Newcastle put in the disciplined performance Alan Pardew wanted, and the lads got their just rewards at Bolton with a fine 2-0 win yesterday.
Alan Pardew – with Ben Arfa at end of the game yesterday
And Alan Pardew was a delighted and relieved man after the game, as he had seen his team end their six game run without a win, and Newcastle were left 5 points above 8th placed Stoke City.
This is what Alan said after the game:
“It was important today that we gave a more disciplined performance and I think we did that.” “It’s a nice Christmas present .” “We just felt that we were not far away from getting back to winning ways.”
“We didn’t play to our strengths against West Brom.” “We know our strengths – we know what we’re good at and today was much more like it.”
“We didn’t give Bolton many opportunities today.” “The team was tight and there wasn’t a lot of space for Bolton to play in.”
“In that environment, we can create chances because technically, we’re good with players like Cabaye, Hatem and Demba Ba.”
“In the first half I thought we just rushed a couple of things. In the second, we had a little bit more time and we created the moment.”
Many of our readers wanted Ben Arfa to start yesterday afternoon at the Reebok Stadium, but Alan preferred Leon Best up front alongside Demba Ba.
But as soon as the Frenchman came on for an ineffective Best after 61 minutes he changed the game.
And Ben Arfa scored Newcastle’s first goal just eight minutes later, with a very good first time left footed shot into the corner, following a good Ryan Taylor run and cross down the left wing.
That was the lad’s first goal since he scored at Goodison Park last year, before his horrific double fracture of the left leg he picked up at Manchester City on October 3rd.
And within two minutes a good run and cross down the right wing by Gabriel Obertan set up Demba Ba for his 14th league goal of the season and it was all over.
Pardew has said that Ben Arfa is not yet back to his best form, but he’s getting there, and he was certainly the match-winner for Newcastle yesterday, that’s for sure.
And it was indeed a late but very welcome Christmas present for Newcastle fans everywhere.