Is It Time To Start Ben Arfa And Cheick Tiote On Saturday?

Newcastle looked much more threatening last Saturday after Lovenkrands and particularly Ben Arfa, were introduced into the game in the second half,  and both were goal threats.

Ben Arfa – impressive on Saturday in his first appearance for Magpies

Ben Arfa looked what he is – a classy player who immediately got involved in the game, made runs to the bye line down both wings, and put in some good crosses into the penalty area.

We wonder what would have happened if the French lad has been brought on at the start of the second half?   Of course that’s all second guessing and Hughton brought on 3 strikers in Ben Arfa, Lovenkrands and Ameobi for 3 midfield players,  to try to get that all important first goal – but it didn’t come, and we lost our unbeaten home record.

Ben Arfa’s creativity and energetic play could be key for Newcastle in future games, and we’ll see how brave Chris Hughton is with his team selection against Everton on Saturday.

It also looks like the 23 year-old can play on the left wing or the right wing and as a second striker too, so we have to think Ben Arfa could start in place of either Jonas Gutierrez or Wayne Routledge on Saturday.

Up until now Chris has started the same 11 in every league game, but that will change on Saturday, but just how much he’ll change the side, we’ll have to wait and see.

We have to think that Cheick Tiote will b pressing Alan Smith for the starting defensive midfield position too, and with a full week’s practice  at Benton this week, he could be ready to make his Newcastle debut this Saturday.

We’d love to see Ben Arfa and Cheick Tiote get starts for Newcastle at Goodison Park.

What what be your team for the crucial league game this Saturday?

Comments welcome.

25 comments so far

  • G

    Sep 14, 2010 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #1

    I would hope that short of a crisis would be inteligent enough to ease new players in gently. I know the rent-a-gob crowd will be screaming for them to start, but the inteligent football fan knows that playing unfamiliar footballing styles in a new country can be a duanting thing for any player, so the softly softly approach is nescessary for another game or two yet.

  • pearceet

    Sep 14, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #2

    I would love to see them both start and then sol to start at chelski.

    Also Blackpool have released a DVD of our game…… sad really

  • G

    Sep 14, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #3

    I think the Everton game is just a game too soon, and the Chelski game should be one for the kids / fringe players. Maybe give Sol a run out there, otherwise, I would keep anybody in with a shout of the first team fresh for the Stoke game, which is where I would start HBA and Tiote. Just my opinion like, there is no right and wrong.

  • GeordieDan

    Sep 14, 2010 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #4

    Nah, not for me at Everton. It would mean changing our most tried and tested formation in an already very difficult game.

    4-5-1 is definitely not what I would have gone with against Blackpool, I thought that was ridiculous and we got what we deserved for being too negative but at Everton it is likely to be the best way forward.

    I would seriously think about dropping Smith from the starting line up and replacing him with Tiote though-as long as he has had time to get used to playing with his new team mates.

    Smith has all the heart in the world but seemingly less actual talent every time I see him.

    That penalty gift to Blackpool was absolute school boy stuff. Drop him, give him a kick up the @rse.

    Start Jonas just to see if he is up for it after his awful showing the other day but get Arfa on quickly if he looks dispondent again. Please Mr Hughton not at the traditional 60 minute mark AGAIN!

    If Jonas plays crap make sure he knows it and GET HIM OFF.

  • ToonAndy

    Sep 14, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #5

    The team to start 110%!!




    ROUTLEDGE………………………………BEN ARFA


  • maltese NUFC

    Sep 14, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #6

    I am really upset with Everton FC for publishing this sort of article of their former player Horne about the Newcastle game…..he is absolutely full of sh*t, and shows no respect to opposition.

    If i would be hughton I would do no teamtalk…I would just read the article out to the players before the match…that should get the lads going.

    take a look to the following link…

  • ToonGlenn

    Sep 14, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #7

    I think we have to keep the players that have been doing a job for us too! and ease the new ones in top the team…BUT Lovenkrands Isn’t new…he should start with nolan dropping back into midfiels and smith taking a place on the bench!!! start of second half bring on HBA! got to give him a little bit more time than 18 minutes…BUT Ameobi can be dropped to the reserves he shows us time after time he is NOT worthy as a premier league player! Cash in on Ameobi pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

  • batty

    Sep 14, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #8

    Newcastle striker Andy Carroll has been named the north-east Football Writers’ Association Young Player of the Year for 2010

  • geordie_india

    Sep 14, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #9

    Hughton will be lining up a 4-5-1 as its an away game. And I would like to replace Jonas and Smith with Arfa and Tiote!

  • benscott123123

    Sep 14, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #10

    Maltese – I agree that article is rubbish look at what a drumming match of the day pundits gave Distin at the weekend speaks for itself he looked anything other than “top class”.

    Everton away will be an extremely difficult game I do not think 4-4-2 will be a good option I’d stick with 4-5-1

    Perch Will Colo Enrique
    Routledge Barton Nolan Smith Ben Arfa

    Lovenkrandz and Tiote used as subs and Jonas if the wingers aren’t having a good game

  • Cockney Magpie

    Sep 14, 2010 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #11





    ———————- Ben Arfa————————-


    I’d love to see this team but unfortunatly with Nolan being named captain i cant see it happening

  • vanderlee

    Sep 14, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #12

    I think we need to stick with 4-5-1 for away games and I would be interested to see how a combination of both Smith and Tiote would work.
    This might allow us to continue with creative / pacey players as well.

    Smith Tiote
    Routledge Barton Ben Arfa

    For me, Nolan has been questionable off the front away from home. I think Barton would lie slightly deeper and work harder box to box…

  • vanderlee

    Sep 14, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #13

    Also, even though Smith got the blame for giving a poor penalty, I thought Perch should have dealt with that much earlier and I would like to see Taylor get a shot at RB.

  • dave 1961

    Sep 14, 2010 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #14

    I would keep smith to sweep the stadium clean after games it’s the only part I would give him he is one of our worst ever buys.

  • atom

    Sep 14, 2010 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #15

    Based on what I have seen thus far this season, I would start Arfa in the ‘Nolan’ role and drop Nolan back with Barton and try to nick an early goal.

  • dazza

    Sep 14, 2010 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #16

    Hatem in for routledge please. Don’t understand the anti Jonas thing he was the only one trying to go forward. Routledge unfortunately showed how out of depth he his in the prem. smith and Barton both wanted to play deep and didn’t work together.

    Jonas Barton Tiote Arfa

  • balubas1

    Sep 14, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #17

    If both were to start, we have to drop Smith which is a good thing. I’m not to happy with dropping either Routledge or Jonas, but it is good with competition.

    And also someone mentioned earlier in a post that Ben Arfa sometimes drops out of games when he has a bad day.. in that case it is excellent to have either Jonas or Wayne ready on the bench.

    I think it is cruical that we have 3 good wingers competing for a starting place.

  • balubas1

    Sep 14, 2010 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #18


    Good option. I think Barton may get more chances to go forward if Tiote is the fullblood CDM I hope he is..

    Dropping Nolan from the starting 11 isnt really good for the team i think.. All around he posesses alot of quality that even Ben Arfa can’t fill in atm. Time will show, but it sure is exciting to see how the team will look the next games.

    I can’t really see any other realistic option than: 1: Dropping Smith for Tiote
    2: Rotating our 3 good wingers.

    My guess anyways….

  • atom

    Sep 14, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #19

    balubas: I agree that having 3 wingers is a good thing, although I don’t see Ben Arfa as an out and out winger. I think he could be really good in behind Carroll- given the freedom to play centrally in support of Carroll and drift out wide too. You are gonna miss the strength of Nolan bombing the box, but with Jonas and Routledge as your main supply more creativity should take precedence. And things can be tweaked to the opposition/ etc.

  • balubas1

    Sep 14, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #20

    atom 19@

    Of course ! But I’m having a hard time seeing that our team would benefit much of dropping Nolan for Ben Arfa (at the moment that is). If Ben Arfa had established himself properly in NUFC and the EPL, it would be easier for me to agree. You gain creativity, but Nolans game is so much more. He really is a clever player, he has an eye for goal, but also the brains to pass if a player is better placed.. Nolan is creative, but doesnt have the same ability to create instability in the oppositions defence like Ben Arfa.

    Can you see a lineup where they play together? Can’t see CH dropping barton atm…


    —————–Ben Arfa————————

    maybe this one? I know it looks VERY offensive if Barton plays, but with Tiote instead it has i different look…

    will be most interesting to see how CH plays the team now.. His judgement will be under pressure here, but my confidence in him is strong.

  • atom

    Sep 14, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #21

    I agree about dropping Nolan. I think it would definitely behoove Hoots to mix and match the midfield around a general gameplan. Your midfield you posted would work at home against midtable- lowertable type teams when you can afford to really give it a go. Then for games like this Saturday @ Goodison something like:
    Arfa- Barton- Smith (Tiote when ready)- Jonas


    Sep 14, 2010 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #22

    maltese NUFC Agree mate even funnier i thought, was him bigging beckford up, watch it go pear shaped for him as beckford aint all that and in my opion and should of scored more goals in the league he was in if he was really prem class.Class defender distan ha ha dont make me laugh was pulled out of position at least twice against man utd and was at fault for at least 2 of man ure goals in my opion.vanderlee disagree there mate smiths tackle was not needed, the fella had lost the ball and it had gone to 1 of our defenders.After reading that noobs horne comments i really hope the lads give them a good kick up the behind saturday.

  • balubas1

    Sep 14, 2010 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #23


    yeah.. mix and match is good. At least until someone steps up and really holds their position.

    Ur lineup against everton is good. But I REALLY would like Smith to loose his postiton sooner rather than later. I’m not saying he’s bad, but we have better options when fit. Tiote should be given the chance !

    ATM our weakest links are Smith & Perch. Smith is a poor passer and makes costly mistakes at times. Perch is so far developing good, but what i’ve seen of him so far doesn’t beat Simpson when fit. (and certainly not S.Taylor)

  • atom

    Sep 14, 2010 at 7:50 PM

    Comment #24

    I agree on Smith and hope Tiote is the answer there but have not seen him play yet.

    A good model for how to play the midfield would be Everton imo. Moyes does a good job mixing and matching there and often plays a similar formation/ shape that Hoots is playing. Moyes is always tinkering (granted often this is due to the fact they can not keep Arteta and company fit) with the midfield depending on who and where they play.

  • baro

    Sep 14, 2010 at 10:34 PM

    Comment #25

    Can’t wait for them both to get their full debuts.


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