ESPN has reported how Newcastle United star Remy Cabella was voted their January player of the month ahead of Lionel Messi, as his resurgence at the club continues.
Cabella was superb in the win against Hull City last weekend, showcasing everything which is positive about his game and producing an emphatic finish in the process.
He’s starting to step up and decide games for the club. He’s always had the potential to do that so what’s changed in the last few weeks?
The major factor that’s changed, which could have enabled his development is the departure of Alan Pardew.
There hasn’t been a dramatic change in the positions he’s been used in by John Carver with all of his performances this season from the right or through the middle, according to WhoScored.
That suggests it comes down to the messages and responsibility he’s been given by his manager with Carver arguably allowing him to play with more freedom from an attacking point of view.
He started just to the right of a pack of players in behind the main striker against Hull and was given the freedom to roam; his goal came when he get involved in a passage of play centrally.
That’s something which may not have happened under Pardew who arguably prefers a stricter approach in terms of his players sticking to their pre-match game plan.
Where Carver needs to be careful with Cabella over the rest of the season is ensuring that he doesn’t get reckless with his new found sense of freedom.
While the benefits of him roaming from an attacking point of view are quite obvious, he also needs to do a job for the team and that means offering protection to the right-back when the side is under pressure.
It will be more difficult for him this weekend against Stoke who play more directly, reducing the chance of space and being counter attacked. Therefore, if he can find a way of winning the game for the Magpies, he’ll add another important string to his bow.