It seems that the Newcastle players have already seen the skills possessed by one of our newest players, 23 year-old Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa.
Hatem Ben Arfa – one hell of a player
Mike Williamson, who has given an interview today in the Newcastle Journal, was extremely pleased with the impact Hatem Ben Arfa had on his Newcastle debut on Saturday, when the lads were at that point trailing 1-0, after about 75 minutes.
And the former Wycombe Wanderers and Watford defender feels the Newcastle squad has improved a lot since the end of last season, as he said today:
“Hatem is a hell of a player. He has great feet, a great strike and great vision. He is going to make a big impact on the team; the things you saw on the pitch, he’s done all week in training.”
“When you looked at the bench you could see we’ve got a great squad now, I think that’s going to carry us through. It’s not always about the starting XI. It’s about the squad throughout the season.”
“It’s a long season and everyone is going to play their part. I’ve got confidence in the players we’ve got here and their ability. We are going to be fine.”
Chris Hughton has started the same side in each of Newcastle’s Premier League games this season, but we have to think that will change for the Everton game.
If you look at the game on Saturday the defense played well, but we lacked creativity and goal-scoring prowess up front, and that’s one reason we think Hatem could start his first game at Goodison Park, in a match that is being televised live around the world.
We hope so anyway, and one player he could replace is Jonas Gutierrez, who had a particularly poor game on Saturday.
It could also be that Cheick Tiote makes his debut for the Magpies, and Alan Smith has to know his starting place is under pressure, once the Ivory Coast International gets into his stride at Newcastle.
But we don’t think Sol Campbell will play at Everton – it would appear that Sol will make his debut against Chelsea the following Wednesday night, at Stamford Bridge in the Carling Cup 3rd round.
What do you think?