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"Ask Kinnear," says Newcastle midfielder Cabaye
YOHAN CABAYE has suggested Newcastle United’s director of football Joe Kinnear is the man to explain why his preferred summer switch to Arsenal did not take place.
Cabaye was the subject of a £10m bid from the Gunners on the eve of the Magpies’ Premier League opener at Manchester City.
The Frenchman not only refused to play in that fixture, but was also an absentee against Fulham and the Capital One Cup trip to Morecambe as he attempted to drive through a move to the Emirates.
His refusal to play ended in disciplinary action being taken against him and then he had to focus back on life at St James’ Park after Arsenal opted to break the British transfer record to land Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid instead.
After belatedly starting his own season with ups and down in a Newcastle shirt, he has found top gear since emerging as a substitute against Everton last Monday when he scored a screamer.
He was also instrumental in the 2-1 win at Cardiff on Saturday, when Newcastle climbed in to the top ten before he headed over to France.
Speaking yesterday ahead of France’s friendly with Australia on Friday, Cabaye refused to discuss his reasons for not playing for Newcastle – while hinting Kinnear knows more.
The Newcastle midfielder said: “I won’t explain about that today (strike in the summer at Newcastle), it is not for me to answer, I don’t want to talk about it. This is a press conference for the national team.
“It is already over, the only person who could talk about (what happened in the summer) is Joe Kinnear, it will never leave my mouth.”
Arsenal are not expected to return with a fresh approach for Cabaye in January and Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has always maintained a reluctance to lose him.
Rather than lose Cabaye, Pardew ended up having another French international to play alongside him on Tyneside courtesy of Loic Remy’s loan arrival from Queens Park Rangers.
A double from Remy may have stolen the show at Cardiff on Saturday, but the importance of Cheik Tiote’s return to form could prove just as valuable for the season ahead.
The Ivorian midfielder has been in and out of the team this year and has lost his place to Vurnon Anita already this season.
But Anita was the man left out at Cardiff when Tiote slotted in alongside Moussa Sissoko and Cabaye at the hub of the midfield.
Tiote said: “I think that’s me back to my best and it was important for me to play well in this game because it has been a difficult start.
“I’m happy with my performance and hopefully I can continue to play like that for the rest of this season.”
After back-to-back 3-2 defeats in the Premier League to Hull and Everton, there was a real sense of desperation for a win from Newcastle to ease speculation surrounding the future of Pardew.
But with a fortnight’s break before the visit of Liverpool to St James’ Park, Tiote feels Newcastle showed they have the mental strength to deliver results when it matters.
He said: “It’s a good result for us and a big win because we lost two of our last games. I think we did a good job.
“There was pressure on us to get a result especially when it’s not easy to come here, Cardiff were right in the game and put pressure on us but we did the right things.”
* Newcastle have confirmed that their Capital One Cup tie with Manchester City will take place on Wednesday, October 30.
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