The foundations of a triumphant and successful squad are crumbling to the ground at Manchester United. David Moyes’ men are lying 9th in the league table and 12 points behind high flyers Arsenal. Evidently, we’re lacking something, that ‘something’ lies in midfield; sounds familiar doesn’t it?
When you lose a loved one, you begin acknowledge the things they did for you, their absence is undeniably missed; this is the case with Michael Carrick, the backbone of the side. Losing him to injury has stagnated our season, we come into games with the ammunition, but we don’t have anyone to hold the gun. Lacking in conviction and boldness to get ourselves past the 90 minutes has cost us vital points, it needs to be addressed. Who can bring us that much needed stability and consistency? Yohan Cabaye.
If you asked any knowledgable United fan to describe our midfield without Carrick, mediocre, lacklustre and shambolic would instantly come to mind. Just briefly, let’s analyse our midfield to emphasise the troubles that lie there. Tom Cleverley can be painfully average, Fellaini is adjusting United’s style of play, Ryan Giggs is 40-years-old, Anderson is out of favour and Darren Fletcher is recovering from a severe ilness. When you look at it like that, it’s extremely worrying; more the reason why we should be looking at acquiring a player of Cabaye’s quality.
The 27-year-old is of the same ilk as Michael Carrick, he’s extremely confident on the ball and provides an assurance which is essential in any successful team. Orchestrating the midfield from a deeper role is a skill that few players posses, the Frenchman’s ability to control the tempo and fluidity of the game is self-evident. In likeness to Carrick, he also does a lot of unseen work in the middle of the park.
Cabaye is instrumental to Newcastle’s defence, he anchors himself just in front of the centre backs, providing much needed solidity. Contributing to the team in terms of interceptions, tackles and clearances may seem like nothing of major notability, but it really is. Fundamentally, he provides great importance in turning defensive transitions into attack. A combination of Cabaye and Carrick in a favourable double pivot [4-2-3-1] would work wonders for United. We’d finally be able to lay down some authority, a midfield which could command games consistently; something that we haven’t witnessed since the days of Paul Scholes and Roy Keane.
This graphic [via Sqwawka] shows the completed passes Cabaye made against us on the weekend. Indisputably, he’s able to patrol across the the whole of the pitch, picking away at the defence with some killer through balls and at the same time, keep the game ticking for Newcastle. He’s also more than capable of playing further up the pitch just off the striker, bringing versatility to his game. In doing so, this allows the Frenchman to be far more creative, this season he’s already provided 2 assists and created an impressive total of 20 chances for his side. Furthermore, playing him at CF/CAM gives him the ability to shoot more; with 7 goals last season and already 3 into the new year, it’s clear to see that Cabaye is a perfectly well rounded midfielder with an appetite for goal. Now I’m not saying there aren’t better midfielders out there to sign, because there are. But realistically, capturing the signature of Yohan Cabaye in January would be seen as a brilliant piece of business.