Alan Pardew was rightly full of praise for Hatem Ben Arfa, after the Frenchman’s tremendous individual goal after 73 minutes this afternoon, got Newcastle the breakthrough they needed against Bolton.
Newcastle players celebrate Ben Arfa’s wonder goal
Ben Arfa received the ball 10 yards inside his own half in the middle of the park, and dribbled at some speed towards the Bolton goal, beating at least three Bolton players on the way, before slipping the ball into the net past the goalkeeper.
That brought a huge Geordie roar from the Newcastle crowd, and big smiles from manager Alan Pardew,a dn 10 minutes later Shola Ameobi set up Papiss Cisse nicely for his 10th league goal in just nine games.
Alan Pardew had this to say after the game, about the mercurial Frenchman:.
“You don’t see many goals like that and I’ve been lucky enough to see two of them this year – both from the same player. It was a truly special goal.”
“He’s going to get all the plaudits and so he should for a goal of that quality.” “I’ve been pushing this for a while and he should definitely have a chance for the French squad.”
“The French manager needs to understand not only did he get that goal today, he had a hand in our second one as well.”
“We said if we were in there with six games to go, we would give it a go and that’s what we will do.”
“I’ve never ruled it out and if we don’t make Europe with this points total, it will be difficult to take.”
Newcastle got their 5th win on the trot this afternoon, and with Tottenham losing at home 2-1 to Norwich, who were the better side, and Chelsea only drawing 1-1 at Fulham tonight, Newcastle are now clear in 5th position, two points ahead of Chelsea and level on points with Tottenham.
Newcastle’s last five games of the season are against Stoke (H), Wigan (A), Chelsea (A), Manchester City (H) and Everton (A), and it will depend on how many points the lads can pick up in those games, which will determine whether we can automatically qualify for a European place.
Newcastle are also 19 points better off than we were at this time last season after 33 games, when we had only 40 points, so there’s been some significant progress this season, but somehow that seems too much of an understatement.