YOHAN Cabaye’s been given the freedom of the pitch at Newcastle United – and he’s making the post of every yard of space.
Cabaye scored two goals in yesterday’s 3-1 win over West Ham United.
The in-form midfielder skipped into the box and side-footed the ball past goalkeeper Adrian to open the scoring and netted a superb injury-time free-kick to seal the win.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has moved Cabaye – who has often been deployed as a deep-lying midfielder – higher up the pitch in recent games, and he feels the No10 role has brought the best out of him in recent weeks.
“Yohan’s a class act,” Pardew told the Gazette.
“We had a great team performance, but on an individual basis you’d have to say he was pick of the bunch in terms of his quality and the two goals.
“He’s got a great role at this football club – that No10 role – and he’s loving it.”
Cabaye’s goal tally for the season now stands at seven – Remy (11) is the club’s leading scorer – and the France international’s contribution in the final third of the pitch has been invaluable.
“He has a great role for us, for the team,” said Pardew.
“He gets almost a free role in the team in the No10 shirt, and I think he’s enjoyed that.
“He’s added goals to his game. The first one was a real class, individual goal – the touch, and the way he moved, and the sublime moment he took to finish it.
“And I thought he was a class act all day really, and he has been a big player for us, and it’s helped us get a rhythm in the midfield, which worked well for us.”
Cabaye, who went on strike in an attempt to force through a move to Arsenal at the start of the season, isn’t looking to leave the club in this month’s transfer window.
Paris Saint-Germain are interested in Cabaye, though they club has not made a bid.
Pardew wouldn’t be drawn on the ongoing speculation about Cabaye’s future after the West Ham game.
“I don’t really want to talk about it,” he said. “I think that’s a bit unfair after a game like this one.
“He’s a class player, it’s obvious, and he’s had a great day for us, but I thought everybody played well in my team.”