Ben Arfa Impressive In Training – Will Play Tomorrow Night

Newcastle remain 4th top of the league with a good 1-1 draw on Saturday an Villa Park, in which the lads showed they are a good side.

Ben Arfa – extra training over weekend

Once again Newcastle were not dominant in that first half, but they played very well indeed, and were unlucky to be that one goal down at half  time, though a good opportunist goal from the in-form Gabriel Agbonlahor.

But with what seems to have happened in most games this season, Newcastle went into a higher gear in the second half, and Leon Best scored (again) after 57 minutes,  and Newcastle were unlucky not to take all 3 points at the end.

A win would have seen Newcastle in 3rd place today, behind the two Manchester sides, but above Chelsea, but we’ll take 4th place!

And there is more good news today as Alan Pardew has confirmed that Hatem Ben Arfa will definitely return tomorrow night at Nottingham Forest.

Leon Best took a bit of a knock on Saturday, but should be available for tomorrow night’s game, and Pardew will have all but Davide Santon and Haris Vuckic to choose from, and it will be interesting to see what team the boss fields,  as he will no doubt rest some players.

Ben Arfa did extra training over the weekend, so he is ready for the game, and he’s also been looking good in training.

This is what Alan Pardew said today:

“Hatem is looking forward to it and he looks sharp in training,”  “He will be knocking on the door and it looks like this team has goals already, so it will be nice to have him with us again.”

After their poor performance a week ago at Loftus Road, Pardew and his players said they would be more attacking than against QPR, and they were true to their word, and the lads looked like a good team on Saturday.

But the game will be tricky tomorrow night, because Newcastle will be expected to win against a poor Nottingham Forest side,  who lost 2-1 at home to Derby County on Saturday,  and have made a poor start under Steve McClaren and are currently 3rd bottom in the Championship.

And then on Saturday Newcastle host Blackburn Rovers, who beat a sad looking Arsenal side 4-3 at home, for their first league win of the season.

We don’t want any shocks in the two games coming up this week, and if we can get two wins by next Saturday night, we’ll be in great shape.

Comments welcome.

35 comments so far


    Sep 19, 2011 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #1

    Wehey first? 😉


    Sep 19, 2011 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #2

    Woop! Well I wouldn’t start him think 30mins at end will be good enough or even half time


    Sep 19, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #3

    Ill take silver


    Sep 19, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #4

    damn bronze

  • cyprus

    Sep 19, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #5


    I’m never confrontational here. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion mate. So please, drop the ‘weed’ line you’ve been writing ad nauseam. You think Shola is our third best CF, I totally disagree. You doubt HBA’s ability, I totally disagree. That’s cool, just state your opinion and then accept others’ beliefs, simple.

  • cgrizzly87

    Sep 19, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #6

    I’ll be there, looking forward to seeing Ben Arfa play! Fingers crossed he can avoid any injuries…

  • StevieGee

    Sep 19, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #7

    Alright lads,

    Much has been made of Leon Best’s goals to game ratio of late and how good it is despite his sparse amount of appearances (9 in 15). I read a comment on twitter last week that pointed out that most of his appearances in the premier league were as a sub or he came off early so this morning I was sad enough to crunch the numbers and work it out for myself.

    So in his 15 total premier league appearances over the last two seasons he has scored 9 goals. You all knew that already.

    In his 15 appearances he has never finished a full 90 mins. He has made 12 starts, 3 from the bench. in all of his 12 starts he has always been subbed before the final whistle??

    if you count up his minutes on the pitch it works out to 996 minutes which is about 11.1 total games. So for the amount of time he is on the pitch his goals ratio is actually 9 goals in 11.1 games. 0.81 goals per game.

    That’s pretty special.

    Further proof that Best is our form striker in the Prem at the minute.

  • Ollieh51

    Sep 19, 2011 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #8

    Stevie Gee – Those are some really powerful stats.

    I personally love best, ,has looked potent every game so far this season and again proved that his movement and finishing are top drawer and improving with every game.

    He does take a fair few knocks though but I’m really happy with his performances.


    Sep 19, 2011 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #9


    So you think Pardew is better than SBR and KK? And HBA is better than Silva Modric and Mata?

    Also curious as to who is our thrid best ST is?

  • Klatoon

    Sep 19, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #10

    Nice work Steviegee,those stats are impressive and Best really gives the feeling he’ll score in every game he starts. What I cant see,often,is how because he doesnt get that many chances,but he always manages to nick a usually scrappy goal. Good striker!

  • toon6toon

    Sep 19, 2011 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #11

    Brilliant news although I wouldn’t start him but bring him on with 30 mins left
    Also I want gosling to start tomorrow as he needs a chance to shine as he can score goals

  • Davies

    Sep 19, 2011 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #12

    WWJBD – I agree with you on the SBR front. Best manager we’ve had as long as I’ve been supporting the toon, but I have to say, I’d sooner play Vuckic up front than Shola. I actually love Ameobi to death, for some reason, but I do wince when I see his name in the starting line up, or when he replaces a striker that’s already scored in a match. You’re right, in as much as Shola is our third choice striker, but we have several midfielders who could do a better job.

    Regarding HBA, the lad is a massive talent. The reason I knew who he was before we bought him was because of the clubs who were chasing him in the seasons before we got him. I’d seen him play a few times before we went in for him and the lad is golden. I sincerely hope this long spell out with injury hasn’t changed that.

    Off topic, I have to say I’ve been surprised by the lack of negativity on this blog lately. We can credit Pardew and the lads for a good start, but if we lose our next two matches, will it be Pardew’s fault, or Ashley’s?

  • Cockney Magpie

    Sep 19, 2011 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #13





    Then bring on perch 2nd half if winning for colo.
    Bring on Ben Arfa for Jonas and move marveaux
    Out on the right.

  • StevieGee

    Sep 19, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #14

    @ Ollieh51 and @Klatoon

    cheers for that guys. I was expecting a better ratio but I was surprised at just how good that was.

    It’s also worth noting that he’s had a number of goals disallowed incorrectly in my opinion.

    He deffo had one chalked off against Arsenal in the 4-4 game which would have won us the match 5-4.

    Is anyone aware of any others?


    Sep 19, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #15


    SBR is a legend for a reason 🙂 top man. As for the Shola point yeah we have midfielders that are better but as a striker Shola is our 3rd best

    On HBA I know he is a talent with ability BUT he has proven very little to me in the black and white (he didn’t get a chance to). He hasent adapted to the league yet and its very different from the one he came from. As I said last night he could be outstanding or he could be decent

  • wynsleap

    Sep 19, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #16

    Interesting stats StevieGee @ 7.
    I agree that Best is rapidly improving each game he plays. His movement, ball control and speed are vastly different from when he first came to the club.
    Unfortunately your observations that he is yet to complete a full 90 minutes in 15 appearances is a little worrying.
    Don’t think he should be risked tomorrow against Forest as I think Sammi and Ba would be able to do more than enough damage against the Championship side.
    Would leave Cabaye out too. He’s vital for the Blackburn game.

  • ~~San-Toon~~

    Sep 19, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #17

    My Team for Cup game:


    – Elliot/Harper
    – Perch
    – Staylor
    – Tiote
    – Ben Arfa
    – Abeid
    – Best

  • Davies

    Sep 19, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #18

    WWJBD – My concern is that injury could have changed the player he was. I know he’s come from a different league, but even without the goal at everton, his handful of appearences were impressive. I don’t give much weight to players coming from Ligue 1 having to take a lot of time to adapt to the league. You only have to look at Cabeye to see how quickly people can adapt. I know he’s only one example, but if HBA picks up where he left off, we have a hell of a player.

  • ballerfan2

    Sep 19, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #19

    Long before he came to Newcastle I remember watching in awe Ginola destroying European defences in the Champions League. When he signed for us I could hardly contain myself and we know how that worked out. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that HBA can recreate that kind of magic.

  • geordie.In.Taipei

    Sep 19, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #20

    I look forward to seeing Ben Arfa play with Best and Ba. I think Arfa will especially aid Ba as they play differently to Best. Best in all fairness to him, isnt a flashy striker, but he is one hell of a work horse player. He mucks in, and hes a terrific poncer for lose balls (that could sound a bit dodgy haha). So, im pretty confident that best can continue to keep knocking them in who ever is next to him, but Ba i think with Arfa will get the type of service he needs.

    And all that aside, WOWZERS, Cabeye was absolutely astounding on Saturday ( i was pretty drunk when watching the game). I just rewatched the highlights, Given did awesomely to keep them out.

    Reckon Forest game is going to be V TOUGH, but can see us doing v well against blackburn.

  • Davies

    Sep 19, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #21

    Also, Tiote has been woeful all season so far. True, he provided the corss for Best’s goal on Saturday, but he seems to be doing little other than giving the ball away at the moment.

    MOTD highlights were very kind to him.

    Time to drop him for a few matches?


    Sep 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #22

    Am not saying HBA is in anyway bad player or anything like that but he hasent earned the level of instant love imo yet

    Plus he will pick up a load of injuries because he will be targetted and cna his body stand up to the physical nature of this league? He won’t get the space he got in the french league as well. Cabaye looked class against Villa because he was given huge amounts of space

    I look forward to seeing him play for us again but after Villa he needs to earn a start over the Ba and Best partnership which looked threatening

  • terencelim

    Sep 19, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #23

    Play him. I am a little frustrated and lost my patient with him and my head actually link him with Kieron Dyer.

    He has been here for a year getting free money. No one should select any match or how many minutes they should play on the match. Play him as soon as possible and get over the injury nightmare.

  • SincerelySamuel

    Sep 19, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #24

    yer he had one earlier this season wrongly chalked off against scunthorpe and there was another one last season but i forgot who against he is a beast he has pace skill and good positioning and as for those who keep saying he was transfer listed that was media speculation never quantified by anyone he was also top scorer in last seasons preseason with 4 in 4 i believe including 2 vs PSV the lad can play

  • SincerelySamuel

    Sep 19, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #25

    @Davies Tiotes pass completion rate was 84% he had 117 touches of the ball he is only lookin like he is giving the ball away so much coz he is having soo much more of the ball and hes actually trying to be a little more creative so some of the passes arent comig off but its way to kneejerk to drop him when hes actually playing very well just not quite as well as he did last season he is also still getting used to a new partner in the Centre

  • zaktoon_swede

    Sep 19, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #26

    —————— Elliot————————


    Subs: Krul/harper, Ben arfa, sammy ameobi, r.taylor, ameobi, dummett, abeid.

    get tiote up to speed and ba to start scoring. bring in benny, sameobi n abeid in second half. this team should do it n cabaye, jonas, krul, colo n besty fresh for saturday

  • zaktoon_swede

    Sep 19, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #27

    loven should be in there aswell… hmm

  • geordiegav1987

    Sep 19, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #28

    I think hba should be brought on before half time, my reason for this is that I can see the game getting dirty in the second half whether we are winning or loseing and it would be a shame to lose him again straight away to another injury.

  • Toonbyblood

    Sep 19, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #29

    Wanna see Cabaye Gosling pairing in middle- Good practice for when Tiote is out for too many Yellows. And go Oberton and Marv on the wings. HBA and Ba up front. Or drop Oberton and put HBA on the wing and bring in Best with Ba.


  • toonincheek

    Sep 19, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #30

    StevieGee @14

    Probably should knock one off as his goal last weekend was oddside. Marginal, yes, but still offside.

  • nobby sol

    Sep 19, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #31

    Simpson Coloccini Perch Rtaylor
    Guthrie Gosling Cabaye Marveux

    Elliot Staylor BenArfa Smith Ferguson Ameobi Ameobi

    60- Sammy for guthrie
    70- shola for ba
    80- ben arfa for lovenkrands

    2-0 thanks allot

  • Davies

    Sep 19, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #32

    True enough, SincerelySamuel. I suppose it’ll be harder for him to regain that form if he’s not playing.

  • cupiddstunt

    Sep 19, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #33

    SincerelySamuel @ # 25

    Glad you pointed that out about davies post, I think some people should at least get their facts right before jumping on the keyboard to rip someone apart.

    There have been plenty on here that have been slagging Tiote for how bad he has been playing when in FACT opta has proved them to be numpties who don’t know what they are typing about.

    I understand that you might be re-evaluating you comment davies but for your information motd was only being kind to villa.

  • Oleg G

    Sep 19, 2011 at 11:41 PM

    Comment #34

    Ben Arfa Should step in the game after 50 mins or so. First, he is not 100% game fit for 90 minutes I think, and second and more importantly, to get that push and respect from the faithfuls that will definitely stand up for him when coming in. He deserves a warm welcome back from the fans.

  • newcastleu22

    Sep 20, 2011 at 12:26 AM

    Comment #35

    Been reading this blog for awhile and finally decided I should throw my two cents into the pot as you all seem to have reasonable and intelligent ideas (well most of you).

    For me the big thing about Ben Arfa isn’t necessarily what he has done in the past it’s what he can do in the future that makes him such a big fan favorite. Skeptical supporters will argue that he’s barely played and done little to merit the adoration and support he’s given.

    The flipside to this is that what I think fans love most is anticipation of potential. That’s why we love when youngsters like fergie and sameobi get their cameos because it’s just a mini preview of the things they might be able to do down the line. I look at Ben Arfa much the same way as I do some of the talented youth players. We’ve seen bits and pieces of what he can do and we are desperate to see if it’s real or if it’s just flashes of nothing at all.

    We love excitement and nothing is more exciting than potential. We know benny has loads of it and I can’t wait to see if he’s actually the business.


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