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