Can Newcastle Afford to Lose Cabaye? Stats show Cabaye improvement

Can Newcastle Afford to Lose Cabaye? Stats show Cabaye improvement

Since the final whistle went at St James’ Park against Arsenal on the final day of last season, there have been rumours about Yohan Cabaye’s future at the club. Both of the big spending French clubs, Monaco and PSG, have been heavily linked to the French International while the player himself has said he would be interested in a move to Manchester United. As this month progresses, David Moyes may firm up his interest in the player as a deal for Cesc Fabregas looks unlikely and Cabaye is a similar player to the former Arsenal man. Newcastle will not want to sell their vice-captain as he is well liked by Mike Ashley, furthermore he is the man who has led their French revolution convincing many to join to North East club.

Cabaye Improvement

The Frenchman only managed to feature in 26 games last season due to injury, playing 2122 minutes for Alan Pardew’s men. He was useful defensively making 80 tackles at a success rate of 65% and he was successful with 56 interceptions. His pass completion rate of 73.05% is slightly disappointing for a player of his calibre but this may be due to the long ball game that Pardew insisted on playing for the lion-share of last season. Cabaye created 53 chances plus another 9 clear cut chances for his side. He also chipped in with 6 goals which is impressive considering his amount of playing time and his deep position on the pitch.

Cabaye Creativity Comparison

In the 2011/12 campaign, the 27-year-old was a regular starting 34 matches playing a total of 2839 minutes. His debut season saw him make an impressive total of 117 tackles with a success rate of 70.9% showing his combative style of play. This is backed up by his 92 interceptions. The former Lille player had a slightly better pass completion rate of 76.2% than he managed in the 2012/13 season with a final third pass completion rate of 60%. Despite creating three more chances in his first season he also had more minutes on the pitch. He was creating a chance every 51 minutes in 2011/12 however improved that last season to a chance every 40 minutes. He also scored less goals in his first season as he only netted 4 times.

Cabaye Goal Attempts Comparison

The match at Reading last season showed how much the team misses Cabaye when he is absent. Cheick Tiote tried to take on both Cabaye’s and his own role which led to the team being more open at the back. In the match at Reading, Tiote played 40% of his open play passes forward while only 2% went backwards. Compared to the first game of the season at home against Tottenham where 38% of his open play passes went forward while 14% went backwards. This shows he was trying to be more creative in the match without Cabaye as less of his passes were going backwards. Moreover he was more complacent with his own game as he made less passes in the defensive zone with 33 compared to 46 against Spurs. His pass completion in this zone dropped from 96% to 85% without Cabaye in the side. The Ivorian’s total pass completion also dropped from 81.7% to 74.2%. This shows that Cabaye’s presence is crucial in allowing defensive midfielder Tiote to play his natural game.

If Cabaye leaves this summer then there could be a ‘riot’ on Tyneside if you believe their popular terrace chant about the playmaker, but it’s easy to see why both the manager and the fans want to keep the Frenchman. He allows the team to play with cohesion as there is no natural replacement from within the squad, meaning that without him Newcastle lack ideas and it often leads to other players trying to perform a role that they are not comfortable with.

If any team does try and sign the midfielder then they will have to pay a fee upwards of £20m as the club do not want to sell and they don’t have to. Despite the popular thinking that Newcastle are a selling club, they normally sell for a reason. Demba Ba had a clause in his contract; Kevin Nolan wanted a long term contract that the club didn’t want to give him due to his age; Jose Enrique had a year left on his contract; and the offer for Andy Carroll was too good to turn down. I’d expect Cabaye to stay at the club, but if he does leave then Newcastle will have to sign a replacement or change their tactics as the Frenchman allows the current system to work.