Ben Arfa Will Come To The Fore – Alan Pardew

Alan has talked about a couple of players that haven’t been used much recently,  but the Newcastle manager thinks will soon come to the fore.

Ben Arfa scoring that fantastic goal against Blackburn

Over the final 13 games of the season Alan Pardew expects both French International Ben Arfa and Shola Ameobi to come forward and help the team during their vital 13 game run-in to the season.

Newcastle will have their strongest side available playing against Wolves tomorrow, and we expect both players to be on the bench, but they could get playing time tomorrow  depending on how the game goes, against a side who are again struggling against relegation this season.

This is some of what Alan Pardew had to say yesterday:

“Our home form has been strong, the fans have been brilliant and not made us nervous. They have been on our side every game and that is reflected with results.”

“Papiss and Demba coming back for Villa was a big bonus for us because that was a tough game. But my focus this week has been on Tottenham and making sure we put that into context.”

“Because even with my best team I think on that particular day, they would have beaten us.”

“We have got players, who have been underused this year but I think they are going to come to the fore, like Ben Arfa and Ameobi, who haven’t featured lately.”

“We are going to need people who can unlock the door and these players are going to start featuring as well.” “So although I will be picking my best team, it will be interesting to see how it pans out.”

We’ve noticed that Ben Arfa is a source of discussion on the blog, but we don’t subscribe to the view that if he doesn’t come through this season, then it’s now or never.

Not at all, and we have to remember that he basically was out all last season with that terrible injury, and this is his first real season in English football.

And the lad has 3 assists and 3 great goals, one of which was probably the best individual goal ever scored at St. James’ Park in the 120 years history of it being the home to Newcastle United.

So in that context the lad has done well,  and his stats this season are good in that in 17 appearances he has three goals and three assists, and in 21 total appearances for Newcastle he has 4 goals and 3 assists.

Alan Pardew is trying to sort out how and where to play him in the team, and the 8 times capped French International will need to improve his work rate a little, and not lose the ball so much.

But he’ s got those mercurial skills that can unlock any defense,  and he can still be a valuable  player for Newcastle this season, and then when we finally get back into Europe.

Shola Ameobi has looked hopeless in the last few games  he’s played,  and we know he’s a lot better than that,  so we have to hope that Shola can still get some  goals for the side through the end of the season.

Not every player can start of course,  but  Newcastle need to make sure over the summer months that we have enough good players in the squad, who can come in and get the job done for the side.

We haven’t had enough of those types of players this season  if the truth be told, and that’s one area we think Newcastle will be trying to improve in the next transfer window.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

32 comments so far

  • Toon_Tom

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #1

    How can he talk about Ameobi and Benny in the same context???

  • Smule

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #2

    Benny in just behind the 2 dembas would be perfect with three in midfield ….. tiote/cabaye/guthrie or jonas.

  • FatmanJoe

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #3

    embarassing isn’t it. I used to stick by shola – remember his game against Portsmouth after big al was finished!? But it’s been too long and too little. Time to go I’m afraid.0

  • Lachu

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #4

    i think , he s talking with the mackem game in mind , he might aswell start shola and benny , leaving the dembas on the bench to come on in 2nd half devastate the mackems

  • ParisToon

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #5

    Like him or loath him Shola has the ability to keep the ball up the the oppositions half, true he seems to have lost his spark but he is NUFC through and through. A good squad player who against the unwashed has scored goals. Like the post on the previous threat HBA is in his first EPL season he will improve but Pards needs to nurture his skills and adapt him to the best for his team, results and position at the end of the season will show how best he has been able to do this.

  • FatmanJoe

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #6

    I don’t really think it’s enough Paris – might as well have heskey. I think your strikers should be able to find the net regularly

  • Wor Shearer

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #7

    Pardew! with all due respect, please stop talking about Shola.

    Arfa’s surely gone in the summer, especially if Pardew puts him in the same category as Shameomi.

  • SurefootedShola

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #8

    I’d like to know the precise minutes on the pitch HBA has had. It’s all well and good saying 17 appearances, but I’d take a guess that half of those have been 45 mins or less. I’d say it probably works out to be about 12 full games with 3 goals and 3 assists. If anyone could do a bit of research I’d appreciate it, as I’m on my travels today.

  • GeordieDan

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #9

    Unfortunately it speaks volumes that Pardew is now mentioning Ben Arfa in the same breath as Strolla.

    Benny has played just a tiny handful of Premiership games and everyone expects him to play like Rooney on steroids! How long did we give Colo and Enrique and was patience worth it with them?

    Its a shame his eagerness to show us what he can do has almost been his downfall as he’s lost possession taking on too many players when a simple pass was maybe the better option. It will come in time but I really really hope we don’t sell him soon because he’ll be outstanding given time.

  • SuperShearer

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #10

    God forbid that a professional coach like Pardew might know a bit more than us fans who is going to do what kind of a job for the team. Ben Arfa had a career threatening injury last season and was out for the start of this, he gives the ball away too easily and his work rate is frustrating. Pardew’s job is to win games and HBA, as good as he is, needs to help the team rather than himself much of the team. C. Ronaldo was like this when he first came to the EPL and HBA can learn from looking back at how he adapted. Strolla is frustrating but he is a squad player that has done played a role for us in the past. If HBA was willing to say to AP “I’m happy out wide right in a free role” I honestly think he’d start most games but AP likes a 4-4-2 and Benny isn’t strong enough to be one of two midfield players.

  • Wor Shearer

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #11

    Honestly, Shola ‘hold up’ abilities are not as great as some ppl make them out to be (on here).

    An example was at the Villa game, we were trying to kill off the last 30-40 seconds and someone gave it to the big man. He “ran” to the touchline (not the corner flag) and immediately lost the ball as two Villans tackled him from either side. He made no attempt to get pass or move up the pitch or get the ball back once he was tackled… made the last few seconds VERY nervy. (although I’m used to very nervy endings when we’re 1 goal up with a couple of minutes to play).

    I know it’s only morning and the Shola bashing’s already started….but what’re gonna do?

  • John

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #12

    Here’s one I cant understand AP siad after the spurs game that we lost coz he used to much of an attack mined team How? Jonas and obertan are hardly ofensive players guthrie is a holding player, perch is a CB if that is to ofensive ow in the name of god is HBA going to get into the team?

  • Beattie25

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #13

    I was about to write something very intelligent but a nureofen pop up advert has made me loose my chain of thought

  • SurefootedShola

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #14


    AP has more waffle than a NY diner. Analyse almost any interview he does and he seems a bit dim beneath the surface.

  • John

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #15

    I hope he considers moving Santon to RB and Raylor to LB, HBA to the RM, with he jonas swapping posistions during the game. Heres hoping.

  • Beattie25

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #16

    If HBA doesn’t get a start against Wolves I will vomit on my match programme.

    I mean he was born to attack players, open up doors, create magic and all you lot care about is how he ‘tracks back’. That aint his job. If Simmo wasn’t so shitBenny would start every game.

    The perfect formation is with Guthrie, Cabaye and Tiote in a 3 midfield, Demba and Papiss up front and Benny given a free role just behind.

    Attack, attack, atacck instead of thinking about defence and let the CM act as the support and track back.

  • davybtoon

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #17

    Wolves appoint terry Connor as manager what a joke appointing mick McCarthy assistant that’s them doomed for relegation no injection of energy by new manager coming
    3pts tomorrow me thinks

  • Burni

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #18

    Aal reet lads..

    Strongest team IMO

    Simmo. Colo. Saylor(willo for now). Santon
    Guthrie. Tiote
    Ben arfa. Ba

    Three cm’s to combat any team. Ben arfa for skills and even ba for skills. What do yous think?

  • Burni

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #19

    Beattie….. How unusual

  • davybtoon

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #20

    Hba shud b starting but I think left wing n move jonas over to ryt wing

  • ParisToon

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #21

    Dont worry Beattie I have womens underwear ads keeping me from losing my train of thought!

  • Indian Magpie

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #22

    I have seen People dfend Shola here and they mention his qualities and may i say, that none of them are Football related.

    PPL say, he is a geordie, he is loyal, he cares about NUFC.

    these could be said abt half the ppl on here, i just hope for the sake of his career HBA leaves toon i will wish him all the best from the bottom of my heart.

    I still remember he waved at NUFC crowd at MAN CITY, when he strechered off with a double leg break

  • FatmanJoe

    Feb 24, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #23

    It’s not just tracking bak tho, it’s losing the ball outside theIr box after good build up, general work rate. Tryin to do too much. He’ll get there. Someone else said it – ronaldo first season

  • Brutooon

    Feb 24, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #24

    Shola Ameobi DONT CARE about NUFC !!! Every time he lose the ball, his face is like “i dont f****g care”

    Shola Ameobi is crap, currently a League Two standard of Striker

    HBA is a world class player

  • Oleg G

    Feb 24, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #25

    Benny and Shola? Are they twins? Why are they in the same article? post? sentence? Benny is a great player and Shola is an old useless players most of the time. How he talks about both of them like – here are my 2 great players from the bench or whatever. AP, you are crazy man. You owe Shola some serious money or something, otherwise I cannot explain why he is still in the team. He should have a contract in another team and come to us only when we are playing Scumderland.

  • Brutooon

    Feb 24, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #26

    HBA won trophies for Marseille and Lyon (maybe next NUFC)

    Shola Ameobi STOP NUFC from winning any trophies because of his SHITNESS

  • jesperfuglsang

    Feb 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #27

    My professor at the Aarhus School of Architecture ones told me doing projects; kill your darlings!

    Meaning, that the idea itself might be good, but in its context it didn’t really do any good for the project as a whole.

    So Pardew, a little advise even though I am no PL Manager – when it comes to tactics and your beloved 4-4-2, remember “kill your darlings”! 😉

  • steinhof

    Feb 24, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #28

    Indiantoon, the fact that you put what you see as whats best for 1 player over whats best for NUFC tells me all I need to know about you as a “fan”

  • Magpie_Man

    Feb 24, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #29

    We can’t play with 3 cm because ba and Cisse are really strong and in the air and can cause problems between the defence of wolves when that bal is whipped in. For me, I’d go
    Raylor tiote cabaye Hba/Guthrie
    Ba Cisse

    Would help to take Jonas out cos he needs a kick up backside

  • Jinky Jim

    Feb 24, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Comment #30

    AP,s nose seems to be getting longer and longer

  • BeastNUFC84

    Feb 24, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Comment #31

    i laugh at your comment saying we know shola is better than this am sorry like but ive known for years he is crap, not good enough for newcastle united


    Feb 25, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    Comment #32

    “but Newcastle need to make sure over the summer months that we have enough good players in the squad,who can come in and get the job done for the side”????

    What has this if anything got to do with Shola and HBA?

    The squad needs to be ready for the start of next season! And the summer months are for watching the Olympics and the Euro,s! And praying none of our French Internationals don,t get crocked!


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