'We need a game plan' - Newcastle boss admits struggle without PSG midfielder

He may have gone to Arsenal but in the end chose Paris Saint-Germain. Either way... Newcastle United are not the same side without Yohan Cabaye.

"It's been a tough week there's no doubt about that."

You can say that again. How much worse does it get than losing your best midfielder and then being beaten 3-0 at home by your fiercest rivals in the space of a few days?

The only man who could perhaps understand what Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is going through right now is David Moyes!

Even then, at least Moyes has just bought a star midfielder - not sold one.

"We lost Cabaye and no transfer comes in, so it's been a tough week," Pardew told reporters after his side's 3-0 loss to Sunderland.

"I think when you lose a player of Cabaye's class you want a replacement, it didn't arrive and I have to accept that and I have to get the best out of the group.

"It would have been nice to have a player to give me a boost for the second half of the season. The bottom line is the players have to find a game plan that's going to work for us."

The 52-year-old is not wrong, of course, with Cabaye having chipped in with seven goals and two assists for the Mapgies this season.

His overall contribution transcends those statistics, however, with the Frenchman clearly Newcastle's central hub of playmaking creativity. Pardew himself admitted only days ago that Cabaye would make his all-time Magpies XI.

And the manager's frustration at not being able to sign a replacement for the 28-year-old is understandable. The big question now, though, is who in the current squad can step in to fill Cabaye's void at St. James' Park?

The answer may well decide the rest of Newcastle's season.


image: © stephendgardner

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