It seems that Alan Pardew will be experimenting in pre-season with a new system for Newcastle.
Ben Arfa – could be the crown jewels for Newcastle
And it involves a player who could well become the crown jewels of the side – Hatem Ben Arfa – and Pardew will try to use the Frenchman where he is most dangerous to opposing defenses – up front as a second striker.
While we are just a wee bit disappointed we haven’t seen more players come in this summer, Newcastle have already signed some really skillful players in Cabaye, Marveaux, Demba Ba and young Mehdi Abeid.
But we also know there’s still over six weeks to go before the transfer window slams shut, so there’s still plenty of time.
The new system seemed to work quite well at Darlington on Friday evening, albeit Newcastle had Leon Best leading the line rather than Demba Ba, and Ben Arfa as usual looked quite impressive.
Pardew said today that every player will get a chance this pre-season:
“This is a chance for all of the players out here to catch the eye and force the issue – it’s a healthy situation.”
If Ben Arfa can work out a good understanding with Demba Ba (and Best), Newcastle could have lots of goals in the side this coming season, even though we have lost our two top goal-scorers of the last two seasons, in big Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan.
And we see that in our poll on whether Leon Best deserves another season at Newcastle to prove himself, a full 77% think he does.
We would think that Best is above Shola Ameobi in the pecking order of strikers at the club, and if Newcastle were to sell a striker this summer, maybe it should be Shola, with his contract running out next summer.
Whatever happens, we think it may be difficult for Shola to get much of an extension to his contract, as he always seems to be injured during each season.
But one thing we are really looking forward to this season, is watching the mercurial Ben Arfa in action, and what a player this lad could become!
What do you think?