Ben Arfa Can Take Magpies Into Champions League

Ben Arfa is starting to show at Newcastle just what a special player he is.

Ben Arfa – after scoring great goal against Bolton

But those in French football have known for a long time that Hatem Ben Arfa had mercurial talent, and he was well regarded when he came on loan to Newcastle from Marseilles in August of 2010.

At the time he had a bad boy image, and was having trouble with his Marseilles coach,  Didier Deschamps, who captained France to a 3-0 win over Brazil int he 1998 World Cup Final in France.

But of course the 25 year-old’s terrible injury he  picked up at Manchester City in early October of 2010 didn’t help things at all, and he was out of the game almost a year recovering from the injury.

Alan Pardew seems to have turned Ben Arfa into a better player this season, and the French International is now a hard worker on the field, and does his fair share of defensive duties.

Alan Pardew had this to say about the Newcastle talent:

“It’s a technical ability that can carry the ball at full speed and manoeuvre the ball at full pace. That’s what he showed in his goal against Bolton.”

“There are not many who can go that quickly and manoeuvre the ball exactly where you want it. The great dribblers can do that. But he has got a little bit more in his locker than that. “

“He is quite clever with a pass.”  “Gerard Houllier said to me when I first arrived here and we played Aston Villa – he had come to watch Villa – and he said to me he was a precocious talent.”

“One of our special players, and if we could get him anywhere near the talent he has, then we would have a special player.”  “That’s how highly-regarded he is in France, and that wasn’t lost on me.”

“But he’s had a bad injury – he’s had a terrible injury – and he has had to work really hard. He has a lot of pressure on him from people around him who expect the special, but he is beginning to produce it and we are the beneficiaries of it.”

Newcastle fans will be hoping Ben Arfa can maintain his form over the last five games of the season.

And if he can, then there seems no reason that Newcastle cannot be back in the European Champions League next season, and if we don’t make that,  then hopefully we can qualify for the Europa League.

Qualifying for European competition  at Newcastle for the first time since 2006,  is just what the Doctor ordered.

And Ben Arfa can help get us there in the last five games of the season.

Comments welcome.

210 comments so far

  • ~Perchinho the Pheonix~

    Apr 13, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #1

    I’d be shocked if he doesn’t make the French squad.

  • Whistler

    Apr 13, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #2

    I think he should make the French squad if he performs consistently in the remaining games of the season, he’s a real class act….as for champions league qualification, looking at the fixtures I seriously doubt we can squeeze in ahead of Spurs but you can never say never, it’s a he’ll of an achievement for us just to be in the frame even. Let’s hope the bin dippers can take Everton at the weekend and virtually guarantee us European football next season….

  • Wor Shearer

    Apr 13, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #3

    Another piece of good news is we’re up against the two lowest scoring sides in the division.


  • Tramp

    Apr 13, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #4

    My mouth honestly waters at the thought of European football, Champions League or Europa!

  • billy15

    Apr 13, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #5

    Does anyone know when Sylvain Marveaux will be back from injury? Him, Cisse and Ben Arfa will be amazing as a three pronged attack. Hopefully he can come back for the Man City and/or Everton game and that will give us a real good shout for Champions League.

  • Whistler

    Apr 13, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #6

    Tramp…agreed. Being back in Europe would put us on the footballing map again….I get goosebumps thinking about those European nights….Ginolas volley against Ferencvaros, Bobby Lee’s headed hatrick in Antwerp, Asprilla then Ameobi tearing Barcelona a new one….happy days!


    Apr 13, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #7

    Ben Arfa and Ba will take the Papiss

    Together they will fire us into Europe. Which competition time will tell

  • Klatoon

    Apr 13, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #8

    He can actually pick a pass. Notice that in tight situations where others would go the safe option n boot it upfield he gets his head up n conjures room for the pass.

  • Klatoon

    Apr 13, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #9

    …except some of his team mates dont want to receive it on the edge of their own box…ahem,willo 🙂

  • LGFUAD21

    Apr 13, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #10

    Ob the subject of Ba’s clause. It puzzles me.

    Why would we put that in his contract. In the summer we had all the leverage in the deal to get Ba.

    There was little interest in the player despite the fact great work he ahd done at West Ham and he was looking at a season in the Championship and a paycut (from Sullivan himself). He washardly in a position to demand this clause.

    Also it doesnt fit with the way we did business. We rejected Gervinho over an attitude problem, why wouldnt we reject Ba for making these demands too.

    On top of that, rumours have surfaced that we agreed to clause on basis of a dodgy knee. Thats nonsense, who would want to buy a player for £7m if he had a dodgy knee that exploded. I think thats why his wages are low to account for that risk.

    Anyway, as much of a shame as it will be to lose the lad at least we will not lose money on him (although with the fee structure and what we paid in sign on fees we will only break even on him). Its a shame that we may not get the big money he is worth but could be worse. There is also the minimal chance of a bidding war.

    It’ll be a test of character.

    Could just be lazy journos putting goal drought, new role, Cisse’s form together with old speculation.

    Big game against Stoke. Every game is like a cup final for us now given what we could potentially achieve this season. Sure Pardew will have angered and Ba enough and he himself will be so goal hungry, and determined to show Stoke up again.

    We MUST play 4-3-3 though. IF we were at Britania then yes 4-4-2. But we need 3 up front given Stoke’s hoof ball tactic.

    Think Tiote, Cabaye and Jonas have the potential to own them in midfield.

  • Sazzer

    Apr 13, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #11

    At least we can hope he will be back for the last three games. According to physioreport he should be back in training.

  • billy15

    Apr 13, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #12

    Yeah hopefully he would be back for the last three games, even if he doesn’t start, he would be good as an impact sub. He can offer something different, run at players, cross from the left hand side and even take a few shots. And on top of that he hasn’t played enough for people to know how he plays. Could be a good asset for the final games.

  • Grafton83

    Apr 13, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #13

    As good as his goals were he does still make mistakes defensively. There have been quite a few occasions where he has turned and lost possession in our own half in the last few games. Don’t get me wrong I think he’s a good and potentially important player for us but he is not perfect.

  • out of toon

    Apr 13, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #14

    grafton83 – even messi makes mistakes…

    and fair play play to the lad he’s suffered one of the nastiest injuries i’ve seen in a while, maybe a bit jittery? He hasn’t played that many games since coming back, and tbh he hadn’t played that many games before he got the injury. I would wonder if half the team have any idea of what he’ll do next (which explains why he has got himself into trouble in some silly areas) – he seems to be a good few seconds ahead of everyone on the pitch at times.
    he has a very bright future, HBA is still very young and he seems to be enjoying his time at newcastle. We all know how badly the lad wants to play in a european competition and here’s hoping we’ll be there after the match on saturday night. I’m just chuffed he’s wearing black and white, and not the baby blue or red shite im sick of seeing alot of quality players wearing these days

  • out of toon

    Apr 13, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #15

    and also pards will certainly make sure those mistakes disappear 🙂

  • Beattie25

    Apr 13, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #16


    Every so often I read something that makes me want to return to my old angry ways in which I attack the stupidity of a fellow posters blog.

    9 time out of 10, in my current optmistic state, I let it slide. But unfortunatley this is that 1 time where I cannot bear to read it and be silent.

    Criticising Ben Arfas defensive duties is one of the most idiotic post you can ever put. It was said months ago and each time I tried to tell the blogger that the point being made is senseless.

    Ben Arfa is an attacking player who should focus first and foremost on attack. If he is caught in a defensive position and tries to take a player on, loosing the ball in the process, it is then up to Benny to retrive it
    (or more logically) allow one of the defensive players to do their job whilst Benny gets into a forward position.

    You have picked the most obvious criticism for no reason whatsoever other than to nit pick an amazing player. What your aim is in doing so is baffling .

    Next you’ll be critisising Tiote on his lack of goals or Colo not taking on a man. Whilst we are at it, why doesnt Krul get forward more to support the attack?

    Go back to reading nuts magazine alone in your bedroom and leave the incisive discussions, interesting debates and logical conversations to people who know what they are talking about. Opinions are welcome and should be expressed but spouting rubbish is annoying.

    I am not the blog police, and I apologise to all offended but that post was a joke.

  • scottoon

    Apr 13, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #17

    I will be firmly behind the bidippers tomorrow. Never thought I would say that, but the notion of this side in Europe has me salivating. I miss those matches. Before anyone slates me for gettig behind Liverfool, I would rather us do it on our own merits (we have all season) without anyone else’s help, the lads can push on and get the CL spot. That would be a great accomplishment.

  • out of toon

    Apr 13, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #18

    well spoken beattie

    its tha sound of tha police!!!!!!!!!!!

    just watched highlights og nufc vs barcelona
    asprilla hattrick
    two of the greatest headed goals st james has ever seen kudos to r lee

    hopefully next season it’ll be cisse banging them in against the catalans

  • toonLYF

    Apr 13, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #19

    if Ba leaves, i will be sad, but it is eased massively by the fact we have, an undoubtedly better striker in Cisse. I’d be pretty shocked about Ba mind as i really didn’t have him down as that type of character, but c’mon, if we could bring in Hoilett or Johnson, we would hardly miss him? i think we could get Hoilett for 7m max on about 45k p/w, and Johnson for about 5-6m on 55k p/w, i would rather Hoilett, but Johnson is an absolutely class player, i’ve been reading people slating him, saying city fans think this and that of him, how about making your own opinion on him judging by the way he plays? he’s one of the best wingers in this league ffs

  • scottoon

    Apr 13, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #20

    Beattie and Grafton – I tend to agree more with Beattie, but I think it bears saying that while we were all clamouring for HBA to be included in the side, AP was working on his commitment to the team mentality. Now he seems to understand, and is showing up in areas of the pitch where he might make “mistakes”. Bottom line, is you would rather see him there working for the team, than walking at the centre stripe not making the commitment. Yes he is an attacking player and he should do what he does best, but he is a Newcastle player and under AP that means all oars in the water lads. Team commitment is what has set the Toon apart all year. Long may it continue.

  • Sazzer

    Apr 13, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Comment #21
  • davybtoon

    Apr 13, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Comment #22

    on demba ba no one even knows if this clause exsists in his contract jus bcoz floppy chops says he has it everyone thinks its true, hav the club confirmed or denied no n they dont seem to b in any rush to offer him a new deal which u think they wud b if it did exsist, n ive said all along i bet its a relegation clause which he has had in every contract
    if he wants to go his hometown club far enough id wish him well as long as he dosent go to another prem club
    and another thing will even pass a medical anywere

  • Dubstepderp

    Apr 13, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Comment #23

    Believe Santiago Munez is gonna be a true story… in the form of Ben Arfa ! Take us to the Champions League !!!

  • out of toon

    Apr 13, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Comment #24

    n we all know how much rubbish spews from the mouth of droopy eh
    i just love watching him squirm and try to give reason as why tottenham have no spine

  • out of toon

    Apr 13, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #25

    ha johan cruyff linked with liverpool

    can’t believe henderson cost them 16 mil
    and downing 20

    they can have guthrie for 18!!!!

  • check the toastie

    Apr 13, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Comment #26

    Ben10’s inclusion in the team is the overridding reason why we have gone 5 league wins in a row, its because of the chances he takes in our own half that produces quick incisive counter attacking football, oh my god, how can anybody critisize how the lad plays his football when he is not only producing moments of outstanding brilliance, but is now working harder than he has ever done at any point in his career.

    Beattie – felt exactly the same way after that Grafton comment, talk about negative for the sake of it. maybe last week he should have just ran the ball into the corner to keep possession eh, the mind boggles, anybody notice him do a trick in his own half at the beginning of that wonder goal, i know i did, took a chance, thats what hes in the team for, not looking after simpson IMO.

  • out of toon

    Apr 13, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #27

    backroom staff overhaul – i heard they’re sacking the head cleaner tomorrow… severance payment of 12 million pounds

  • out of toon

    Apr 13, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #28

    well said check

    why bother with comments like grafton’s
    HBA is fast becoming an toon idol

  • check the toastie

    Apr 13, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Comment #29

    For my part and it is 100% total speculation, i think Ba will move on in the summer, he knows his stock will never be higher, and it is his big chance to grab massive wages, think Everton will be his last game for us unfortunately,

    Might be in the minority here, but if we did pocket over 10 million, then i think we cud sign somebody more suitable to play in our now preferred 433 formation, his touch and energy have been lacking lately, not sure why.

    Will Ba go onto greater things at a different club, I dont think so, personally think his career has peaked against Man Utd?


    Apr 13, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #30

    Strange how quickly people are forgetting how fantastic BA has been!!Anyone remember this: or these:

  • gazzaforever

    Apr 13, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #31

    Very well said, Beattie25, and Grafton83, sir, you are a penis.
    Asking an attacking player to defend especially a gifted one is killing his stamina for his attacking role, and you wont see goals like the one against bolton from a player who spent his time defending , thats just plain stupid

  • ToonJovi

    Apr 13, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #32

    If we lose Ba and gain 4Mil and sign Hoilett on a free then i think were laughing! i would take that now! Hoilett would kick ass in a forward 3 with Ben Arfa and Cisse!

  • ToonJovi

    Apr 13, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #33

    maybe even get Victor Moses as a back up to! i think Ba is great and could have an outstanding future at the Toon but if he goes i think we could get over it pretty quickly 🙂

  • Charlietoon

    Apr 13, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #34

    Okay LGFUAD21 I’ll explain it for you.

    Pards – So Demba you have a dodgy knee but your free and you have scored some goals. We are only going to offer you a small wage but a decent length of contract as we believe in you.
    Demba – But boss I am amazing. You should pay me lots as I am score to a bucketful
    Pards – But we dont know that do we and we are taking a risk no one else will
    Demba – But what happens if I go and score 15 to 20 this season?
    Pards – Well we want pay you that money ‘just in case ‘you do we need to see more from you and you need to prove yourself before you get a big wage. Lets face is more likely you knee will go than you will score that many goals.
    Demba – I dont want to be the best striker in the premiership stuck on a small long term contract
    Pards – Okay we’ll here is a compromise. We’ll give you a 7 mill release clause so if you want to go you can. Cant make it more than that as we are only paying you small amount.

    Demba –

  • martoon

    Apr 13, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #35

    Beattie – I’ve missed your rants. Are you adding Grafton to the BLOBB list. 🙂

  • AlwaysTOON

    Apr 13, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #36

    Question of the day:

    How many players have scored a hattrick on SJP i PL.. (92)

  • AlwaysTOON

    Apr 13, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #37

    for newcastle ofc

  • Beattie25

    Apr 13, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #38

    Only graffton is on there the rest were set free

  • Tsunki

    Apr 13, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #39

    before I jump on the beattie bandwagon i would say in grafton’s defence that it might be more appropriate to say that, while he is not expected to be defensive first, he does have a duty to be defensive – minded in certain situations. I believe what many saw as a liability to his game was that he was not particularly conscious of the team situation when contemplating his runs sometimes, and failed to visualise when it would be safe to do so and when not, especially at times when simmo was overlapping and leaving us exposed at the flank.

    To be fair to HBA, only match time will get this right, and slowly he has improved, and I believe it is this that pardew has slowly made him aware of. It isn’t necessary for HBA to track back and do simmo’s job, but he should be mindful how much work he potentially shoves his way!


    Apr 13, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Comment #40

    Everyone saying we need a winger to play in the 4-3-3 like HOILETT.I totally agree but surely that wud spell an end for Gutierrez starting every game as hes not a CM????Anyone??

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