Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Marveaux Can Fill Our Creative Void; Sylvain Can Fill Void for Magpies

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Marveaux Can Fill Our Creative Void; Sylvain Can Fill Void for Magpies

Article excerpt

ALAN Pardew thinks he may finally have found a player who can replace Yohan Cabaye - just as the Frenchman is inching back to fitness.

The build-up to today's Premier League game at Arsenal was dominated by Sir Ferguson's scathing comments about Newcastle United and Pardew in particular. But his focus is on filling the hole left by Cabaye's mid-November hernia operation, a job which could fall to Sylvain Marveaux.

Central midfielder Cabaye has missed games, and while his return is not imminent, it could come ahead of the early February schedule. Steven Taylor is recovering faster than expected from hamstring problem.

"We hope to get Cabaye and Taylor back in mid-January," manager Pardew confirmed. "Cabaye is kicking balls around but isn't training with us. Hatem Ben Arfa) is a little bit further away."

Marveaux joined as a winger in the summer of 2011 but Pardew has experimented with him centrally this season, including the last half-hour of the Boxing Day epic with Manchester United.

With Vurnon Anita badly bruising his ankle in the 4-3 defeat, and James Perch likely to be pressed into service as an emergency centre-back by Mike Williamson's suspension, Marveaux could himself back there.

"Naturally he plays both positions, out wide and through the middle," Pardew said. "Like Vurnon, he has found the pace power of the Premier League a problem. I've thought just recently he has "What he does give us without Hatem Cabaye is the clever pass. We're going have to look to him in the next few games to come up with a few of those. We have been looking for that since Cabaye got injured. Whereas Cabaye can do it in a 4-4-2, Marveaux would struggle in that, but in a three he can do it no problem." Arsene Wenger has said he will not sign Newcastle's Demba Ba when the transfer window opens on Tuesday. Ba controversially namedropped Arsenal recently, calling them "a very attractive club" needing strikers. …

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