Newcastle had no penetration down the wings and were attacking through the middle too much, which made it easier for Blackpool to defend.
Ben Arfa – has settled in quickly at Newcastle
That’s one of the synopsis of last week’s game, and the TV commentators were saying Newcastle were far too narrow during the game, and Bobby Moncur blamed that for the way Blackpool were able to contain the Magpies, and it’s probably close to the truth.
And both our wingers last week – Gutierrez and Routledge, didn’t have particularly good games, which is one reason we’d like to see Ben Arfa to start on one of the wings today at Everton, and probably on the left wing..
Chris Hughton talked to day about Newcastle’s two wingers:
“With all players you look at the qualities we have and we’re very aware of the qualities Jonas brings to the team.” “Amongst that, there will be good games and bad games, that’s the nature of the position he plays.”
“Wayne Routledge didn’t have, by his standards, the best of games last Saturday. Similarly he plays in a position that’s an offensive position where generally you’ll be up and down more than your more stable centre-half and full-back positions. We’re very aware of what Jonas brings to the team.”
But it seems like Hatem Ben Arfa is settling in quickly on Tyneside, and from what we’ve seen of the lad, he should be a starter for the team, and sooner rather than later.
But of course whether he gets his first start this afternoon is debatable, and as usual Chris is giving nothing away as he talked about the skillful 23 year-old French International:
“He’s come with a lot of enthusiasm. Still one area that’s always difficult when foreign players come is a real grasp of the language. Although he speaks decent English, it’s always difficult in that initial period when you’ve got lots of players with different dialects.”
“We do it the right way with every new player. We gather all the players outside and officially welcome them to the club. We ask them to make sure we treat each player that comes exactly the same way they treat everybody, and that’s really incorporating them in the group.”
“Ben Arfa has got an English teacher, but the best way for any foreign player is being around the other players listening to the jokes, wind-ups and what have you. This group of players have always been very good at welcoming anybody in.”
It’s good to know Newcastle are taking care of their players these days, and of course that’s down a lot to the senior bunch at the club, led of course by captain Kevin Nolan, who only yesterday said that Ben Arfa was going to become a big big player for the Newcastle club.
We may be biased, but we’d love to see the 23 year-old start this afternoon, on either wing.