With another injury to Ben Arfa, this time to his left ankle, Alan Pardew was naturally keen to look at the positives from last night’s 0-0 draw at Sporting Kansas.
Mehdi Abeid – has a lot to learn
The unfortunate thing last night was that Ben Arfa was looking very good for Newcastle in those first 30 minutes, and if we can ever keep this boy fit, he will become a great player for the Magpies.
And it was great to see Sylvain Marveaux making his debut, and playing his first game since last October, and he also looked classy, and almost scored in that first half with an excellent shot.
Pardew talked about Sylvain:
“Marveaux hasn’t played for 10 months, but he showed good quality.” “He was unlucky not to score.”
Also making his first start for Newcastle was Senegal striker Demba Ba, but he didn’t show too much in the game, and Alan had this to say about the Newcastle striker:
“Demba looked a bit ring-rusty, but he is a big guy and his sharpness will come later.”
“He is a diligent worker, but the quality he has he didn’t show last night. We’ve seen him before so it will come.”
18 year-old Mehdi Abeid also made his second appearance in pre-season, and he looked good in the second half, but as may be expected, the young Frenchman also still has a lot to learn.
Alan pointed out some of the areas where the French U18 International needs to improve his game:
“Mehdi has a lot to learn and is in the process of learning the Premier League.”
“He got caught in possession, but he has quality there. He will get more chances.”
This is what you would expect from one so young, that he still has much to learn, but on the positive side, this lad looks to have great ability and we think Alan Pardew could well fast track this lad next season.
That would be especially true if his big pal, Ben Arfa, remains on the sidelines through injury.
Newcastle still have a paper-thin squad, so the hope is that some of out top youngsters can step up to the plate for Newcastle next season, to further bolster the squad.