Leon Best Out And Steven Taylor In For Stoke Game

Ben Arfa is on standby to start again on Monday night with Leon Best now definitely being ruled out tomorrow night because of tonsillitis.

Leon Best – scoring at Villa Park earlier this year

But Ben Arfa didn’t show much on Wednesday night, and it seems that manager Pardew is still undecided as to who could come in for the 25 year-old Nottingham born much improved striker at the Britannia Stadium.

This is what Alan said today:

“Leon has tonsillitis, so he’s a doubt for Monday night – he’s suffering,” “I need to see one or two in training to finalise my team and how we’re going to effect Stoke.”

“I don’t think it’s a gamble on Steven Taylor. If he puts himself up for it, he’ll play,”

“I can understand him wanting to wear a mask against Stoke. I’m sure he’ll get tested if he plays.”

And as we reported earlier today, the Newcastle manager does not think Leon Best doesn’t work hard enough, and Newcastle have been stunned that Giovanni Trapattoni has again ignored the Newcastle striker for the Ireland squad to take part in the Euro 2012 playoffs against Estonia in November.

Trapattoni has said before that Leon Best doesn’t work hard enough when he plays for Ireland, and news today that Leon will become a father soon, so that’s his life changed forever. 😀

Alan Pardew had this to say today:

“We don’t agree with that,”  “You could argue over my 10 months he’s the one that’s improved the most.”

“But he’s at an age where the international scene can come back to him. He’s only 25-26 years old  (note – he turned 25 on September 19th), and he’s going to be a father soon.”

“In the past maybe his reputation was warranted.” We didn’t work hard enough, maybe he was a bit loose around his professionalism. But you couldn’t say that now.”

It could be that Peter Lovenkrands gets the start to team up with Demba  Ba tomorrow night, since the Danish striker is in good form at the moment.

What do you think?

Comments welcome

115 comments so far

  • dmac

    Oct 30, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #1

    Hope HBA manages to recapture the form he was showing before he broke his leg! Stoke are tough but im confident we should spank them.

  • Eyeball81

    Oct 30, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #2

    loverman could be just what we need against stokes big lads in defence, a bit of pace a bit of movement…couple that with ben arfa running them ragged in the second half…could get a result!!

  • PapaToon

    Oct 30, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #3

    I wonder how many guys will say now that we Santon should be starting and Ben Arfa should be starting. It takes a while to get back to speed after injury so need to give HBA some time. Santon, has played in england before so he will also get some time, remember jose enrique first season. nzogbia use to be preferred ahead of him.
    I think at stoke the way they tackle we should keep HBA for the bench.
    we might play 4=5=1 just because of the injuries, this is the real test now how do we cope with injuries.

  • Stuart

    Oct 30, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #4

    I’d still say to start Santon over Raylor like, also HBA should play on Monday for Best rather than Loverman.

    I’d also like to see Marv start ahead of Obertoon.

  • connor_nufc

    Oct 30, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #5

    marv has to start 2moro ahead of obertoon

  • catchy in norway

    Oct 30, 2011 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #6


    you where one of the guys attacking me for wanting to drop obertan, and now you want to put a left winger on in place of him,, wow he must be bad :(,,

    as i have always said, obertan is not a good player, and never will be,

    and before all you obertan lovers get on my case and say give the lad time, or look who he had in front of him at man u, id like to point out that the guy had the same opertunities at man u as valencia or nani, yet those 2 came good,

  • Lee Dodd

    Oct 30, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #7

    Keep The Squad as it is But Put Peter in To Link Up With Ba !!! H.B.A is still not up to speed’ Stoke are not the side to throw him in with – Keep him for the Everton Game He Likes Everton they Let Him Score !!!! Obertan Will be ok ..

  • geoff777

    Oct 30, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #8

    Obertan looks pretty good to me.
    Not perfect that’s for sure, but he’s shown enough flashes of brilliance to show that if he settles and gets good coaching and a long run in the team he’s got the makings of an excellent right-winger.

    Fantastic how a fan from Norway can so so much more about our players than the club’s scouts, manager and coaches.

  • catchy in norway

    Oct 30, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #9

    geoff,, it says catchy in norway,,NOT from norway, im from wallsend ye dingbat

    and omg sorry for having an opinion on a player who has shown us pretty much nothing since he has been here,
    and as for scouts , managers and the like,, how many players have been bought on the strength of a video tape???

  • Sholameobi

    Oct 30, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #10

    HBA was ineffective against Stoke last year and I doubt it would be any different this year. With the small pitch they’ll be little space to exploit in-between the defence and midfield and stoke will come in hard and HBA has been very hesitant these last few games.

  • geoff777

    Oct 30, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #11


    As soon as you went for the personal insult you lost the intellectual argument.

    If you want to keep on showing your ignorance of football in a public forum just carry on posting.

  • roblee7

    Oct 30, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #12

    id personally stick with Ba with Ben Arfa just behind, Stoke may struggle with his pace and he needs the games. granted, he’s struggled a bit since he came back and looks a yard or so off the pace, but it will come with time. i had an ankle break when i played (many moons ago) and it took me AT LEAST 10 games or so before i felt as confident going in to the 50/50 tackles and i felt very sluggish. and remember ben arfa’s injury was a lot worse than an ankle break!

    Off topic, but any of you guys interested in old school footy shirts I have loads for sale on ebay at the mo, n i defo do them cheaper for toon fans! here’s a link:


  • catchy in norway

    Oct 30, 2011 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #13


    im sure you have been called a lot worse in life, and i could have said something far worse,

    its called banta, but maybe your a mackham , ooohh now thats bad

  • roblee7

    Oct 30, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #14

    as for obertan, yes, he’s not brilliant (yet), but still very young and has played in all of our games this season, which see’s us lying 4th in the table, possibly 3rd come monday. he’s doing something right and although his crossing and ability to go past his man are questionable, his work rate has impressed me and with some good guidance and increased confidence (if that lad scored a goal, it could be all he needs), i think we potentially have a very good (and cheap) signing on our hands. Oh, and Catchy, the difference with Nani and Valencia is Man U paid a phenomenal amount of money for them 2 and Obertan was very cheap, he was always going to be 3rd in line behind them 2

  • GeordieGerman

    Oct 30, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #15

    Fight fight fight.

  • Offkey

    Oct 30, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #16

    @ Catchy

    There have been a lot of talented players go to Manure and not get in to the team like Nani or Valencia. Man U did the same with a player called Zoran Tosic at the time Obertan was there. Tosic was a bright prospect scouted by a number of teams, he played for them twice and was then sold to CSKA where he is a regular…….so many other names could be mentioned.

    But I suppose there are also the Alan Smith type players who have been sold as well. In any case, I believe Ober will come good (but I dont think he has been that bad).

  • catchy in norway

    Oct 30, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #17

    @ roblee

    price has nothing to do with a players ability, , tiote was about 3.5 million and look at him,

    he was bought by man u for 3 million, and sold for 3 million, he played and trained with some of the best coaches and best players in the world, yet his crossing is ,,well at very best,,, poor, his work rate is ,, hmmm,, check the stats yourself, he is forth best behind cabaye 1 tiote2 jonas3, ,
    he loses the ball alot, makes very poor choices while on the ball, now you have to wonder is it confidence or ability he is lacking,,, look at alan smith,, that guy runs all day, puts himself about, but i wouldnt want him in my team, same goes with obertan,

    i see we have better options in our squad who should start before him,


    Oct 30, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #18

    Well in this agrument I am on GGs side

  • niafron

    Oct 30, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #19

    Bonjour messieurs.

    Play HBA. As i told past week, he need to play. I witnessed that several time with him in the past. He need to play three or four games in a row.

    Furthemore, Bény personal case puted aside, the team was really better agianst Wigan with playmaker and one striker, rather than two strikers.

  • catchy in norway

    Oct 30, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #20


    he will only get better by playing from the start, id start with him also

  • GeordieGerman

    Oct 30, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #21

    I think whoever plays tomorrow. That they will be up for a fight and geared to win. Just because of the table situation.

  • niafron

    Oct 30, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #22

    Yes, will be a tough game however. Talking of table situation, i start to worry about Arsenal coming back.

  • roblee7

    Oct 30, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #23

    catchy….overall, im not saying i love obertan, just think he could develop if we are lucky, but i have seen worse players in my time and would definitely rather have obertan in squad than routledge. if i was Pardew id see Obertan as an impact sub, but Pardew obviously is keen to keep playing him for whatever reason but yes, id rather play marveaux or ben arfa any day

  • jesperfuglsang

    Oct 30, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #24

    Somehow this is good news – at least in my opinion. We need a strong defense against Stoke and Collo and Staylor are our best partnering by far. I would like to see Santon though tomorrow.

    As for Best, I must say he still doesn’t do it for me – no offense, but come January or next summer when we get our Carroll replacement I can’t see Best getting anywhere near our 11 best.

    So hopefully we’ll field a 4-2-3-1 formation tomorrow. And we need a strong midfield against Stoke, with Tiote out. So a 5 man midfield is our best choice. I would like to see Abeid instead of Guthrie in our midfield though.

    All this “if it ain’t broken why fix it” is going to be our downfall, because what happens when things start to not go our way – how will we react, when we only know how to play 4-4-2. We need to get this 4-2-3-1 formation right soon, and we need to get the best out of HBA soon.


  • Alinufc

    Oct 30, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #25

    @catchy obertans shown nothing? he was practically our biggest threat against blackburn (the 3-0 game) absolutely ripped givet to bits with his pace. I will agree he hasnt been up to the fanfare some people say he is cos hes from manure but to say hes shown nothing is (in my opinion) absolutely rubbish

  • catchy in norway

    Oct 30, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #26


    to me both routledge and obertan are pretty much the same player 🙁

    id play one of those 2 instead also

  • sith

    Oct 30, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #27

    i think obertan provides more defensive other than the others..i thinks that’s why AP choose him..
    although i would love to see marveux and vuckic starts against stoke..

  • SwedishMagpie

    Oct 30, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #28

    ————-ben arfa

  • catchy in norway

    Oct 30, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #29

    here are the highlights of the blackburn game,

    im not in any shape blaming obertan for the goal they scored ,, but,, check out his defensive cover , 3.25 mins, and other than the pull back in the first 10 mins of the game, he did very little, and from waht i can remember there left back was the worst player on the pitch and was limping in the second half

  • tjrowe89

    Oct 30, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #30

    any1 have any ideas why goslin isn’t gettin a look in? imo he’s got the talent to be better than guthrie.

    could ov given him a game against b’burn nd with tiote out now would prefer him in there than guthrie

  • planb

    Oct 30, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #31

    Bestys played his usual nine games so thats him out until xmas

  • TemuriKetsbaia

    Oct 30, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #32

    Can’t see Santon playing away to Stoke. If he thought he was getting fouled at Blackburn he aint seen nothing. Raylor to start.

    Obertan keeps getting caught on the ball and putting the team in trouble. His final ball has been poor so far and he doesn’t work as hard as the rest. That’s a lot to put right – but we should get behind him if he plays – maybe he does just need a run of games to improve his confidence and fitness. Not sure about his attitude as well though.

    HBA needs to stop trying to play the most difficult pass and just link up with Cabaye to find space. He’ll get chances to affect the game that way.

    I’d be well happy with a draw: 1-1 Ba.

  • catchy in norway

    Oct 30, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #33

    spot on with all you just said 🙂

  • calvinzolamakongo

    Oct 30, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #34

    We go 9 points clear of 8th if we win 2mo unbeleivable

  • boater

    Oct 30, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #35

    need a win after the psychological blows of defeat plus injuries. we won’t miss Best that much based on the past few games- sorry but I’m still not convinced, unless he scores he’s a passenger.

    Ben arfa and marveaux need the starts, and I’d love to see vuckic and sammi brought on if things are going away from us in the 2nd half.

  • jesperfuglsang

    Oct 30, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #36


    I am with you on this boater 😉

  • davybtoon

    Oct 30, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #37

    Why ppl hav decided to pick on obertan I don’t kno as someone has said he has been one of the reasons were ryt up in the league he needs games to build confidence n marveux is pushin for his spot real hard, I like both so wudnt mind which one plays but why don’t we switch n hav jonas ryt wing n obertan/marveux left wing, Simpson is the player under threat from santon, as rtaylor as been class n proved me wrong big time
    Question now is who takes the free kicks with cabaye n rtaylor n also marveux is brilliant at free kicks aswell

  • toonashwin

    Oct 30, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #38

    Smalling out for a month >>>>

  • GeordieGerman

    Oct 30, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #39

    boater, a lot of Ba’s goals have been assisted by Best. A very unselfish striker.

  • ToonDownSouth

    Oct 30, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #40


    I wouldn’t move Jonas when he’s been arguably our best player this season. I’m also not sure how Raylor would do without Jonas’ cover.

    I’d just leave our left side completely alone to be honest


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