Newcastle will have a challenge when their top striker Demba Ba goes off to represent his country Senegal, in the African Cup of Nations next month.
Ben Arfa – after scoring first goal at Bolton on Monday
But the strikers who will be left, Shola Ameobi, Peter Lovenkrands and Leon Best are the ones who had to step up the plate in February, after Andy Carroll had left for Liverpool, and all three of them came through for Newcastle then.
And that’s why we are fairly confident that they will come through again, and step up to the plate for the Magpies while Ba is away.
And of course somebody who wasn’t available last February, Hatem Ben Arfa, can also fill in for Demba Ba, and the Frenchman can certainly hit the net, as he brilliantly showed on Monday afternoon at Bolton, for Newcastle’s crucial first goal.
Alan Pardew has come out today and identified 24 year-old the French International as one player who can get the job done for Newcastle, while top striker Ba is off in Africa:
“When Demba goes away, Hatem is going to have to come to the fore, we’re going to need him,”
“He’s finding his feet, he’s had a couple of games and a couple of cameos now as well, and he’s starting to look like his old self.
“He’s had a terrible injury, you must remember that.” “But that goal will have done him no harm whatsoever.”
We are really hoping that Ben Arfa can get back to his best form this season, but we’ll have to be patient, as it was a terrible injury the 24 year-old has had to come to terms with over the last year.
But the signs are very promising that Ben Arfa is getting back to somewhere near his best, and we hope to see more of Ben Arfa’s best form tomorrow night at Anfield.
And young 19 year-0lds Sammy Ameobi and Haris Vuckic have shown they have an eye for goal too, and could help Newcastle while Ba is away on International duty.
For the record Ben Arfa has appeared 15 times for Newcastle with two goals, since signing initially on a loan deal in August of last year, before he was signed for about £5M on a permanent deal last January.