Newcastle Joint 4th Top Of Premier League With Spurs Losing


Newcastle found a way to win a very close game against Bolton at St. James’ Park this afternoon, and it was the skill of Frenchman Ben Arfa that made it possible.

Mercurial Ben Arfa – after scoring Newcastle’s first goal this afternoon

The way this lad has been playing over the last few weeks, suggests strongly he is now back to his very best form and he’s very mature too.

And on 73 minutes this afternoon he got the ball about 10 yards inside his own half and went straight forward and ended up putting the ball into the back of the net (yes – with his left foot),  for another aastonishing individual goal from the French International.

Here’s a short video of his goal in case you haven’t yet seen it – and the commentator is quite excited.

Immediately after the game today Alan Pardew said the Newcastle players will only concentrate on the next game, which is against Stoke a week come Saturday:

“We’re just looking to the next game,”  “But we’re not discounting the Champions League. It is there in front of us but we’re having a bit of fun about it, teasing ourselves and joking about it – which is a nice way to be.”

“Hopefully in three years time that won’t be the case, we’ll be a little bit more serious about it. Don’t think we’re going about it flippantly. We are going to try and win every game and see where it leads.”

It was a really tough game for Newcastle today, but they mounted increasing pressure on Bolton as the second half went on, and the breakthrough was a spectacular one, and Ben Arfa was probably the difference between the two sides today.

And on 82 minutes great play by Shola Ameobi led to the second goal from Papiss Cisse, which was the killer for Bolton.

Shola beat his man on the half way line and moved down the right wing, and rather than shoot he put a beautiful ball over to Papiss Cisse, who tapped the ball home for his 10th goal of the season in just 9 games.

With Tottenham losing at home to Norwich City 2-1 today, Newcastle are level on points with Spurs on 59 points,  which beats the total Glenn Roeder got in 2006 by one point, when he won six of the last seven league games.

Chelsea play tonight at Fulham in a televised game, and we’ll be watching that one, as Newcastle have put pressure on the Blues. If they don’t win,  then Newcastle will remain in 5th place, which gets  automatic entry  into the Europa League.

And with 5 games remaining we could even beat the 69 points Bobby Robson got in 2003, or even the 71 points he got in the previous season, both of which qualified for the Champions League.

Wonder if Alan Pardew can win 10 of the last 10 league games – he’s half way there now. 😀

Comments welcome.


234 comments so far

  • Barras

    Apr 9, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Comment #1

    (H) v Stoke
    (A) v Wigan
    (A) v Chelsea
    (H) v Man City
    (A) v Everton

    It seems that we will probably need to win our next two games if we are to have a chance of qualifying for the Champions League, because how hard our last 3 are. Make no mistake, the last game of the season is going to be so tough, Everton are a very good side at the minute, one of the hardest to play against in the Premier League.

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  • Barras

    Apr 9, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #2

    Obviously having said that, there are no easy games in this league.

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  • Spuggy

    Apr 9, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Comment #3

    Come on Fulham, make it a perfect day!

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  • Wor Shearer

    Apr 9, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Comment #4

    I know we’re all looking up atm. But I wanted to add that 1 more win and we will have locked up a top 6 finish at a minimum!

    Great work!

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  • Rodney Cisse

    Apr 9, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Comment #5

    If Fulham win we just need three wins 2 draws for champions league.

    We have momentum something Spurs don’t have and Chelsea have other worries.

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  • check the toastie

    Apr 9, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Comment #6

    Critique from pitchside – repost sorry

    Not sure whether people who cant get to games appreciate this but simpson currently appears to have put on weight and lost interest, bizarrely, he needs dropping for Perch against Stoke, who seems to want to bleed for the club, Williamson has upped his game and is covering for simmo in my opinion, the lad is totally carried, no more whinging but had to say this as it is starting to nark.

    Another magic moment from Benny and a world class save from Krul have kept our march going, we need a break and i look forward to seeing Tiote and Guthrie back as the team is now lacking energy, Cabaye(who played canny) and Jonas looked Goosed.

    Cisse is class and Shola is the best impact sub in the league, as for Ben Arfa, wouldnt swap him for Bale and how much is he supposed to be worth, exactly the boy is Gold pure and simple, seems to have lost a few pound and oh my god what a footballer. For me you can Stick your Ginola’s and Robert’s never worked for the shirt like this lad, absolute genius.

    Santon and Fergy were canny second half as well, all in all crowd were patient and got their rewards, not many crowds clap their team off when they are drawing 0-0 at home against alleged dross, it happened today and it was enlightening, shows the class of our support.

    Champions League were having a laugh………..

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  • MagpiesFlyHigh

    Apr 9, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Comment #7

    Off thread but…
    Demba Ba will rise again….don’t knock him..
    ALL top strikers have lean spells — Van Persie recently ??? Torres ????

    He is playing a crucial role in our front three.
    If he’s angry then fine he’s hungry and not complacent.
    I rate Pardiola as a man manager and he will get him right – we are not talking Tevez the prima donna here.

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  • 9

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    Comment #8

    Barras@1 I like your final sentence; now, delete “Everton” and insert “Newcastle United”, and it reads equally true.
    I fancy both Chelsea and Man City will be thinking about that amended sentence…………….

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  • Hatem's better than Messi

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    Comment #9

    We’ve a good chance in the last five games.

    Wigan will be tough, they fight well.

    Chelsea could be in an FA Cup final three days after we play them.

    Stoke are mid table playing for nothing.
    Man City and Everton could be in a similar position.
    Disappointed with nothing to show for the 2011/2012 season.

    I don’t think it’s a bad run-in.

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  • CODARM (The poster formely known as Ibizatoon)

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Comment #10

    Check…we’ve been known to not always be on the same side of discussion, but that was one good read 🙂

    With Collo back, might not hurt to put Perch in at RB. Worst case scenario it will give Simmo something to think about

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  • CODARM (The poster formely known as Ibizatoon)

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Comment #11

    ANother re-post

    Hatem…Absolutely not. Ba shall receive his daffodil bashing later. In reality though, no, he shouldn’t be acting that way (I’ve not seen it, but from peoples comments I get a good idea). He’s part of the team and the team doing so well should be the priority. I also understand his frustration, he was the man, the talk of the toon and cisse and to some extent HBA have well and truly stolen the show. That would likely get the best of most people. My point was not that the behavior was correct, but perhaps the best way to deal with the situation would be to get behind him and not sing songs about him or get on his back and try and utilise a striker who has scored us 16 goals this season and is currently our top scorer and one of the main people we can thank for being so close to Europe.

    Considering the amount people have slagged off our own players only to see them shine and then have a complete re-think about those players, I find it extremely short sighted people would go on about Ba. Just my opinion

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  • geordiejamie89

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Comment #12

    I wasn’t impressed by Demba Ba’s attitude today. He seemed to be under the impression that he’s more important than the team win. He’s number 19, not number 9. Yes he’s had a good season, and I hope he stays, but I won’t be disapointed if he’s sold and the money is spent wisely.
    Hatem Ben Arfa is amazing, he’s the Premier League’s Messi at the minute. And Cisse keeping up his goalscoring record, he’s really something special.
    Best Toon squad (first 11) i’ve seen. We need a bigger squad though.

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  • PIBID (the poster formerly known as hattambenarfa)

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #13

    Right guys have spent the last 2 hours number crunching, all stats are only for players who have played over 10 games this season

    Our most valuable player (highest win % with) is MIKE WILLIAMSON, 65%, followed by 61%, leon Best

    Our most valuable player (lowest win % without) is guttierez, 0% (only missed one game) followed again by WILLIAMSON 38%

    Our least valuable player (lowest win % with) is Obertan 43%, followed by Tiote 44%

    Our least valuable player (highest win % without) is Ba 75%, followed by Obertan 67%

    Makes interesting reading…

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  • pbNcl

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    Comment #14

    Take a bow the legendary alan pardew. When he first came I labelled him a yes man and wrote him off.
    Ill not forget him for this season whatever happens, forget KK

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  • MagpiesFlyHigh

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Comment #15

    CODARM

    Spot on m8

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  • Hatem's better than Messi

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    Comment #16

    @geordiejamie89

    I think that’s it. Just disappointed with Ba’s attitude.
    Rocking the boat when we don’t need it.

    If Pardew can man-manage him and turn it into a positive … that’s cool.
    But I hope we don’t play 442 just to try to keep Ba happy.

    433 was working so well.

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  • matt11_25

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    Comment #17

    and cheick tiote said, “we will be in the champions league”.

    and into the champions league they went.

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  • CODARM (The poster formely known as Ibizatoon)

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Comment #18

    MFH… 🙂

    So did we play 4-4-2 today then? Or was it interchanging between that and 4-3-3?

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  • MacToon

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Comment #19

    Ibiza, it could be that people are being fickle criticising Ba the way they are.

    HBA continues his fine form with another fabulous goal and Cisse the goal machine strikes again.

    HBA’s grin when he was subbed said it all………….. don’t think he’s stopped smiling yet!

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  • CODARM (The poster formely known as Ibizatoon)

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    Comment #20

    Chelsea will be well up for this game. If, they win by 2 goals they’ll go 4th on goal difference. Come on Fulham, you know you can do it!

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  • PIBID (the poster formerly known as hattambenarfa)

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Comment #21

    so what do we think williamson first choice cb XD, Ba would be no great loss, its amazing how badly stats can reflect performances…

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  • Spuggy

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Comment #22

    443 didnt work 1st half today, we played much better 442 with fergy on the left.

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  • CODARM (The poster formely known as Ibizatoon)

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Comment #23

    MacToon…Surely not 😉

    As for Benny grinning…he is not alone!

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  • Hatem's better than Messi

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #24

    @MacToon

    Ba wasn’t smiling when he was subbed.

    Anyway great 3 points with the Spuds losing.
    Hope Fulham can beat Chelsea.

    Go to sober up and go out with the in-laws … should be fun. 🙁

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  • MacToon

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #25

    I’m sure we didn’t play 4-4-3 first half, ref might have summit if we had!

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  • pbNcl

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #26

    I’ve got endless patience with Ba, I’m just thinking there may be something behind it. The psg ba thing jus won’t go away for me

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  • MacToon

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #27

    summit to say*

    Read again Hatem’s better than Messi!

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  • Hatem's better than Messi

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #28

    No we were 442 first half and most of the second.

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  • Barras

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Comment #29

    How could anyone not be disappointed if we sold Ba. I can’t comprehend that irrational thinking. No way.

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  • matt11_25

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Comment #30

    at work couldnt watch the match. Hearing more spat about BA makes me sick.

    He hasnt even played striker at times lately. Against liverpool he was man of the match playing basically LM. Every offensive move started with him beating a player on the dribble or a superb link up pass.

    BA is great dont hate. I personally want a striker pissed off at playing out of position and hungry for goals. He was lone striker in spurts for the first time in a while against swansea but we had no possession

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  • pbNcl

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Comment #31

    Let’s for Godsake not drive Ba out tho. He deserves the very most from us, we owe him a great deal

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  • MagpiesFlyHigh

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Comment #32

    CODARM

    First half we seemed to have very little width or wing play.
    My video stream was shockingly slow but it looked more like 4-2-2-2. When Fergie came on we got a bit more width… and as for super sub Shola on the wing!!.

    Second half was more like a 4-3-3 but all a bit hybrid as they crowded the midfield – but we didn’t go to a 4-5-1 so… what are your thoughts ?

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  • CODARM (The poster formely known as Ibizatoon)

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Comment #33

    pbNcl…tbh, his general demeanor lately has been off. Played some good football, but has seemed less sharp. However, all players go through some bad form and thank god we have other players to step up. The Ba situation will sorts itself one way or another, as fans, all we can do is support along the way

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  • CODARM (The poster formely known as Ibizatoon)

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Comment #34

    MFH…Have only seen Benny’s goal (which was beautiful!) – so can’t really comment. I think we expected a tough game, that was likely to be pretty unattractive. Whatever we did today, obviously worked, so credit to Pardew and the players.

    Sounds like Fergie had an ok game, which is good. As for super sub shola…so glad he’s found a role that suits him and we can finally get behind him 100%

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  • CODARM (The poster formely known as Ibizatoon)

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    Comment #35

    West ham pulled it back to 3-3 🙁 Poor hoots

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  • Rodney Cisse

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Comment #36

    Something interesting the Mackems are closer to relegation than they are to us.

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  • pbNcl

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #37

    So proud right now mixing it with the big spenders. And don’t the media just hate it XD

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  • xmindcrimex

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #38

    I see Ba’s reaction, more like a reaction of someone who’s got a winning mentality. So it’s probably more to do with him not being happy with his performance or recent form.

    If people start singing about Ba negatively on matches, then I think they need to take a good look at themselves.

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  • CODARM (The poster formely known as Ibizatoon)

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #39

    Rodney…Thats some mighty good reading there 🙂

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  • achtoon

    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Comment #40

    We are now officially the top north east team for the 11/12 season. Sunderland can’t top our points total. Back to how it should be.

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