One of the very good signs for Newcastle last season was that the new players seemed to settle very quickly on Tyneside.
Yohan Cabaye - mmm
And that helped Newcastle get off to a good start for the season, and the lads kept it up and finished in a very impressive 5th place in the Premier League table, and qualified for the Europa League.
It will be much more difficult next season to finish so high, with top clubs like Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal having disappointing seasons, and they will be trying to do much better next season.
Yohan Cabaye, the French International central midfielder, was one of the players who came though for Newcastle big time, after signing last June for only €5M from then French Champions Lille.
And Yohan has come out today and talked to the local press and said that Alan has had a big influence on him over the last year:
“He is very much like my coach at Lille, Rudi Garcia, but with an English touch. The manager is a good communicator, a very good talker. French coaches are very talkative as well.”
“And, because of this, he helped me settle into life at Newcastle and the way the game is played in England.” “All the time he would speak to me on a personal level.”
“About the tempo of the game and what he wanted of me. I owe him a lot.”
Pf course not only did Alan Pardew have Newcastle finish so high up in the league table, but he was the very first Newcastle manager to win the PFA Manager of the Season award, and also the LMA Premier League Manager of the Season award.
Cabaye is expected to start in midfield for France next Monday night, in the opening game in Group D against England, and at the same time Ukraine will be playing Sweden, in the other group game.
Euro 2012 gets underway tomorrow night, with one of the host countries Poland playing Greece, and Russia playing the Czech Republic in Group A.
And we think Hatem Ben Arfa will also play in that game, and will be brought on as a sub with say 20 minutes to play, depending on the state of the game.
It will be important that England at least don’t lose this game, but how well they can play next Monday night we have no idea, as a number of the players are untested at the top level.
We expect both Newcastle players to play well for France though.