Yohan Cabaye has ‘improved so much’ at Newcastle United, says Graham Carr

FRENCH CONNECTION ... France's Yohan Cabaye, left, celebrates Samir Nasri's goal against England.
FRENCH CONNECTION ... France's Yohan Cabaye, left, celebrates Samir Nasri's goal against England.

YOHAN Cabaye can be one of the stars of Euro 2012 – thanks to Newcastle United.

The midfielder impressed for France in last night’s 1-1 draw against England in Donetsk.

Cabaye, a fierce competitor in midfield, passed the ball well and went close with a couple of long-range efforts.

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United’s chief scout Graham Carr – the man who brought Cabaye to St James’s Park last summer – feels the 26-year-old has grown in stature since his move to the Premier League from French club Lille, where he won the domestic double in his final season.

And Carr – who last week signed a new eight-year deal at United – has paid tribute to Newcastle manager Alan Pardew and his staff for their part in Cabaye’s emergence on the international scene.

The tempo of the English top-flight, and quality of the opposition, has also hastened Cabaye’s developement, according to Carr.

“I went to France-Serbia last week, and Cabaye has improved so much,” he said.

“They don’t get the games in the French League that they do in England.

“It’s such a high tempo in the Premier League. He looked a really good player for the French national side, and you have to give that to the staff.”

Cabaye’s United team-mate Hatem Ben Arfa replaced him late in the game.

Meanwhile, Corbridge-born Carr has also praised Pardew for keeping a Geordie influence behind the scenes after his arrival at the club in December 2010.

As well as promoting Steve Stone to first-team coach, he also recruited John Carver, formerly Sir Bobby Robson’s assistant, as his No2.

“Alan knew when he came in he had to keep his staff,” added Carr. “They are a good hard-working bunch.

“As well as the coaching staff, you have Geordies like (players’ liaison officer) Tony Toward at the ground and (finance director) John Irving in the background, and they all carry out a great job.”