There have been many baffling comments so far from Alan Pardew on the current Yohan Cabaye situation which have been about as clear as mud.
There have also been conflicting reports about Cabaye being on strike / Cabaye not being on strike, with Pardew speaking of Arsenal trying to drive his well maintained Cabaye 2.8 away from the car dealership (NUFC motors presumably) without agreeing a price, suggestive comments about how “there has to be a way back for Yohan,” how he is protecting the player and the club, how the club always comes first with him and much more…
Now, in his latest suggestive statement on the imbroglio, Pardew says that he “expects” Cabaye to be playing against Fulham:
“What I have said to Yohan Cabaye is I expect him to play this weekend. Until another bid comes in from Arsenal that is accepted or not that will be the situation.”
However, if Cabaye is on strike and Pardew is trying to protect the player from a fan backlash as some have inferred, why would he be saying this?
One other aspect in this labyrinthine tale is that Cabaye has already lost his place in the French International side because of his absence from competitive football, with France manager Didier Deschamps saying:
“If you don’t play for three weeks, how can you be in shape to play an international? It’s impossible,”
Cabaye would also have known that refusing to play would jeopardise his place in the France squad, why would he want to do that?
Meanwhile, reports in France, most notably L’Equipe are saying that Cabaye is NOT on strike, and that he wasn’t playing with the full agreement of Alan Pardew.
When Pardew is asked directly whether the midfielder is refusing to play, he either refuses to answer, or the interviews are interrupted by a female Newcastle United censor. On the other hand, When he was asked in this interview “Are you being told not to play him?” Pardew said “No” before the interview was interrupted by the abovementioned lady censor.
On the other side, if you string together everything Pardew has said in the last few weeks, it certainly seems as if he’s trying to suggest to us that the player is on strike, but that for the sake of protecting both the player and the club, mostly from the savagery of we fans, he cannot mention it outright. But if that has been the case he has failed miserably. If he really is protecting Cabaye, saying he is protecting him because “there has to be a way back for Yohan,” this gives the game away completely. it is so stupid it’s almost as if it is deliberate. Instead, he is only damaging Cabaye’s reputation through snide innuendo rather than open disclosure. If true, it would also mean that he has lied to fans on several occaisions when he said that he dropped him from the team because he felt that Cabaye’s head had been turned.
The more you look into it, the more convoluted it gets, and it seems as if Pardew and the club have been trying to lead us by the nose on what to think about Cabaye. Even if he IS refusing to play, the club have once again been scheming and dishonest in their handling of the issue.
But what do YOU think of this sorry mess? Do you think that Cabaye is indeed refusing to play in an attempt to force a move? That he is being protected from injury by the club in anticipation of a possible sale? That Pardew was right initially when he said he wasn’t selecting him because he felt that his head had been turned and wasn’t in the right place anymore? Or finally, none of this things.
Besides our usual comments section, I have also written a poll (below) with all of those options to see what all of you think the truth is.
It will be interesting to see the results.
More Pardew waffle on Cabaye.