Cabaye goes, Newcastle remain

Posted by Marc Duffy

After months of speculation, the inevitable finally happened when Yohan Cabaye's exit from Newcastle was confirmed on Monday night -- although life goes on for the Magpies as they drew 0-0 against Norwich at Carrow Road a day later.

- Report: Norwich City 0-0 Newcastle
- Report: PSG "agree fee for Cabaye"

As we all now know, Cabaye joined French billionaires Paris Saint-Germain for a fee of between 18 and 20 million pounds -- seriously undervalued in the era of Marouane Fellaini for 28 million pounds.

Newcastle lose a great player and the fans lose yet another idol, but not many blame Cabaye for wanting to go. Paris is a stone's throw away from his family home and PSG will give him a crack at the Champions League, while the club he is leaving are admittedly quite happy with a top 10 finish and don't bother with the cups. It is a no-brainer for the Frenchman and I wish him well -- he was Newcastle's best player so far this season.

What matters now is what Newcastle do with the money. Expectations aren't high here; too many times before, transfer money has apparently vanished into thin air. If the club are professional behind the scenes (many suspect they are not), then they will already have a replacement ready to come in as Cabaye's departure has been long coming.

Luuk de Jong is on Tyneside for a medical ahead of a proposed loan move from Borussia Moenchengladbach -- why a loan, I have no idea. If loans work out, then the player in question can start looking upwards for a more ambitious club like Loic Remy appears to be doing now.

At time of writing there are 72 hours left for Newcastle to act, but don't hold your breath.

As for Tuesday's game -- Newcastle were unlucky to leave East Anglia with only a point. I've seen Norwich twice in the past fortnight and they are the worst team I have watched all season.

Newcastle were dominant in the first half at a soaking wet and cold Carrow Road. Sammy Ameobi and Hatem Ben Arfa started in the absence of the injured Yoan Gouffran and sold Cabaye and both players were excellent in the first 45.

Remy missed a host of chances and struck the woodwork a couple of times, Sebastien Bassong sliced one back at his own goal, Ben Arfa had a swerving shot saved by John Ruddy and then spooned a shot up and over after an Ameobi cut back. In short, Newcastle did everything but score. They were not at all clinical.

The home fans booed their team off at the half and they improved slightly in the second period.

Ben Arfa left the field with cramp with 15 minutes remaining, and as he was making his way around the pitch, Norwich hit the bar themselves.

With ten minutes to go, Remy became embroiled in a pushing match with Bradley Johnson. Remy put his head towards Johnson who reacted as if he'd taken a full blow (remember when Jonjo Shelvey did this to Mathieu Debuchy a few weeks ago? Perhaps Debuchy should have made a meal of it?) and Remy was shown a straight red card. Johnson, too, was sent off.

This leaves the idiotic Remy suspended for the game against Sunderland on Saturday and Alan Pardew was quite obviously angry with him as he made his way down the tunnel.

Tim Krul produced a 90th minute save as Newcastle were unbelievably hanging on for a point!

After the game, the Norwich fans I spoke to were grateful that they gained anything at all -- the stats back that up with Newcastle having 22 shots to their nine. The worrying stat as far as Newcastle go is that they managed to get only three of those 22 shots on target.

Two points dropped, still in eighth, so bring on the De Jong derby.

Twitter: @MarcSDuffy


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