Ben Arfa Watched Gateshead On His Saturday Off

It turns out that Hatem Ben Arfa may be a different type of football player than most other super stars.

Ben Arfa – watched Gateshead game last Saturday afternoon

Ben Arfa was keen to join Newcastle last August on loan,  and also seemed to jump at the chance to sign a four and a half year permanent contract at Newcastle in January, and he is a player who wants to play in front of the passionate Geordie crowd.

That passion was there for all to see last night, and before we go any further, let’s say the pitch at St. James’ Park looked immaculate last night, and all credit to the Newcastle groundsmen, who never get enough credit for what they do.

It turns out that Ben Arfa seems to be a student of the game, and where was he on his day off on Tyneside last Saturday?

He went to the International stadium across the river, to take in the Gateshead 2-2 draw with Rushden & Diamonds, in the Blue Square Premier game.

How many players at Newcastle would do that?

There were 701 fans at the game, and the lad must have been recognized by the Newcastle faithful there, and they must have felt privileged to be there with the budding Newcastle super-star.

Of course it will now be only a few weeks before Ben Arfa finally makes his comeback from his terrible double leg fracture he endured last October, and that’s a game Newcastle fans are really looking forward to.

Stephen Ireland finally got on the pitch last night, and while it was only for around 20 minutes or so, it was enough time for Ireland to show he has skills galore, just like Ben Arfa.

It will be a huge moment when the French International finally comes back on the field for the first time at St. James’ Park, following his injury, and if he can get a couple of games under his belt this season, he’ll then be all set for next season.

And just think Newcastle could have three players already in the squad, who will look like new signings next season.

Stephen Ireland, Dan Gosling and Hatem Ben Arfa – quite a trio – and they have but 6 appearances for Newcastle between them, so far this season.

Those three are talented players to add to the squad for next season – and hopefully they can all stay fit.

Comments welcome.

16 comments so far


    Apr 20, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #1

    I think as long as we stay in the Premier League and we show that we want to advance each year HBA will be loyal to the club. He has had alot of bad press in the past, but he seems a nice enough and honest guy to me.

  • Edd Case

    Apr 20, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #2

    As far as I know, HBA is a class act both on and off the pitch.

    I love this lad and I can’t wait to see who else we sign in the summer.

    Next season, I think we’ll be pushing for a top 6 place for sure.

  • alex84

    Apr 20, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #3

    so proud of the lads last night, i think i almost passed out near the end, people can say what they like about Pardew but he got his tactics spot on last night, and we ripped man u a new one in the first half!…hopefully now we can sign some of the players were linked with ie Gervinho etc coz we will be looking at a real top team.

  • Charlietoon

    Apr 20, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #4

    I thought Ireland showed one flash of good play with his quick turn and shot but considering it was his debut for the team and it was Man U at home I expected him to be running his heart out. As it was most of the guys who had players 70 mins looked like they more in the tank.

  • Stuart

    Apr 20, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #5

    I have to disagree like Charlietoon, I reckon once Ireland came on he never stopped running. Made a few interceptions, had a couple of shots and made some brilliant off the ball runs. I’m really hoping we get a chance to see more of him before the end of the season like.

  • Davies

    Apr 20, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #6

    The irony here is that, by the end of the season, we’ll probably have a full and fit squad (albeit without a prolific Premier League striker).

    We all know that injuries and suspensions have cost us dearly this season, but by the time we play WBA, I think we’ll be able to field a team that could pretty much beat anyone in the league.

    Expanding the squad with quality players is a must, but we need to deal with the discipline issues and look at just what it is that is making us one of the most injury ravaged squads in the country. If we manage to address the injury problems, we’ll only need a few more coming in and we’ll have a team that can make a genuine and serious challenge for European places next season.

    Pardew, for me, is a bit like Shola; he’s always had potential, but has never quite made the grade when it mattered. People talk about his arrogance, but arrogance doesn’t seem to harm Ferguson or Mourinho (okay, I’m not camparing them, but you get the point). He’s still fairly young, by football management standards, and he hasn’t had the means before that he will have available in the summer (fingers crossed). Next season might be his season, you never know.

    Pretty exciting really.

  • Davies

    Apr 20, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #7

    Also, I agree with you Stuart, Ireland did look good last night. Shame he chose the wrong side of the goal to have a pop at.

  • toonfan09

    Apr 20, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #8

    considering the amount of time ireland has been out and he hasnt played a reserve team game he did well not much but he did well be interesting to see if he gets more time against blackpool

  • sammydolan

    Apr 20, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #9

    I completely agree with ya Davies.

    Now is the chance to shine for Pardew, he can either become a legend or leave and be in the Souness, Keegan, Alladyce group of idiots!

    He potentially has 30 odd million to spend on this squad and potentially challenge for a cup at least or a top 6 spot. If he gets the players right i.e. a top class number 9, some flair players for us fans to be excited and a rock centre back (Tiote/Vidic love child from a cave in eastern europe, I am thinking!) I think we will all be happy & look forward to next season.

    Ok AC has gone, it’s done. We dont want to lose Jose or Barton. If they want to leave then ok, leave. If they want to stay then hats off to Pardew for doing that – just like he did with Tiote. Credit given where credit due.

    Like i said, Pardew has a great chance now to add to this squad and ok not every player bought is amazing like people think as Boumsoung, Luque etc but I think he needs to buy sensible and not throw 20million at a 18year old who was class in the french league – throw it at someone who has the experience of different leagues someone like an Anelka (not him personally, but you get what I mean, I hope) last thing we want is to continue with the rubbish overpriced strikers!

    I am looking forward to the summer transfer activity!


    Apr 20, 2011 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #10

    I see the daily mail headline reading ‘Ben Arfa Seeks Northern Transfer- As Newcastle Cheat Man Utd Out Of Two Points’

  • Geordie-Gerrard7

    Apr 20, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #11

    You wouldn’t see the likes of Sessegnon, gyan or any other of the unwashed take in a game like benny was at the heed the other day. We have a quality player with great passion for the area. Ohhh where has daffy gone?

  • Brutooon

    Apr 20, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #12

    A good lad, when fit will bethe best signing we got in a decade

  • liam85

    Apr 20, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #13

    Ohh it’s so exciting if we start brining in the new players in the summer.

    I know we all deserve a good on next season.
    From all the c**p we’ve delt with over the last few years. HWTL!!

  • Elfy_Toon

    Apr 20, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #14

    Thought Ireland played well last night on his debut, had some great inter-play with barton. Could see the both playing the one twos whenever they were near each other, some of the through balls they both played to each other were a little long, but given the chance to get used to each others runs and we could see a few runs on goal against blackpool!

  • gorskino10

    Apr 20, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    Comment #15


    Agree 100% one nice play but he hardly ran at all couldnt be bothered defending which we needed from the sub, wondering if thats his lack of commitment or just lack of fitness? well if he gets a 90 that will be answered if its fitness/commitment 🙂

  • carrollsinger

    Apr 20, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #16

    By the brom game we could have
    Simmo colo willo Enrique
    Barton tiote Nolan gut
    And a bench of
    Pretty strong I say


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