In our game against QPR on Monday night Yohan Cabaye found himself to be a virtual unknown in the match.
He was sitting very deep at Loftus Road and did not venture very far forward which limited the impact that he had on the game.
In yesterday’s game against Villa there was a notable difference in the way the Frenchman played. I noticed how Cabaye seemed to be playing in a much more advanced role which seemed to suit him a lot better than the position that he played against QPR.
Being in an advanced role such as the one that Yohan played in yesterday will reap benefits for Newcastle United. He found himself more and more involved in the game and demonstrated that he is a very talented player. The passes he made to his other team mates were accurate and enabled us to push further forward when we attacked.
Dreamboat Cabaye found himself in some very good positions to have efforts on Shay Given’s goal and he was unlucky not to have netted his first goal for Newcastle United. With these shots Cabaye was able to show the Toon faithful that he has a very good shot on him and I certainly think it won’t be too long before he finds his first goal for the club.
I was also impressed with how both of our fullbacks played. Ryan Taylor put in another decent performance to show that he is capable of playing at left-back, at least until Davide Santon is fully fit anyway. He found himself venturing further forward and put in several crosses that caused trouble for the Villa back line. It also seemed like Jonas did not help him out as much as he has done in the last few games which suggests to me that he has got used to playing there.
Danny Simpson put in a very solid performance in this game. I think that has been one of his better games for us this season and I thought he managed to keep Charles N’Zogbia at bay who can be quite a lively character when he is on song. It was great to see Simpson put in a solid performance as I have noticed in some of our previous games he hasn’t been up to scratch, however I thought yesterday showed that he is able to play very well at right-back.
Another positive from the game that we played yesterday was that Cheik Tiote almost looked back to his best. He seemed to be aware of his surroundings a lot more and was passing the ball around nicely. At times though he did slip into his old self where he turns in a circle and loses the ball. Other than that it was a big improvement in his play as in previous games have not been up to par. If the Ivory Coast international continues with the way that he played yesterday then he will be a fantastic player for us this year.
The partnership of Leon Best and Demba Ba looks to be one that will grow as they both learn how to play with each other. I thought that they linked well and Ba was able to play several passes into Besty which allowed for attacks to be built.
Leon Best again showed yesterday why he can become a top player for the Magpies. The goal he scored was a poacher’s goal although some may argue that he should have put away the header he had. However that didn’t matter as Leon Best knew exactly where the ball was and put the ball straight in the back of the net. That was his third goal of the season and I think there will be many more for him throughout this season.
Pardew also brought on Sammy Ameobi and Sylvain Marveaux towards the end of the game. And they looked very nifty in fairness. Ameobi had a brilliant chance dinking the ball over Shay Given only for play to be brought back for a free-kick. Sylvain Marveaux did contribute to our last effort on goal and played a superb cross over to Cabaye who was unlucky not to find his name on the scoresheet. I would think that both Sammy Ameobi and Marveaux will find themselves participating in the Carling Cup game against Nottingham Forest.
I was very impressed with how we played in the game, a whole lot better than we had done against QPR. We were very unlucky not to come away with all three points as we had many chances on goal and were the better team over the ninety minutes, but I’m not complaining! We are still unbeaten five games into the season and have a total of nine points which seems pretty good to me and yesterday suggested that this group of players are finally gelling together.
What observations did you make from the game yesterday?