It’s obvious that Ben Arfa was simply delighted with his sub appearance yesterday at the Reebok Stadium.
Ben Arfa – getting towards being fully fit
The Frenchman came on after 61 minutes and changed the game for Newcastle, and he got the very important first goal on 69 minutes with an exhibition of his great skill.
Ben Arfa hit the ball home first time into the back of the net with his left foot, from Ryan Taylor’s almost perfect left wing cross, after Ryan had been put through down the left by Yohan Cabaye.
Ben Arfa has said today he’s now coming into full fitness and he will show the Newcastle fans a lot more as he gets more playing time – we believe him:
“I want to make something clear,” “I’m nearly 100 per cent fit and if I play, I will show more to the fans and more to the club.”
“I heard the fans singing my name before I came on. It feels really good. The news I can give them is that I’m now close to being 100 per cent fit.”
“The game was very nice for me and I’m so happy to see us pick up three important points. Everything the team did at Bolton was brilliant.”
“I was very happy to see the ball hit the back of the net,” “The main thing for me was to see the fans reacting behind the goal.”
“That was the most pleasing thing for me – it was a goal for not just me, but for them also. It was really comforting to see the fans applauding me.”
And there was more good news today that the knee injury of youngster Davide Santon is not serious, and a scan had revealed there is no damage to the knee.
Davide Santon – back for Liverpool
So Davide will be available to come back in at left back against Liverpool at Anfield on Friday night, as the Italian slowly gets acclimatized to the English way of playing the game.
This is what manager Alan Pardew said about the 20 year-old Italian International today:
“Santon’s knee wasn’t as bad we as thought,” Pardew told the Gazette. “I left him out against Bolton, but I think he’ll be back for Liverpool.”
Those words suggests that Davide could start the game at Liverpool, after two and a half games for Newcastle, in which he impressed at left back for the Magpies and looked an excellent player in the amking.
We also expect Ben Arfa to start on Friday night in place of Leon Best, although Leon worked his socks off for the Newcastle cause yesterday for an hour.
It was a great win for Newcastle and hopefully we can build on that at Anfield.