Alan Pardew has paid Yohan Cabaye a rich compliment after the midfielder's reintegration to the Newcastle United side continued with their weekend leap into the top half of the Premier League.
The Frenchman was applauded by the travelling fans when replaced near the end of Saturday's 2-1 victory at Aston Villa - a far cry from when he was condemned by supporters for having his head turned by Arsenal's recent interest.
The response two days ago was seen by his manager as evidence that he appears to have been forgiven for his stance in asking not to be selected to play against West Ham last month.
Cabaye was then given a luke warm reception when he went on in the win over Fulham but Pardew said after the thaw at Villa Park: "It was nice that the fans gave him a good reception. He’ll sleep better knowing that he has the backing of the team, the manager and a huge part of the fan-base.
"He is just as important to us as Rooney is to Manchester United. He’s a player who carries the heartbeat and the rhythm of the team. And it’s the rhythm of the game that he can dictate, that wins Premier League games.
"There aren't that many players than can do that. He played a part. There were little moments but he’ll get better because he isn’t 100 per cent yet.
"Listen, I think we all know in the modern world that if someone comes along and offers you substantially more money or whatever to join another organisation, it can turn your head. And it did turn his head.
"I’m not saying he was perfect in what he did but he has been perfect since the window shut and I can’t ask for more than that.
Newcastle's horizons are altogether brighter following this second successive victory, which deflects attention from their heavily criticised transfer-window dealings.
The on-loan Loic Remy impressed on his first start for the club by making the opening goal for Hatem Ben Arfa, whose fierce second-half shot was then beaten out by Brad Guzan for Yoan Gouffran to score the winner.
"All I would say is that Loic was a significant signing because we wanted him in the winter of last year and didn’t get him," Pardew added.
"He’s a player we know very, very well. So we know exactly what he’s about and it’s easy to integrate him.
"Attacking effectiveness is the part of our game that has been lacking since Christmas but we really looked like we’ve got goals in us here, and that’s a really nice feeling.
"If we can be this solid and disciplined, we’re always going to have a chance to win games because we’ve got Hatem, Loic and people like that on the pitch.
"Hatem was sublime...just holding up the ball, holding off defenders, bursting and little moments and things (Luis) Suarez would have been proud of. He was terrific. If he’s fit and well, he’ll make a big difference to any team, and certainly us."
Remy insists he will be better still when he has spent more time with his new team-mates.
And he has seen enough already to convince him he will have no repeat of the nightmare that engulfed him in QPR's relegation season in 2012-13.
"I did not do the pre-season, so it was important to get fit quickly to help the team," he said. "I worked hard during the international break but I still need two or three games to be completely fit.
"I felt very good about my run (for Ben Arfa's goal), about everything, but I need more games.
"I did a lot of running with the conditioning coach, a lot of muscle work, I worked hard. It was not extra training really. I just trained like everyone but I worked hard.
"We are confident now. It was important to win here. We have a good game at home next week (against Hull) and, if we keep going, we have the quality in the team to do very well this season.
"I have known Ben Arfa for a long time, so I am not surprised by his quality. We first met a long time ago - we were at school together, at the same academy in Lyon.
"This kind of player can change a game in a few minutes."