Nothing was seen of Ben Arfa yesterday, even though Newcastle were hammered 5-0 by Tottenham.
Ben Arfa – future at Newcastle looks a little murky right now
And Alan Pardew played all his substitutes, but Ben Arfa was not one of them, as he gave Shane Ferguson, Dan Gosling and Peter Lovenkrands run-outs in the second half.
The last time Ben Arfa played for Newcastle was in the first half at Blackburn a week last Wednesday, when Newcastle were lucky to be 1-0 up at the half, but Ben Arfa did not have a good game, and he was replaced by James Perch at the break.
And it seems to us that Alan Pardew may be starting to think the Frenchman is a liability, especially in the big tough games like yesterday.
And that’s because Ben Arfa loses the ball too much, but that’s his style of play, because he takes on other players.
It seems the right wing is the best spot for the 8 times capped French International, and he has played some good games for Newcastle this season.
And of course he scored that phenomenal goal against Blackburn at St. James’ Park in the FA Cup 3rd round tie.
But Pardew likes his players to work hard and to go back and defend, and that’s one reason his replacement out on the right wing yesterday, Gabby Obertan, was replaced by Shane Ferguson at half time yesterday.
Gabby is not good at going back and defending, although he’s a good player moving forward.
Former Newcastle star Chris Waddle had this to say about Ben Arfa yesterday:
“Ben Arfa is Ben Arfa. He had the same type of problems at Marseille.” “He is unpredictable on his day, but we have also seen what he can do on other days as well.”
“He scored a world-class goal against Blackburn.” “His problem has always been consistency, he is always in and out.”
“Newcastle fans love people who are passionate about the shirt and show what they have.” “They like players who put their foot in, Tiote is a popular player who plays for the shirt.”
“Newcastle fans love entertainers.”
Ben Arfa is an entertainer, there’s not doubt about that, but he will find it difficult to get a regular place in Pardew’s Newcastle side.
And we think in the next game against Wolves, the fit again Ryan Taylor will be out on the right wing, and Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote will be back in central midfield, in what looks our strongest side at the moment.
Simpson Coloccini Williamson Santon
Taylor (R) Cabaye Tiote Gutierrez
And because our goal difference is so poor at zero, we could do with the two lads up front Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba, knocking those goals in when we play against the lesser sides.
We have to remember that Tottenham were in good form yesterday, and they are definitely one of the top three teams in the country and we are not – not yet anyway.
But it’s going to be hard for Ben Arfa to nail down a starting position in the Newcastle side, given the way Alan Pardew likes his teams to play.
For the record Ben Arfa played 4 times with one goal last season before his broken leg, and he has 17 appearances with 3 goals and 3 assists this season.
What do you think?