Chris Hughton’s major concern in the summer was to get in an experienced goal-scorer into the club.
Ben Arfa – will Chris use him as a striker?
But he wasn’t able to so that, but the lads this season seem to be able to create chances at will, and put most of those chances away – although it’s true that against Blackpool we didn’t, and paid a heavy price with an embarrassing loss.
Newcastle have played 5 league games and 2 cup games this season so far, and have 4 wins, 2 defeats and a draw, so that’s a decent start to the season after being pummeled at Old Trafford in that first game.
In the league we’ve scored only 8 goals, with 6 of them coming in a single game, so we could do with more goals in the league, for sure, but we’ve hit 7 goals in the Carling Cup in just two games – both away from home.
If Shola Ameobi can keep up the form he showed on Wednesday night, then maybe Chris doesn’t need to bring in another striker, but if Newcastle keep up this good form, we feel sure that Mike Ashley will back Chris with whatever he wants to do in the January transfer window – because we are also building the team for the future, and not just thinking of one season.
And young Nile Ranger looked to be decent form as well at Chelsea, but the lad still has a lot to learn, and will do so, if he keeps his head down and listens to what Chris tells him he needs to do.
One thing is that Nile needs to score more goals, and after his goal on Wednesday night he missed a sitter right in front of goal a few minutes later, when it looked easier to score than to completely mis-kick the ball – which is what he did.
But there will be games this season, like at home to Aston Villa, when Newcastle hammer a side, because they will convert most of their chances. It could have happened on Wednesday night, when two of our best chances – to Lovenkrands and Ameobi – came when the lads were winning 3-1 in the second half.
As far as strikers go we could also use Ben Arfa as a striker, and the way he hit that 30 yard effort against Everton, you would think, from say 15 yards out, it would be easy for him to hit them home. What an exciting player this lad looks – and he’s been blessed with amazing football skills, that’s for sure.
Chris is working on the training field as to how best to fit Ben Arfa into Newcastle’s way of playing, but he’s already said that Newcastle will use him where he can hurt the opposition the most – in the last third of the pitch.
The Frenchman may be best utilized in the Kevin Nolan position as a withdrawn striker, the role the great Bobby Charlton used to play eons ago for England and Manchester United.
But of course the lad can also set up chances and he has vowed to set those up for big Andy Carroll, so his best position could still be on the left wing, but given a free role, as he seemed to be given last Saturday.
So looking at the form of Carroll, Ameobi, Lovenkrands, Nolan, Ranger and Ben Arfa, as our current strike force, we probably don’t need another striker in January.
What do you think?