Newcastle’s Team Performance Great – Ben Arfa Not Bad Either

Ben Arfa and Cheick Tiote both had very good debuts yesterday, with the young Frenchman scoring a goal that not many players could score these days.

Hatem Ben Arfa – fantastic play from the youngster

And as we said last week, this lad is fast becoming the Darling of Tyneside, as Newcastle fans start to see just how good he is – and he only wanted to come to Newcastle – let’s pinch myself to make sure this is all real.  😀

You cannot say that the lad doesn’t work hard either, as his concentration throughout the game yesterday seemed first class.

Ben Arfa looked a terrific player and Cheick Tiote, especially in that first half,  gave an exhibition of how you win the ball, and he looked such a class player in his very first appearance for Newcastle.

Two great buys for Newcastle in the summer is a bit of an understatement about these two lads, from yesterday’s performance.

Chris Hughton delivered what he had promised the  Newcastle fans – a performance that was so professional and sustained throughout the 90 minutes, that it deserved all 3 points after last week’s huge let-down against Blackpool.

A delighted Chris Hughton talked after the game:

“I thought Ben Arfa had a very good debut, but it was very much part of a very good performance,” “I thought both the new lads acquitted themselves very well.”

“But I thought they were able to do that because the quality of the rest of the performance was so good.” “You can have quality individuals on the day but the options and positions they have are made by other players.”

“That’s what happened, it was a really good team performance.” “Last weekend was a real disappointment because it was a home game and we know how valuable points are in this league.” “We saw that (Blackpool defeat) as three points lost.”

“Is Goodison an ideal place to come after a result like that?” “Probably not, because of the quality they’ve got here but I thought we produced an excellent performance from first minute to last.”

“To be honest, the most important thing for me is the performance.” “Even if we’d gone back without having won I think the performance meant that the supporters would have seen a team that had given everything.”  “That’s what they want to see and at the moment that’s what they’re getting.”

And did fans see Ben Arfau pulling Joey Barton away from a melee in the second half, when Jory had been badly tackled and wanted to get involved again, which was probably not wise. It was an interesting sight.

Ben Arfa and Cheick seem to have fitted right into the Newcastle mold of play – and you have to give credit to the players and coaches at Newcastle for just how well they have settled in at the club.

We’re not getting carried away with things, but during yesterday’s game Newcastle looked a good side to everybody who was watching – including Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson and Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini.

Comments welcome.

11 comments so far

  • Toonboy_84

    Sep 19, 2010 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #1

    It was a good team performance but an absolute rocket from the one and only HBA!

  • austoon

    Sep 19, 2010 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #2

    just think if hughton let them start against blackpool and maybe we would’ve won and now been only 2pts behind chelsea.

  • Spuggy

    Sep 19, 2010 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #3

    I absolutely LOVE our squad, great blend of premiership experience with Nolan, Campbell, Barton. Great pace or creativity with, Routledge, Jonas, Arfa, Enrique and a midfield sentinel we so sorely lacked in Tiote, finally – young hungry talent which has now been battle hardened by relegation and a season in the championship – Williamson, Carroll, Perch etc.

    Then there’s the reserve/second tier squad which has some amazing potential – Gosling, Donaldson, Kadar, Vuckic, Ranger etc.

    I think the Arfa’s big fish in a small pond will wear off as the dominant team spirit in our squad will have a positive affect on him. Besides, you need a pinch of arrogance in a team, so long as it’s backed up by class, a la Cantona, Ronaldo, all phenomenal players, but heads the size of medicine balls – you have to have utter belief in yourself to be that good and that comes with arrogance.

    If Arfa wanted to go to a bigger club he could have – he WANTED to come to newcastle. And that means the world. And yes, we have first option to buy, I just hope the price has already been set as it will inflate dramatically come January I believe. It could be Ashley’s chance to finally ingratiate himself with the Newcastle faithfull.

  • rkw

    Sep 19, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #4

    Can you really discredit Hughton for going with the same 11 that put 6 on AV and fought their hearts out agains a dirty Wolves team? I think not. You can live in if’s and maybe’s if you want and criticize Hoots’ team selection but that team put in somewhere around 22 chances with 7 or 8 on goal.

  • rkw

    Sep 19, 2010 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #5

    that’s @austoon btw

  • alkinou

    Sep 19, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #6

    “Newcastle looked a good side to everybody who was watching” so did we against Aston Villa and we all know what happened the week after. But hey this is Newcastle and why we love them!

  • Spuggy

    Sep 19, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #7

    Beardlsey and Stone a really great prospect for spotting and developing young talent….really please to have them managing the reserves….

  • lesmiller61

    Sep 19, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #8

    I thought Tiote was pure class. Ben Arfa took his goal brilliantly, and Enrique was excellent.
    We have grnuine pace in the team now. Full credit to CH and his backroom staff. I was really worried at the start of this season that we had enough to stay up, now think we can be mid table, if we can keep everyone fit and suspension free.

  • balubas1

    Sep 19, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #9


    We’ll be able to fight in top10 this season if the team settles in right. We have a strong squad.

  • Jarra

    Sep 19, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #10

    Prior to this match I was really hoping CH would play the two lads Ben A and Tiote, once I sighted the team I was delighted that we were going to try and get a result.
    That is all I ever want the knowledge before a match we have a chance.
    Team spirit is excellent Enrique the most improved player I have seen in years playing for us.
    Pearch looks like he is trying to hard hence the rash tackles but I recall Enrique very similar, so I am hoping in time he makes the mark.
    I think Campbell might play and partner Williamson at CB next week with Colo going to RB where he hs played for the Argies.
    W must play tatcics to fit and counter the opposition and Stoke are very physical.
    I hope the Ref is strong and very much aware of Stoke’s aggressive style.
    I believe it is no coincidence that so many players have sustained bad injuries against them.
    Now they have seen King Arfa lets hope they do not take him out as that would be criminal.

  • balubas1

    Sep 19, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #11


    About Enrique.

    He’s been so good now.. for so long that I take it for granted that he plays excellent every game:) and he delivers!


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