Ben Arfa Difficult To Handle – Can Be Big Player For Magpies

Ben Arfa is back fully fit again according to manager Alan Pardew, and he looked good in the second half for Newcastle in their 1-0 home win over Wigan yesterday.

Ben Arfa – can do things other players can’t

At the moment Newcastle are joint 3rd in the Premier League with Chelsea on 19 points from their 9 games, and are 4 points above Liverpool in 5th place.

Ben Arfa is likely to start the game at Blackburn Rovers in the 4th round of the Carling Cup on Wednesday evening,  as a second striker, which he played in the second half yesterday, in a slightly withdrawn role.

Ben Arfa came on for Leon Best and he changed the look of the Newcastle side in the second half, and the lads played much better than in the first half, when they looked a little lackadaisical.

Ben Arfa looked in good form and after the game Alan Pardew again said he expected Ben Arfa to become a big player for Newcastle, and he also the Newcastle manager had this to say about the 6 times capped French International:

“Hatem can do things other players can’t – but he’s not going to be calm, come in normal time, work and go home. He’s not that type of character.”

“We’ve managed him OK so far. Whether that continues I don’t know but up until now he’s been great. He’s in great shape and looking to play again.”

We have every confidence that Alan Pardew will be able to handle the mercurial Frenchman at Newcastle, who has a reputation for being difficult to handle at his two previous clubs, Lyon and Marseilles.

But as Alan says, he’s been fine so far at Newcastle, and we expect the 24 year-old to begin to get a lot more playing time in the Newcastle first team, starting on Wednesday night, with potentially a full 90 minutes at Blackburn.

Certainly Newcastle looked a more creative side with Ben Arfa playing in it, and the lad almost scored just before the great winner by Yohan Cabaye, his first goal for the Newcastle club.

Certainly Newcastle fans seem to be looking forward to seeing the Frenchman start more games, and maybe if he can hit top form ina  few weeks, who knows, he may be able to keep Newcastle high up in that league table.

But first things first, and the next game is on Wednesday at Blackburn, where a win will take Newcastle into the quarter finals of the Carling Cup.

Howay The Lads!!

27 comments so far

  • Charlietoon

    Oct 23, 2011 at 1:53 AM

    Comment #1

    He had one shot at goal that was just class and I can see him being far more effective in a couter attacking role. If he can get onto the ball at pace he can unleash an accurate striker with his first touch much like Cabaye. Bout time Cabaye got one as he been due all season.

  • toonincheek

    Oct 23, 2011 at 2:00 AM

    Comment #2

    Some good touches yesterday but lost the ball too many times. Speed of thought is missing at the mo’

    Playing as a withdrawn striker, he isn’t going to get the same space as he did against Everton last seaosn, where he just waltzed past players. It’s a bit different when you are up against the last line of defence.

    Top player – real class and will show it in time. Not sure where he played before he joined us – midfield/wide? Or withdrawn striker?

  • benarfa23

    Oct 23, 2011 at 2:07 AM

    Comment #3

    i’m starting to worry about hba he not even a half player he used to be

  • BengGaBoy

    Oct 23, 2011 at 2:19 AM

    Comment #4

    At times, quite a pain to watch. All passes to HBA always result in pass back to the passer.

    And he hold the ball too long before he decided to do a back pass again.

    His crossing doesn’t seems convincing enough with such slow speed and height crosses.

  • 2_goal_tino

    Oct 23, 2011 at 2:23 AM

    Comment #5

    Firstly @3- ridiculous he’s played a maximum of 200 minutes of football in a year. However much he does in training it is game time that counts. He’s shown enough in his cameos to suggest he still has that bit of spark/creativity/ class to make a difference.
    On a side note, he doesn’t play the percentage game, sure he lost the ball a couple of times today, but he did against Everton last year as well. The difference being that if he;s on for 90 minutes he’s more likely to do one or two unbelievable things which will change the game and when that happens we’ll forget about the times he ran into players.

    Secondly, i don;t know what Pards is doing with HBA, he’s said a few times in the media about how he’s got a tough personality to deal with then says he’s been good up until now. If i was Hatem i’d be getting annoyed at him, alternatively Pards is just sort of laying down a challenge to Benny to behave, which he’s done so far!

  • AP's Black & White Army

    Oct 23, 2011 at 2:35 AM

    Comment #6

    Play him then! That’s the only reason he has for being grumpy! He is cutting a frustrated figure, but with starts, not needing to pack everything into 30 mins in order to impress, he’ll shine.

    It’s no coincidence we transformed when he came on, especially with the added introduction of Marveaux. Those two, Jonas and Cabaye, are certainly on the same wave-length.

    Ba will be drooling at the prospect of playing in front of those 4. 😀

  • niffnoff

    Oct 23, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    Comment #7

    Not many people know, but Ben Arfa has had a bit of a temperament problem, some people I know watch the french league and said that he’s good, but sometimes has that temperament. But we all know he loves it here (otherwise why invite Yohan and co)

  • dublin mag steve

    Oct 23, 2011 at 3:39 AM

    Comment #8

    i will probably be lynched for this but i was very disapointed with ben arfas contribution yesterday he lost the ball cheaply on four occasions and a better team could have punished us but maybe hes rusty cos he aint played much footy.

  • al

    Oct 23, 2011 at 3:49 AM

    Comment #9

    I kno pards said he will be used as a number 10 but I really think we’d get more out of him on the wing, at the mo our wingers have much freer roles, he’s better with space to run into and players to beat, and say on the right he could cut in and use his creativity with reverse balls and one-twos to burst into the box. He can create angles with his intelligent play which are great to breaking apart defences, but it is alot more difficult to do from a central starting position. What you guys think?

  • likeajediknight

    Oct 23, 2011 at 4:03 AM

    Comment #10

    ridiculous comments, judge the man after a season not 45 minutes. the lad is a technically gifted player theres no doubt he’ll be a success if he remains fit, its that which i worry about, but he changed the dimension of the team today, as most people would dropping back like that, but our passing completion rose in the second half and i think our better chances too came in the second half (bar Best’s header). Give HBA a chance to impact the game like we know he all can (Everton)…


    Oct 23, 2011 at 4:52 AM

    Comment #11

    What frustrated me today was the amount of times the wigan back line pushed and pulled ben arfa and got away with it. There was even an incident when hba was about to play a ball back to cabaye going away from goal and 1 of those dirty latic defenders scissored his leg aswell and still got off with it! that ref was either very poor or a closet wigan fan!


    Oct 23, 2011 at 5:35 AM

    Comment #12

    Benny also frustrated me a few times when he dwelled on the ball 2 long and ran into trouble and when he wouldn’t stretch or make an extra step for a very slightly under hit pass a few times aswell.
    There were also a few occasions when these little things that frustrated me nearly lead 2 a wigan come back but that never happened! we won the ben arfa experience wasfrustrating in a few different ways but it was all part of the excitement near the end. =D

  • HKTP

    Oct 23, 2011 at 7:47 AM

    Comment #13

    I thought he was decent, cant really expect too much from him at the moment as needs a few more games under his belt. Would be nice to see him hit form when we play the big teams. I also saw him attempt a back-heel which didn’t pay off and lead to us being counter-attacked. Whilst I like to see moments of magic, I didn’t feel it was necessary for him to do that. He wouldve looked a right plum if it led to a goal.

    I only watched the 2nd half yesterday and what struck me was the fact that we are closing down fairly well. Our strikers are putting pressure on, and it leads to less pressure on our midfield and defence. Working hard and closing down as a unit rather than 11 pri-madonnas.

    Credit to Wigan, they made it very diffult to break them down and had a few good chances themselves. I feel that the teams of the past wouldve grown frustrated and gave up rather than kept trying. A very satisfying result. HWTL

  • bills-son

    Oct 23, 2011 at 7:54 AM

    Comment #14

    Like Tiote – who wasn’t match fit for the first 2/3 games – HBA will take a few games to get his touch and form. But no matter how good his form is he is going to lose the ball in central positions playing as a withdrawn striker – and I doubt he’ll chase back to get the ball. I want HBA in the team, and Marv as well, but they will change the way we play – a way that has seen us undefeated in 9 league games. It will be interesting to see how the other players, who all work hard and close down, react if HBA just shrugs his shoulders when he loses the ball. If HBA can add a work ethic to his game he’ll be massive for us.

  • Alnwick Mag

    Oct 23, 2011 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #15

    Yeah it’s too quick to judge yet. I am a little worried his temperament being questioned tho!

  • Rotonda heights

    Oct 23, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #16


    what do you mean not many people know he is temperamental !! Everyone knows he is and that has always been a cause for concern, but we just hope he knuckles down. No guarantees though, just fingers crossed.

    Incidenally was it his right or his left leg that got smashed as he seems very much a one footed player?

    Have to say Marveux is the one for me. He rarely gives the ball away and always gets his head up. We do seem a lot better when ben Arfa comes on for Best though, as we start keeping it on the deck better rather than Simpson’s painful long balls.

  • jimbo efc

    Oct 23, 2011 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #17

    just like to say….well done newcastle the way your playing reminds of the season everton got in to the champions league if your still there by crimbo who knows……good luck

  • Stuart

    Oct 23, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #18

    Hahaha, not many people know hes temperamental niffnoff?

    The lad went on strike at marseille and flew himself to the toon to force through a deal!?!

  • mikeashleyisamackem

    Oct 23, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #19

    jesus lay of benafa,he hasnt even started for us yet ,theres some right neggs on here have none a ya heard of PMA ,benny will be a godsend for us in games like wigan who just really sit and play on the counter ,he has moments of magic in him ,yeah hes not the hardest worker but nor was ginola are people gonna slate him ,we can afford 1 luxery player and thats what weve got in benny ,trust me the good times are back because hes the guy who will fire us to a champions league spot ,i cant wait to see barton nolan carroll enrique at a toon reunion they ll be gutted when we get champs leugue ,im beaming about this newcastle side .

  • mikeashleyisamackem

    Oct 23, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #20

    woop woop

  • moonraker

    Oct 23, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #21

    Can’t believe HBA is getting criticism after only a few minutes playing time.

    Yes he lost possession a few times and didnt perform miracles yesterday but FFS give him time.

    He will be a huge star if we dont look after him someone else will so please be patient and not too demanding. He is a genius and were lucky to have him!!!

  • mikeashleyisamackem

    Oct 23, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #22

    i feel like all me prayers have been answered,1 top notch goal machine in january and some defensive cover and theyll be talking about us winning the league lol

  • mikeashleyisamackem

    Oct 23, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #23

    am gonna have to change me name but only if ashleys shows ambition in january

  • pinkorbrown

    Oct 23, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #24

    A little bit off topic, but i would like to see marveux in for obertan. Marv has looked a lot more dangerous in the couple of games as sub than obertan has all season. obertan seems to run out of ideas when he gets into opposition half


    Oct 23, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #25

    Ok i did the UGLY comment about how hba was man handled constantly. I did the BAD about how he at times didn’t try hard which nearly lead to an equaliser. Now for the GOOOOD! He did show some flashes of brilliance like the space he wriggled into to fire in that testing shot, he linked up really well with cabaye immediatly & our midfield/attack was a stunning entity to behold especially when marveux was on aswell wow! He made his own stamp on the 2nd striker role which i like to see a bit of invention and taking a tired back4 by suprise!! if pardew play’s him from the start in the next few games we’ll be flying even though i still have faith in best!!

  • niffnoff

    Oct 23, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    Comment #26

    For the ones who don’t do their research on my comment lads 😉 forgive me it was late when I posted! haha.
    Some people used to just think players appear from no where 😉

  • Starnufc

    Oct 24, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #27

    yeah i think benny looks rusty but hey out for a year and playing a new position that he never played before as he said when he was on his tour in the USA… but the not passing thing is something we should worry about wit his temper!!!! but i like him but not sure if he is our savior like some people think


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