This Is Why Ben Arfa Is So Important To Newcastle

Hatem Ben Arfa has started the last couple of games in Manchester,  and played as a withdrawn striker, in place of the injured Leon Best.

Ben Arfa – in action Saturday

That has left Demba Ba up front to plough a lone furrow, but Ben Arfa has added some creativity to the side, and as he keeps getting closer to his best form,  he should start to score a few goals.

If he doesn’t score then he can create some chances, and just look at what he’s done in these last couple of games.

At Manchester City, when Newcastle were 2-0 down in the second half,  he dribbled his way past three Manchester City players in the inside-right channel,  and then his right foot shot hit the upright and rebounded to safety.

It would have been so easy for the ball to have gone in,  or a Newcastle player hit the rebound past Joe Hart into the net, and at 2-1 Newcastle would have been right back in it.

And  in the first at the Etihad, he put Demba  Ba through with a brilliant ball that Ba hit first time but England goalkeeper Joe Hart made a great save low to his left.

And then on Saturday the Frenchman made a similar type of run into the box in the second half, again in the inside-right position, and he was fouled by Rio Ferdinand for the penalty, which Demba Ba then dispatched in great style.

OK, so it was probably not a penalty, but that’s not the point.

And in the first half on Saturday he lofted a ball into the penalty area, for Demba Ba, who  hit the ball on the volley,  but straight at De Gea.

Ben Arfa is a threat, and with the mercurial skills he possesses he’s an important player for Newcastle, and defenders tend to panic, when a player of his ability starts running at you into the penalty box.

And of course if the defenders back off, as they did at Goodison Park last season, the mercurial one will smash the ball home and into the back of the net.

We’re quite sure Alan Pardew will be telling the French International to take players on when he’s near that penalty area.

So it’s becoming clear that Ben Arfa gives Newcastle a different option up front, and that’s one reason Alan Pardew was keen to tie up the Frenchman on a permanent deal on Tyneside last January, even though he was still recovering from his broken leg.

Ben Arfa can become a very important player for Newcastle this season, and we’ve seen glimpses of what this lad can do in a black and white shirt in the last couple of games.

We look forward to seeing a lot more of  Ben Arfa’s  magic as the season progresses.

Comments welcome.

82 comments so far


    Nov 29, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #1

    The real Ben Arfa has turned up in the last 2 games, he’s won us a penalty he played some amazing balls through for Ba there is one thing miss a lightning bolt of a goal! Lets see that against chelski HBA! Well done so far though!


    Nov 29, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #2

    Looked good in the last to games, not hiding as much and is actually passing, hopefully he will keep it up. Still has a lot to prove imo

    I dont expect him to score many goals in all honesty but I would be expect double digits in assists if he plays regularly….also expecting a fair few cards for the lad

  • cornishman

    Nov 29, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #3

    Yep he,s starting to get his confidence back, and having had a broken leg myself playing football it does take a little time to” trust” your leg again. Its great to see another playmaker in the team, you know this is the best we have looked since….well we all know when.
    Can,t wait for the weekend.

  • John

    Nov 29, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #4

    Why are we spending 6/7mill on margia? where is he gona play? We have best to come bk aswel, unless he has something the rest dont id let it be until the summer, and buy and cracking LB, Simpson was struggling sat time to see what santon is about.

  • GeordieGerman

    Nov 29, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #5

    John, Simpson had a hell of a game. Anyway he was playing against Young and that can be difficult for anyone. But I don’t remember Young having many chances.

  • Toon_Jock

    Nov 29, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #6

    Off topic, I know… but did I hear a Demba Ba song on Sat against ManU to the tune of K.C. & The Sunshine Band Lyrics – Give It Up?

    ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba DEMBA BA, DEMBA BA, OH, DEMBA BA!!

    Classic lads

  • toonincheek

    Nov 29, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #7

    Big fan of Ben Arfa, naturally, but we need to play a 4-4-1-1 formation to accomodate him.

    What happens if he is not fit? Who can take Ben Arfa’s place?

    Silly question – we all know the answer.
    So we have to change the formation?

    Still, we’ve done well enough this seaon with a 4-4-2 so we are well used to that.

  • ilovetoon8788

    Nov 29, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #8

    he offers something on the pitch no one else in our team can. and he doesnt seem like he was out 9months. if the last 2 games is just him warming up. i cant wait to see him in full flow!

  • Toon_Jock

    Nov 29, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #9

    Agree fully ilovetoon – before he broke his leg I always said, at that time, he was our best player by a mile – opened up defences every game and scored that blinder against Everton 🙂

    Current team I wouldn’t say he’s our best player, but he certainly is our most creative, that’s for sure!

  • Toon_Jock

    Nov 29, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #10

    Oh. And a big thanks for Pardew for introducing him back into the squad slowly – even though I don’t think he liked it! Good management by AP to ensure his fitness/confindence was A-OK

  • seantoon

    Nov 29, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #11

    John he does have something the rest don’t, PACE we lack it in attack

  • Benton Toon Exile

    Nov 29, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #12

    Ben Arfa will score in a Toon win on saturday!

    Gonna have a sneaky tenner!

  • Irish-toonfan

    Nov 29, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #13

    HBA is clearly the secret ingredient in this new look side, the rest of the team has been built on team spirit and consistency but with this lad we can have a rock defence and 2 goals per game with his dribbling and set up play.

  • nufcsg

    Nov 29, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #14

    and I actually appreciate the fact that he confronted Rooney for that wild kick on Capt Colo. I think that’s a very good gesture by him protecting his captain. who knows if Rooney fights back, he sees red. the team spirit in this squad is unbelievable and the feel good factor is back!!! so damn proud of the team!!!

  • veto

    Nov 29, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #15

    that chip with the outside of his foot to demba ba against the mancs was awsome , crazy hard to float a ball in like that with little to no pullback , its was a stunning flick .
    love having players like hatem in the squad again , add that to some of the ball’s cabaye is trying lately, and demba’s movement off the balls , its a good time tobe a toon fan again

  • Hatem

    Nov 29, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #16

    His dribbling is his biggest asset, in Manchester both times, we saw him take the ball past world class defenders effortlessly, he may have the odd non influential game, but if the team spirit stays as it is, he’s a match winner IMO.

  • Dannyo

    Nov 29, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #17

    Cannot wait to see HBA peak, and game by game, he’s getting ever closer.
    A HBA in top form seems near unstoppable. I’m soooo looking forward to the Chelsea game…
    Wouldn’t have said that back in August, lol.

  • martoon

    Nov 29, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #18

    I think he is going to be frustrating at times but worth having in the team for for the brilliant moments. Reminds me of Robert but obviously better and probably works harder as well.

  • Tom

    Nov 29, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #19

    I agree he is frustrating but I think thats becasue he feels he needs to prove himself that has shown against Spurs and Man Utd, he just needs to look for the simple pass more often. However against Blackburn he was really good when he came on and should have assisted and scored. I think one of the biggest problems Newcastle have is creativity, we only have three creative players in our squad. Cabaye is genuinely great, his awareness is fantastic and he picks out players very well. HBA is also capable of this and can bring others into the game. Guthrie is also a creative force and I have been impressed with his passing range and vision. But thats it, Jonas is not a creative player, he is good at dribbling, running, and he is strong, but he doesn’t see things around him and is not capable of picking men out in the box to a good enough standard or at a consistant rate, this is the same with Obertan. I really think Newcastle need another winger who is primarily good at crossing and finding players in the box and he also needs to be creative bringing in others around him.

  • markmac

    Nov 29, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #20

    He’s got some skills, and as said is a very different option to best up front, hope he’ll score soon

  • Dannyo

    Nov 29, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #21

    Anyone seen Bartons comments?
    I do agree that the current boardroom regime is faaaar from having clean hands in more cases than one, but to hit out like this, is just a testament to Bartons bitterness and fantastically huge ego.
    “Myself and other big name players”… Where does he get off?
    I absolutely loathe the man. He’s full of bitterness cause he went to QPR because of their “ambition”, and now we’re performing better than in a LONG time, and cause he’ll never get into the England setup.

    You have 20-25 other players who signed the bonus sheets Joey Barton, now u’re just an old has been, and u don’t like it.

  • Hatem

    Nov 29, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #22

    Dannyo, exactly what I think of him, well said sir. At the time, I was a bit shocked, but we obviously know what we are doing, his huge ego claiming that someone of his calibre, shouldnt have been surplus to requirements is being disproved week after week. Tiote, Cabaye and Guthrie are all better than him, and they aren’t mindless thugs and all.

  • AP's Black & White Army

    Nov 29, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #23

    Barton is one of the biggest twonks in football. Delusional is an understatement.

  • boater

    Nov 29, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #24

    Unsurprisingly, the first three Barton interview comments on here are against him standing up to the owner. Swear you would have ‘property of sports direct’ tattooed on your forehead if Ashley asked you too.


    Nov 29, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #25

    What has my naughty idol said now?

  • london_mag

    Nov 29, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #26

    BEN ARFA!!! Im coming up for my first home game of the season.
    The 2 home games I was at last season were Nufc v Arsenal 4-4, Nufc v Man u 0-0. I think 3-1 to Newcastle and ben arfa will get his first of the season!!

  • Hatem

    Nov 29, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #27

    I’m not supporting Ashley, I just think Barton is an arrogant c***.

  • Hatem

    Nov 29, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #28

    I’m not supporting Ashley by any means, I just think Barton is an arrogant c***, in his playing years here he did a good service, but I never really took to him.

  • kevymartins

    Nov 29, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #29

    We just hada watch putting to much pressure on him and depending on him to much he will become like torres

    and how can he be a secret ingredient to are team when demba is on 9 goals 😀

  • balubas1

    Nov 29, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #30

    He should have stayed away from that Rooney situation.. I don’t blame him because Rooney should have been sent off, but still he should not get carried away like that. A bit mixed feelings though since he clearly is just sticking up for his teammate Coloccini.

  • kevymartins

    Nov 29, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #31


  • kevymartins

    Nov 29, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #32

    I dont mean to sound rude but its ben arfa hes great but hes not superman the way some people make him out to be

  • niffnoff

    Nov 29, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #33

    Kevy, he’s the supplier, and if I am correct did he not get a penalty to give Ba his 9th this season 😉


    Nov 29, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #34

    HBA is Messi in disguise didn’t u know?

  • kevymartins

    Nov 29, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    Comment #35

    @niffnoff true but who gave ba his other 8?

    I dont have nothing against him i even have him on the back off my home shirt ..

    Rember when he broke his leg he was still waving to the geordies classic

  • Hatem

    Nov 29, 2011 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #36

    kevy I have him on the back of mine too. Legend

  • kevymartins

    Nov 29, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #37

    @wwjbd could be lol

    But why would you write he just missing the goals he just missing a lightingbolt goal he was out for a year just give him time to progress himself

  • JP...from The Rock

    Nov 29, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #38

    Hatem – I couldn’t agree more.

  • Dannyo

    Nov 29, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #39

    Do explain why u have to be pro MA, to be against Barton?
    Barton is despicable, and i’m a far cry from singing MAs praises, but u belive what u tell yourself.
    Kind of mindless of u to spout crap like that, looking for an argument? Too long since last time?

  • Robby Bobson

    Nov 29, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #40

    May get critized for saying this, but if we are going to play HBA then i think he should replace Ba in the team.

    Ba plays better withdrawn striker I think and Best holds up the game alot better than Ba.

    Although its difficult because Ba is in such great goal-scoring form and HBA has a touch of class.


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