Cabaye apologises to Newcastle fans
French midfielder insists he is committed, for now, after brief flirtation with Arsenal
Yohan Cabaye of Newcastle claps the home fans after the Premier League match against Fulham at the St James’s Park. Photograph: Paul Thomas/Getty Images
Yohan Cabaye has apologised to Newcastle United supporters for the confusion over his future at the start of the season.
The midfielder was the subject of a bid from Arsenal on the eve of the campaign and, while that was rejected out of hand, manager Alan Pardew kept him out of the side for the first two matches of the season.
Reports quickly followed that Cabaye’s head had been turned by Arsenal and he was agitating to push the transfer through. But the transfer window shut without further developments and Cabaye returned to the team for Saturday’s 2-1 win at Aston Villa, having come on as a substitute the previous weekend against Fulham.
The Frenchman was warmly applauded by Newcastle’s fans at Villa Park when he was substituted late on, but he accepts he has some making up still to do. “The response was very nice to hear,” said Cabaye in an interview with Newcastle’s official website. “If the fans were – or still are – mad at me for what happened then I understand and I apologise to them.
“I want to come back from what has happened. I was happy and I am still happy. I just want to try and score goals and play well. It was very, very good to be back in the team; a really nice feeling.”
While Newcastle may be buoyed by Cabaye’s words, he appeared to suggest his new-found commitment extended only to the end of the current campaign: “For Newcastle fans, football is their life and I want to say that I am going to give everything – as I have from my first day here – from today until the end of the season.
“It is important I do that because Newcastle is my club and there is a World Cup at the end of the season, which I want to play in. It is very important to be right in my head and I am.”
The 27-year-old, who has been an influential performer since his arrival from Lille, admitted recent weeks had constituted a “bad moment” for him but that he is not suffering a major hangover.
“I’m okay. This is football,” he said. “You do not have a career without bad moments. I have moved on and now in my head I just want to work really hard, to get back in the team every week and to help the team – that is the most important thing for me.
“I want to forget what happened during the summer, I want to put it behind me and give everything for Newcastle every day, for the club and for my team-mates.”