Ben Arfa oozes class and on his first time out last night for Newcastle since July, he again looked a sublime player in the black and white shirt.
Ben Arfa – in action last night
Ben Arfa was replaced after 70 minutes in the 4-3 win last night at the City Ground, when Alan Pardew saw a little tiredness coming into his game, which is hardly surprising given the circumstances.
But the French International again showed what he’s made of, and of course he’s already a big favorite with the fans.
Pardew talked about Ben Arfa after the games, and he was asked why he substituted him:
“He just started running out of steam a little bit towards the end when Forest had a little bit of control of the game.”
“But he made one burst through the middle of the pitch – that just sets him apart from other players when he does things like that.”
“If we get him up to speed and get him into what we do in the first team, he is going to be a massive bonus for us.”
But it was cult hero and captain, Fabricio Coloccini, who stole the show with a brilliant header to win the games in added time of extra time, from a good left wing cross from Gabriel Obertan.
And Newcastle avoided a penalty shoot-out, in which absolutely anything could have happened.
Pardew was delighted after another gutsy Newcastle display and their fourth win in seven games this season:
“I can’t think of one player who didn’t play well, and if we had worked on the team like we have the first team, it would have been a better performance as a team.
“On Thursday, I will have a training ground where everybody is happy, and that doesn’t happen very often.
“It might not be on Friday, though, when I pick the team.”
Mehdi Abeid was a surprise starter in midfield, and he looked a very good player, and of coruse he’s only just turned 19 and Frenchman Sylvain Marveaux also looked a good player, and he can certainly cross the ball very well.
With Newcastle making nine changes from the side that drew with Aston Villa last Saturday, it was a very good win and some good performances from many of the fringe players.
It’s just exactly what Alan Pardew wanted to see, and he’ll have a lot of trouble deciding who to leave out of the 18 match-day squad on Saturday, when Newcastle host Blackburn Rovers.