Ben Arfa is slowly but surely returning to his top form, and of course he scored a wonder goal for Newcastle on Saturday against Blackburn in the FA Cup.
Ben Ara scores on Saturday – the greatest goal ever seen at Newcastle?
At the time Ben Arfa was playing on the right wing, and there’s not too many many players who can score a goal like that.
But I must admit to when I was nine years old scoring one like that at Harbottle Park in Newcastle, but I beat about three more men (make that boys) than Ben Arfa did on Saturday and I hit the ball into the net with my right foot.
What net – in truth it was just inside the right hand coats that marked the post , and isn’t it strange how the memory seems to even improve as you grow older.
Ben Arfa is already a hugely popular player on Tyneside, and that was his third goal for the club and each one has shown the skill this lad possesses.
It was also a very important goal for Newcastle because it brought us right back into the game, and it’s skill like this that can unlock opposing defenses, when they are trying top shut the game down.
And it’s important for the French International to keep scoring those goals and setting up chances while we are without Demba Ba, who is away on International duty with Senegal at the African Cup Of Nations.
The goal on Saturday was one of the greatest goals ever seen at St James’ Park, it’s just as simple as that, and maybe Alan Pardew will now give the lad a starting place in the side, even if it’s on the right wing.
Ben Arfa knew all about Newcastle when he joined the club last January for around £5M from Marseilles, and he knows we haven’t won a trophy since 1969.
And the last time we won the FA Cup was back in 1955, when we thrashed Manchester City and the Revie plan by a score 3-1 with goals from Jackie Milburn (who else?), Bobby Mitchell and George Hannah.
This is what Ben Arfa told the local press today:
“For me there is no better cup competition than this.” “It is one of our objectives this season to do well in the competition.” “Newcastle want to win this cup, because it’s a very big cup.”
“With this cup, you can go to Europe – and that can only be a good thing for the profile of this club.” “It’s been a long time since this club won a trophy, and we want to win something.”
“If we win, it would be very good for the club.” “But there is a long way to go in the cup.” “We just have to keep going round by round.”
“By doing well in the competition we can give something back to the supporters and the club.” “The Blackburn game was a great one for me personally, but even more so as a team.”
“It was very important for us to win two games together – it was very good for the confidence.” “We showed very good character, because it’s hard when you go behind.”
Newcastle will play Wrexham or Brighton in the 4th round of the FA Cup, but it’s an away tie, but with our strongest side out we should be able to make it to the 5th round.
And that’s certainly the target of Alan Pardew, who would just love to have a long run win the FA Cup this season.
And if we make it to Wembley the likelihood is we’ll be in the Europa Cup next season, even if we don’t win the thing outright at Wembley.
Newcastle are again getting close to becoming one of the big clubs in England, and there’s a good argument to be made that we have the 7th best side in the land right now.
A good January transfer window when we get in a center-back and a center-forward, followed by another good summer transfer window could get us into the top six next season.
And that’s not too much of a pipe dream right now either, and remember we always have Ben Arfa, who can score goals like he did last Saturday!
Howay the Lads!!