Newcastle have been training during the International break, and it has given a chance for manager Alan Pardew to gauge the fitness and form of some of the players not starting in the first team at the moment.
Hatem Ben Arfa – looking good in training
The most obvious one of the players in that category is Ben Arfa, although he’s only been training this week, as last week he was given comapassioante leave to visit a sick family member in Tunisia.
And it seems that Ben Arfa along with Sylvain Marveaux have been looking very good in training, and with Jonas Gutierrez travelling so much to play for Argentina over the last 10 days, Alan may be tempted to start Marveaux against Tottenham on Sunday, although of course the Argentine winger is in top form at the moment.
Alan talked about the fringe players, with special mention on Ben Arfa:
“One of the good things about the free weekend is that it has given us the chance to get the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa up to speed,”
“He is looking sharper in training and there are one or two others that maybe benefited too.”
“It is a chance for Sylvain and Dan Gosling to get that little bit more work under their belt.”
This is the time for Ben Arfa in particular to push hard for a starting place at Newcastle, and he can play as a second striker or on either wing, or even in the center of midfield.
That’s also true for Dan and Sylvain too, since they are also potential starters in the Newcastle side.
But one thing that Alan Pardew will need to work our fairly soon, is where and how to use Hatem Ben Arfa to Newcatsle’s best advantage.
This lad is just too good to be sitting on the bench for too much longer.
Tottenham will be short of star striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who was described yesterday as only 50/50 for the game and will probably not be risked. Emmanuel pulled a hamstring in the last game against Arsenal, but you never know.
But the mood in the Newcastle camp right now is very upbeat, as you may have expected, after such an astonishingly good start made to the season.
But the only thing that matters right now is getting the lads ready for the Tottenham game, where a win would be absolutely fantastic.