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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Oh No – Ben Arfa A Major Doubt For Saturday

7:06 pm, Thursday, December 13th, 2012 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 136 Comments

Alan Pardew revealed some worrying news today that Hatem Ben Arfa’s hamstring is still causing him some problems, and he is now doubtful for Saturday’s game at home to Manchester City, and the visitors are overwhelming favorites to win the game.

ben arfa after scorng great goal

Ben Arfa – after scoring superb goal at Fulham

Pardew took Ben Arfa off in the second half at Fulham on Monday night, after he had been our best player and scored a wonderful opportunist goal, and he made a tremendous difference to Newcastle’s play with his flair and imagination.

But the Newcastle manager has talked about how the hamstring injury is still causing the mercurial French International some trouble:

“For this game we have a bit of a concern over Hatem and whether he will be available. His hamstring has a little bit of a problem and we’re still trying to get to the bottom of that.”

It’s one of our toughest games of the season on Saturday, and in the same fixture last year we went down 2-0 in our second last game of the  season, and the season before that we lost 3-1, shortly after Alan Pardew took over.

And the way we have been playing has not garnered much hope from Newcastle fans that we can get much out of this game – especially without Ben Arfa in the team.

Hatem has been a tremendous signing for Newcastle and he’s played 14 times this season with 3 goals and 3 assists,  and overall he has made 48 appearances for the Magpies with 10 goals and 10 assist, and that’s not a bad record at all, given that he missed almost a year with his double leg fracture.

The Frenchman will be a big miss on Saturday if he cannot play – but the most important thing is to get the lad fully fit again.

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Tags: Hatem Ben Arfa · Injuries · Newcastle News





136 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jail for Ashley // Dec 13, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Having Cheryl Ferguson turn up as his Santagram is too good for Ashley.

  • 2 Big Pappa Cissé // Dec 13, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Our injury record this season is a complete joke

  • 3 Nufc-83 // Dec 13, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Best not to risk him as even with his brilliance realistically we are going to lose. Would rather have him ready for winnable games although the way were playing there’s not many of them.

  • 4 MacToon // Dec 13, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    :lol: One of the better ones Jail.

    Maybe he (Hatem) was rushed back too quickly!

  • 5 Graeme // Dec 13, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    We just go plan “B”

    Park the bus; then play 6 – 3 – 1 lol. If it starts to get tough, we can go to plan “C” of 7 – 2 – 1, just to keep them honest, obviously!!!

  • 6 MacToon // Dec 13, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Graeme, I was thinking 5-4-1 or even 5-5 might be best ;-) but sod the white flag, let’s get at them and make SAF’s day.

  • 7 Transfer Sage // Dec 13, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Don’t risk him if he is not fit. There are much more important games than man city coming up.

    Rest him and try marvoux

  • 8 Jail for Ashley // Dec 13, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Hopefully more Jedi mind tricks from our under pressure manager, with any luck the tactically naive Mancini isn’t pals with AVB or he might get rumbled.

  • 9 Joe Blog // Dec 13, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Oh well, just means we’ll get beat 6-0 now, rather than 6-1.

  • 10 Dannyo // Dec 13, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    A bit too soon on Monday me thinks.

  • 11 Graeme // Dec 13, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Mac, we could of course just say FCUK IT. Go balls out full on attack for 90 minutes; do a Keegan on them – play to score 5, if we concede 4, so what lol.

    I doubt Mancini would expect it and by the time he had it worked out, we would be 3 or 4 in front!!

    Whats the worst that can happen? We get handed our arses on a plate? But that’s likely to happen anyway!!! Nowt to lose, give them heaps lol

  • 12 Luke-A-Like // Dec 13, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    I can see the return of the tactical hoof ball against man city as we attempt to defend for 90 mins

  • 13 Super Magpie // Dec 13, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Disappointed in this. It wouldn’t surprise me if he started though.

  • 14 toonking // Dec 13, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    HBA being out well marvo likely to start.
    one question about that should we feel good if he scores and proves that he is decent enough to start or will it just cause jonases husband to drop HBA

  • 15 toonking // Dec 13, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    jonas’s

  • 16 BelfastMagpie // Dec 13, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    I think Pardews bluffing.

    Dont really see city losing two premier league games on the spin like, but you never know.

  • 17 Ashton // Dec 13, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    We have the worst medical team in the world!. Our players seem to suffer from the same type of injuries over and over again. It’s absurd.

  • 18 Jail for Ashley // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Ashton,
    What do you know about our medical staff and their qualifications as I suppose Stoke’s or Swansea’ bar the injuries we have had this season.

  • 19 Ketsbaia9 // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    Want to see Marveaux and Ben Arfa in the same team.

  • 20 stuart no9 // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    why did pardew play him against fulham.? if he was not fit he shouldnt have played, he has obviously gone against the physio s advice, but then again pards knows best!!! otherwise we have major problems with our fitness, and strength and conditioning coaches, our injuries are shocking for a so-called top club.
    We never seem to be able to field a full side, more to the point , have we got a s/ condition coach.
    for some reason we seem to have problems running through the core of our club- nothing is right- not even our medical staff, but to be fair we have always, for as long as i can remember always suffered from injuries , maybe a change is needed in that debt as well.

  • 21 Jail for Ashley // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    Stuart 9,
    In all fairness we were quite good with injuries last year, so unless Mashley paid that particular team off for a cheaper team we have to put it down to bad luck.

  • 22 stuart no9 // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    graeme @ 11 good tactic – i would without a doubt agree, however try telling mr pardew that !

  • 23 tequilamag // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    No stone will go unturned in the search for someone to blame. and now the medical staff. Bunch of quacks what do they know with their years of training .

  • 24 Graeme // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    Stuart, sometimes you just have to throw caution to the wind.

    We are expected to lose, shitty fully expect to win. We have absolutely NOTHING to lose.

    SO, take the game by the balls and just do them!!

  • 25 stuart no9 // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    JFA i did read somewhere that we had the worst record for injuries and players recovery times in the prem , if that is true i dont know , cant remember where i read now though!

  • 26 Jail for Ashley // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Tequila,
    No, you’re right there everyone has their own theories on what’s to blame but that’s the first the medical team has come under fire, certainly can’t blame the training facilities as 66% of the Carroll sale profit was spent on that.

  • 27 Ketsbaia9 // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Our new look team could be this:

    Krul

    Debuchy Alderewerield Santon

    Anita Bigi Diame Tiote Sissoko

    Ben Arfa

    Remy

  • 28 Graeme // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    Jail, was more than that – don’t forget the plumbing!!!

  • 29 Jail for Ashley // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    I underestimated the turn out for the game on Saturday and promised myself I wasn’t going to go, but just tried to get tickets and can’t find two together in the Gallowgate so it’s looking like a big un at the weekend.

  • 30 stuart no9 // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    graeme @24 as i said – i totally agree.

  • 31 Ketsbaia9 // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    That team could work actually with Debuchy and Santon playing as wingbacks with the defensive midfielder dropping back to cover for Alderewerield etc.

  • 32 tequilamag // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    JFA surely it`s obvious to everybody the new away strip is to blame . Either that or the curse of Wonga.
    Ash does like to count his money rather than spend it but I can`t believe he would be so stupid as to risk relegation and that lovely PL money by not spending some in Jan.

  • 33 Ketsbaia9 // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Anita, Diame and Sissokho can bomb forward and lesser creative player such as Bigi and Tiote can stay back and help the defense out.

  • 34 darrenfletcher88 // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Am dreading sat!!will be 3,4,5 nout to city.dreading going,and I’ve never thought that in a long time!!!!

  • 35 stuart no9 // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    tequila @23 no ones blaming the medical staff for the poor results, but who do you blame if players are getting injured all the time , they seem to be off for long periods , then come back, then sidelined again, who do you blame ? I would love to blame ashley , but even i cant find a way to blame him for that !

  • 36 Ketsbaia9 // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    My team v City:

    Krul

    Santon Perch Coloccini Gutierrez

    Tiote

    Amalfitano Abeid Marveaux

    Cisse Ba

  • 37 Jail for Ashley // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Tequila,
    Let’s keep for fingers crossed, as anti Ashley as I am I haven’t yet posted that nothing will be spent in January, but my biggest concern is that we’re not the good looking prospects to commit yourself to atm, and if Debussy and Douglas aren’t interested for whatever reason do we have plan B’s lined up as we didn’t seem to have in the summer, on the upside we might end up raising our game for some of the big names coming up and we are after all still in the Europa league.

  • 38 Super Magpie // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Jail
    It can be put down to bad luck, but it was good luck last season as to why we wouldn’t have that many injuries. Most other seasons our injury record has been shocking.
    It isn’t just the medical staffs fault either. It could also be put down to our training regime which is different due to Europe. Then there’s our training facilities which is well known to not being as good as other teams even with all the investments made.

    Something needs to change because it isn’t just bad luck.

  • 39 lucasnufc // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Mind games mind games mind games

  • 40 Ketsbaia9 // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    We might be able to sneak a point with that team. Amalfitano and Abeid need to be given the chance. Obertan has no end product.

  • 41 tequilamag // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Stuart, neither of us are medical experts so neither of us can give an informed opinion on this one just supposition.
    Other than HBA I can`t really remember anyone else who has come back from injury and been injured again next game.
    Maybe they did take too much of a risk with HBA but we needed the points. It has been suggested by Ian Toon as well that Jonas looks like he has been playing with an injury and that may well be the case.
    The [problem is we are short of quality cover and need results. The final decision rests with Pardew and the player as to whether they think they can play I suppose. In a perfect world I would rather all 11 were 100% fit but we not alone in playing players in that condition.

  • 42 Jail for Ashley // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    I’ve just looked and the draw for the Europa league is 20th of Dec, I’d rather have a hard draw and loads of good luck in the January sales than an easy draw and miss opening time.

  • 43 Ketsbaia9 // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Pardew’s team will be:

    Krul

    Simpson Williamson Coloccini Santon

    Obertan Bigi Tiote Fergsuon

    Cisse Ba

    We’ll get beat 3-1.

  • 44 tequilamag // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    JFA yeah that`s about where I am at as well with Jan. We need a credible Pan B and Plan C for transfers and not just a couple of tokens to keep the mob happy for a week.

  • 45 Jail for Ashley // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Stuart,
    I’m not by any means resolving Pards from any blame as he isn’t but it would have been much easier to judge him had he have been backed during the summer.

  • 46 Joe Blog // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Pardew’s formation vs Citeh, if he could do it without there being uproar:

    _______________Krul_______________
    Tav_Simmo_Perch_Willo_Colo_Santon_Ferguson
    ____________Tiote__Anita

    _______________Ba_______________

  • 47 Jail for Ashley // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Joe blog,
    Mackem troll, shouldn’t you be revelling in your first win against eleven men this year.

  • 48 Joe Blog // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    The trolls want their good name back.

  • 49 stuart no9 // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    tequila @ 41 stevie taylor, ben arfa , r taylor, tiote, gosling , obertan., all reoccurring probs, cabaye ???????

  • 50 toonLYF // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    V City if Ben Arfa is fit…

    ——————–Krul——————–

    Santon—–Perch—–Coloccini—–Anita

    ——————Tiote———————

    Marveaux—–Ben Arfa——–Gutierrez

    ————–Cisse—–Ba—————–

  • 51 Marty-Toon // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Didn’t know Hangeland was available for free at the end of the season.
    He’s 31 but a great defender whom I never thought would make it in England.
    Ok he’s older than what we go for but where else do you get a tried and proved PL player?
    Bring Samba back to the PL?
    I hope we can bring in at least 2 experienced players in the defence

  • 52 tequilamag // Dec 13, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Stuart, I gave you HBA. the rest is just our injury list. Injuries occur, are they all recurring injuries ? Obertan is out with a toe problem, it`s hardly a recurring hamstring strain.

  • 53 stuart no9 // Dec 13, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    JFA @ 35 what post from me are you referring too ???????

  • 54 stuart no9 // Dec 13, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    tequila @ 52 – yeah obertan has a toe injury, – however i never said they were all re occurring ” hamstring ” injuries.

  • 55 hotdog // Dec 13, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Could be the cold weather ;-)

    Talksport were saying Lescott is after move – If we could get him on loan in Jan he would do a job for us imo

  • 56 Jail for Ashley // Dec 13, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Stuart,
    I’m blaming Mashley for not strengthening, as with another CB and FB to have played I don’t think injuries to Simmons, Collo and the Taylor’s would have been so significant.

  • 57 Graeme // Dec 13, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Stuart @ 54.

    Rumour has it he dropped his wallet, which landed on his toe. Consultants have been working round the clock to try and save his leg due to the extensive damage caused!!!

  • 58 hotdog // Dec 13, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    pards interview before citeh

    http://tyneandwear.sky.com/newcastleunited/video/50154

  • 59 stuart no9 // Dec 13, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    JFA @ 56 i totally agree with you, i think we have our wires crossed about ashley, i meant he cant be blamed for the injuries, not the implications the injuries have on the team.

  • 60 Transfer Sage // Dec 13, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Marty

    We ideally need two CBs brought in. A tall, strong one like hangaland would be great.

    Also a pacey one like yanga mbiwa would give us options and depth.

    Also from what I remember mbiwa can cover full back so if we don’t improve their til the summer he could cover or make the spot his own

  • 61 tequilamag // Dec 13, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Stuart Hanstring was just an example, but looking at your list Tiote has only been out once with injury though he does have recurring problems with being banned. Cabaye has only had the one injury and that was for stomach surgery. Don`t think he has been out with that before,
    Saylor ans Raylor both serious longtem injuries but I think they are new for both of them.
    If you had said Vuckic and Gosling you would have had me.

  • 62 Transfer Sage // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    Tequila

    We do seem to have an uncanny knack of picking up a lot on injuries…look over the past ten years and I would think we will be well above average for injuries.

    Not certain though and too lazy to look through stats

  • 63 Transfer Sage // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Good quote from mark Lawrenson for once

    “Jonjo Shelvey is not a striker but he gave it a go and ended up playing a part in the winner.
    It showed that Rodgers has players who are thinking: ‘I want to be in this team and I am not that bothered where’, which is what you are looking for as a manager.”

    Somebody should tell this to Ba

  • 64 Pardews Perfect Battleplan // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    team vs man city

    —————krul
    —-perch—colo—willo
    anita——-tiote——santon
    ————–hba
    oba ——–cisse——ba
    nailed on. trust me lol

  • 65 tequilamag // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    TS could be or maybe it just seems that way.

  • 66 Pardews Perfect Battleplan // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    tequila dudnt cabaye have a goblins infection too?

  • 67 Pardews Perfect Battleplan // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    or a gob infection even

  • 68 tequilamag // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    PPB Goblins ? that would stretch the knowledge of the medical team. They could always ask Conaldo for help I suppose.

  • 69 tequilamag // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    PPB oh yeah I forgot about that. Can`t see how a gob infection and the need for stomach surgery are evidence of a recurring problem though.

  • 70 Pardews Perfect Battleplan // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    so analyzing lots of comments over the weeks Jonas is a dm and santon plays like a winger there’s nobody in attacking mid leaving a huge gap and hba is on the right to cut in but cisse plays out right so is this our team?
    /————–krul
    simmo-willo-colo-
    —anita-tiote-Jonas
    ——————————–
    ——————————–
    hbacisse— ba—-santon

    lol, god im bored

  • 71 Pardews Perfect Battleplan // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    @tequila. obertan the orc brought them, he was aided by tiote the cave troll

  • 72 Pardews Perfect Battleplan // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    @tequila possibly a weak immune system. slightest infection and dreamboat springs a leak

  • 73 tequilamag // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    PPB I think Pardew should consider putting out selection to a lottery. If you buy the winning ticket you get to pick the team.
    Obviously if I won I would give my ticket to Kets.

  • 74 darrenfletcher88 // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    @hotdog,just seen pards interview,good post by the way,the man just dosent convince me anymore, what u think??

  • 75 Transfer Sage // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    Tequila

    I know the problem….

    We used to sign a load of crocked has beens who want a pay day so always injured.

    Now we sign a load of crocked up and comers cause they are cheap.

    That must be it haha

  • 76 tequilamag // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    TS buy cheap buy twice.

  • 77 Transfer Sage // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    If pay good money to see a team Kets selects haha

  • 78 Pardews Perfect Battleplan // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    @tequila if you did that our team would be
    —————krul
    santon–colo—taylor—ferg
    ———-tiote—-cabaye
    ————–abeid
    ———-hba——marv
    —————-ba

  • 79 Pardews Perfect Battleplan // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    or

    krul
    scharner scharner scharner scharner scharner scharner scharner scharner scharner scharner

  • 80 tequilamag // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    PPB he probably would play Taylor on crutches rather than Willo.

  • 81 Pardews Perfect Battleplan // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    do you reckon kets has a tactics blackboard, chalk and a sheet of paper with a list of players he wants to buy.
    or are they not allowed on the ward?

  • 82 Pardews Perfect Battleplan // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    i picture him sitting there typing in a place much like where Bruce Willis first meets brad pitt in twelve monkeys

  • 83 Jail for Ashley // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    My mate’s a plumber and he done some work at Ashley’s house, he said help your self to tea and coffee lads and there was a fork in the sugar bowl.

  • 84 Pardews Perfect Battleplan // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    in fact i think we may all be figments of ketsys imagination much like “a beautiful mind”
    yes we are all representations of ketsysdifferent

  • 85 Pardews Perfect Battleplan // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    in fact i think we may all be figments of ketsys imagination much like “a beautiful mind”
    yes we are all representations of different parts of his psyche

  • 86 Pardews Perfect Battleplan // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    @jfa genius

  • 87 tequilamag // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    Kets in many ways is a mystery. Personally I think he is eds evil twin or Pardew when drunk.

  • 88 aemagpie // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    we need to look at some of bilbao’s players. soe quality players there like susaeta and iturraspe

  • 89 Pardews Perfect Battleplan // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    @tequila or the puppet master behind ashley

  • 90 Pardews Perfect Battleplan // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    @ae i have a feeling a lot of bilbaos players would be out if range of what ash values them at

  • 91 tequilamag // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    PPB he is a purple poster.

  • 92 catchy in norway // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    i think pardew is bluffing with this,, :(

    i think if he had a problem, he would have said thats why he took him off, seems a bit strange coming from him this close to a match
    yes he could have done it in training, but i think not

    im not sure where this sissco guy is gona play, is it tiote or cabaye who makes way, dont think he is in the same league as cabaye, and if its tiote, why buy bigi?

    first through the door in jan shoul be defenders,, they should not even be thinking about midfielders,, concentrate on defenders

    on the point of who is to blame,, its easy,, PARDEW

    his job is to get results with the players he has, for most of this season, he has had a strong line up on paper

    the board have nothing todo with matchday selecions or tactics or subs,

    yes it would have been nice to get a few more players, but we carnt cry because he didnt get them, in life we have to make do with what we have

    on paper man u’s team is nothing compaired to man c, yet loook at what sir alex has his players do, there top of the league

    colo santon cababye HBA and maybe tiote would walk into man u’s first team, and both cisse and BA would be on the bench

  • 93 obatoyou // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    maybe this is another ruse by Pardew (chuckle)

  • 94 Transfer Sage // Dec 13, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    Tequila

    I hope Kets is a drunk pardew.

    Could just imagine him staggering into Ashley’s office saying sign me boudebouz, remy, alderwerield…..and don’t forget sharner this time the passing out face down in his kebab

  • 95 hotdog // Dec 13, 2012 at 11:03 PM

    @darren – he still has my support bud but needs backing in jan. After listening to dagleish sourness (haha iPhone did that one) and allerdyce, I think AP is pretty straight up in interviews.

  • 96 tequilamag // Dec 13, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Catchy it must be a blue moon.
    We agree on 2 points, I am suspicious about HBA not playing on Sat. Pardew did the same against Spurs,
    Also agree defenders are the priority.
    As for the rest….. what can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence, so I won`t bother.

  • 97 Spreadthetoon // Dec 13, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Catchy in Norway
    Whilst it would be easy to accept your simple analogy what your saying does not completely make sense. Yes Pardew is not fault free and I am not convinced with his tactics and if we loose against QPR then I think most Toon fans will be seriously worried and concerned.
    The real issues IMO are as follows:-
    1. Play 4-4-2 to appease one player (Ba)
    2. Too much player power and unsettlement to team from Ba and agents
    3. We do not have fast wingers of two fully accomplished wing backs capable of supporting attacking moves (Santon exception – Simpson defensive minded and not suited to that set up)
    4. All teams push deep on NUFC so we end up playing deep, panic and play hoofball – Krul, Williamson most notably
    5. No control and passing in midfield, lack of creativity – people blame Cisse but the lad is getting no service
    6. Yes MA & DL seriously let us down last summer – squad way too thin and none of our junior players are good enough for EPL yet
    7. Solution get Remy + another winger, play HBA and Sissoko in rotating CAM supporting one striker, 2 CB and a RB – main focus has got to be our midfield and formation
    8. Lack of possession and invitation for teams to attack us this season all come down to lack of confidence on the ball. We’ve got good players and they can pass but I see the main problem being our midfield – supporting both our defense and attacking players they have been lack lustre….therein lies the main challenge for us.

  • 98 obatoyou // Dec 13, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    why is the europa league draw so long after the last group round?

  • 99 darrenfletcher88 // Dec 13, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    @hotdog,can u realy see that man influencing benny ba cissie in the changing room?? Coz I can’t,January might be to late,dreading sat,lol.

  • 100 Ian Toon // Dec 13, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Tequila. Your what can be asserted without evidence quote is that from the late Peter Hitchens

  • 101 tequilamag // Dec 13, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Good spot Ian.. Watching Christopher Hitchens on QT now. What a cock he is.

  • 102 Ian Toon // Dec 13, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    So is Will Self

  • 103 tequilamag // Dec 13, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    It would be more entertaining if they had a proper fight.

  • 104 tequilamag // Dec 13, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    Ian, it`s the other way round Christopher is dead and Peter alive, though still a cock.

  • 105 Ian Toon // Dec 13, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    Reverting back to your quote. In theory it should render Catchy speechless!
    Good night.

  • 106 tequilamag // Dec 13, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    Good night mate, keep the faith. And stop blowing my sources. I am not really clever , just clever at hiding my sources.

  • 107 Toon Tang // Dec 14, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    pardews probs nailed arfa himself to make his decision to take him off more acceptable

  • 108 Toon Tang // Dec 14, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    i can see ashley being that type of guy who would haggle over his milk and newspaper in the cornershop through never wanting to pay the going rate for ANYTHING

  • 109 Jail for Ashley // Dec 14, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    Oi ,
    Shut it Fletcher.

  • 110 darrenfletcher88 // Dec 14, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    @jail for Ashley,grow up u stupid tit!!!

  • 111 Jail for Ashley // Dec 14, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    Oi Fletcher,
    There are two rules on this blog.
    Number one:
    You must never speak.
    Number two :
    See number one.

  • 112 Joe Blog // Dec 14, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    Darren Fletcher

    How are the bowels holding up?

  • 113 Indian Magpie // Dec 14, 2012 at 6:21 AM

    Good morning all, from a wet but sunny New delhi

  • 114 check the toastie // Dec 14, 2012 at 7:04 AM

    Jail, one day Fletchers going to catch up with you, and you are dead man, D E A D, dead.

  • 115 Rock // Dec 14, 2012 at 7:14 AM

    Indian, it was pretty dark in the morning here in delhi, isn’t it…hope it’s not a sign of things to come.

    Pardew should play 3 midfielders who wants to keep the ball. two ahead of them and a lone centre forward. tiote, anita and jonas/bigi in the middle with marvs and hba forward, ba on top of the pyramid.

  • 116 check the toastie // Dec 14, 2012 at 7:27 AM

    Shame Benny is injured, will have to focus on enjoying Santon and Anita being pleasing on the eye, amongst the rest of the Dross being served up.

    Wonder if Pardew gets any grief 2moro if it is going badly wrong? should be interesting how bitter it may get.

  • 117 Conaldo (The Wizard...Also Bestest Friends With Paul Scharner) // Dec 14, 2012 at 7:29 AM

    Morning All.

    PPB, Tequila – I hope your Goblin problems have been sorted now. Real nasty buggers them like.

    And I can’t tell wether Pardew is bluffing or not with Ben arfa.
    I would like to see santon played at right back tommorow, we need to attack them hard on there right hand side. That’s there weak side I think.
    But then apart from fergie we don’t really have a left back that can play, so..
    They are still a beatable side if we play well and a few things go our way.

  • 118 Conaldo (The Wizard...Also Bestest Friends With Paul Scharner) // Dec 14, 2012 at 7:35 AM

    Check – the away fans at the stoke and Fulham match were both singing Alan Pardews Black and White Army at the end of the games. So I think they still support.

    The home support has been “dross” this season though. Worst atmosphere in the league I would say. Even the makems have a better atmosphere than us this year, and half of them Are plastic seats.
    Like people booing at the end of the maritimo match when we had qualified for the round of 32. That kind of sums up the home crowd this season.

    Anyway, it wouldn’t suprise me if there were a minority, or a small proportion, ie, 15000 out of 52000 that will probably leave if we go 2 down, and boo, but by far the majority knows that you have to stick by your team especially though the bad times. You can’t just have the good times.

    That comment wasn’t aimed at you, just a comment on how I feel about the poor atmosphere this season.

  • 119 Indian Magpie // Dec 14, 2012 at 7:36 AM

    Conaldo every one is beatable, do you remember the last time we beat them.

    I think it was 2005, MJ owen in a 1-0

  • 120 check the toastie // Dec 14, 2012 at 7:38 AM

    Conaldo – would play Jonas sort of full back, he might as well, spends most of his time around that area of the pitch.

    What about playing Santon Centre Half with Collocini and Perch, gets rid of both Simmo and Willo in one fail swoop.

    Krul
    Perch Collocini Santon
    Jonas Fergy
    Anita Tiote Marv
    Ben10 Cisse

    We have the players to play football, why dont we try to. Drop ba he has been treading water lately, play Benny up top with Cisse.

    532 was all the rage a few years ago, think it would work well with our squad.

  • 121 Indian Magpie // Dec 14, 2012 at 7:40 AM

    Check, I cannot see Pardew doing anything out of the box

  • 122 check the toastie // Dec 14, 2012 at 7:42 AM

    Conaldo – i agree, some people who go to the game seem intent on not actually enjoying themselves or supporting the lads, dont know why some people bother really. There are some miserable tossers about.

  • 123 Pushy Pardew // Dec 14, 2012 at 7:55 AM

    All you fickle flip flop fans let me assure you that the travelling away fans are100% behind the team and Alan Pardew. He constantly finds time for us in difficult personal circumstances and we show our appreciation. Can the home fans get behind the team tomorrow.
    Keep the faith.

  • 124 sirtoongospel // Dec 14, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    Pardew – “We need to get Cisse scoring again. We need him scoring special goals. That’s something we have been working on.”

    By putting him on the wing? I expect to see him at RB tomorrow the way it’s been going.

    Alan, you are turning into a right tw*t. You have ruined Cisse and ruined the teams flow. People say that the form striker should be played, well what did Cisse do to deserve being bumped from a position and formation where he scored 13 in 12???

    Ba has given demands and Pardew has givin in to them. What a sackless prick. Cisse just gets on with it and doesnt kick up a fuss so it’s easier to upset him. Just as he won’t drop “big” players when they are underperforming. Jonas is exhibit A.

    He needs to do what is best for the team, or walk away. Because this is pure bollox.

  • 125 Indian Magpie // Dec 14, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    Yesterday David Luiz played in midfield for chelsea. Did well or so the reports say.

    Colo played once there for us against Mancity in 2009 we lost 2-1, He started there with barton. days b4 shay went to City

    May be when every1 is fit it could be tried

  • 126 Indian Magpie // Dec 14, 2012 at 7:59 AM

    STGospel,

    I was about to say that this is the first time that i think Cisse has had a sort of goal drought in his career

  • 127 89Norcal // Dec 14, 2012 at 8:18 AM

    sirtoon,

    pretty sure Cisse has been pushed to the main striker several times, either as a part of Pardew’s pre match tactics or on the fly mid-game.

    Problem is our midfield can’t do anything to supply our top strikers.

  • 128 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Dec 14, 2012 at 8:18 AM

    If Ben 10 is a slight doubt – no way would I play him tomorrow, keep him for QPStrangers next sat – much more winnable game.
    Indian
    I have been saying/wondering if it would be a good idea to put Colo in midfield – seems to of lost a yard of pace at the back.
    4-2-3-1
    Krul
    Try a back four of Santon, Williamson, Perch and Simpson
    Colo and Tiote
    Marvo, Anita, Bigirimana
    Ba or Cisse up front

    just a thought – but we need someone in front of the back 4 as city will exploit the space we have left in previous games

  • 129 sirtoongospel // Dec 14, 2012 at 8:20 AM

    Indian,

    I have backed every manager we have ever had, supported them to the hilt, and usually it’s because our players have been average at best. I still don’t think we are a great team by any stretch, but we do have a few very good footballers.

    And we have a number 9 who is as lethal a finisher as you could hope to find, especially for the money we spend. He still looks as sharp, breaing his neck to get into scoring positions, and follows in every shot that we scuff from 35 yards, where others stand with their hands on their hips.

    As you say, he has always scored. At Freiburg, an average team at best, he was second top scorer in one of the hardest leagues in the world. Because he is class.

    For ages, loads of us NUFC fans wanted us to sign him, but never thought it was possible. Then we get him, he explodes, and from day one this season he has been pushed out. You watch the communication on the pitch and everyone can see Demba Ba telling him what to do. The man is an arrogant, selfish bully. And the manager lets it all happen.

    But my biggest gripe, is that for Pardew to put Cisse on the wing repeatedly, shows me that he still has no affinity with this club whatsoever, our heritage, and the MASSIVE importance of the Number 9 shirt.

    We have watched dross for 2 years, other than when he played superb counter attacking football for that spell last season. We looked a real good side. And he abandoned it the first chance he got. Why? Demba Ba that’s why.

    They will do anything to try and keep him happy, to sign a contract, even if the team suffers because of it. They offered to make him highest paid player at the club (which is ridiculous because Colo should be that for sure), and when he turned it down, he should have been dropped.

    If he doesn’t want to be here, then we need to pick a team of players who do. Cisse has 5 years remaining and desperately wants to stay, so pickhim and HBA and sign another player who can function in a 4-3-3. When cabaye comes back that woud see us start to batter teams again, as long as we have a new CB.

  • 130 sirtoongospel // Dec 14, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    89NorCal, when he has played him there Ba has stayed central and been a “link” man. Except he won’t link with anyone. Against Wigan they rotated and Ba was looking to pass. It was working. Then he abandoned the plan against Fulham straight away.

    Pardew is blaming the players contantly but they need to be able to get into a rhythm. Pick a team, our best formation, and use it for 8 games. Get some consistency so the players know what to expect. Each game you tell them what went well, and what didn’t. Gradually we would improve as the system sets in. Personnel can change, but the system shouldn’t.

    He chops and changes all the time. He put Sammy on the other week, spoke to him for ages, Sammy went on the pitch, looked at Pardew and asked him where he was playing!!!! Mind, that might be an Ameobi thing!! lol. But the players look confused most of the time,

  • 131 89Norcal // Dec 14, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    sirtoon,

    He seems to be waking up tactics wise but he’s being forced to use subs and youngsters in key positions. But it’s a shame it took him so long to ditch 442, or at least the lumpball version of it.

    I feel like he’s walking a tight rope with everything right now. People want him to select either Ba or Cisse as a lone striker and bench the other, but it’s a lose-lose no matter who he chooses. Our defense is once again unfit because of Saylor’s injury and our midfield has been nonexistent.

  • 132 89Norcal // Dec 14, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    I just hope we play high tempo attacking football on Saturday. That’s often the best approach for us vs. top clubs.

  • 133 Pardews Perfect Battleplan // Dec 14, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    @Indian i bought an outstanding export from your country this week

  • 134 Pardews Perfect Battleplan // Dec 14, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    @norcal agreed they hate being attacked these “big clubs”. its almost like their arrogance makes them think every team is gonna be hyper defensive against their superstars. when teams really have a go the big boys struggle

  • 135 Conaldo (The Wizard...Also Bestest Friends With Paul Scharner) // Dec 14, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    I’ve always thought Jonas could make a good fullback. Stick santon on the right and then Jonas, he would probably get forward with more quality as he wouldn’t be doing it as often.

    Collo in midfield might work against lesser teams. Paricularly when tiote isn’t playing. He could play as a deep lying defensive play maker. He is cool on the ball, and always looks for the right pass.

    I would play perch tommorow. If all this talk about ba is true, drop him tommorow. No one is bigger than the team, and if he leaves so be it. Pardew will know wether its true or not, so ill let him decide if he plays. not that mu decision somehow alters the team sheet :) ewould say play 451 tommorow, but it would depend on which players we have available. 4411 might be a better option with cisse up top, play ba behind. If we have Ben arfa then something like 41311 might work, but we would need Ben arfa to defend a lot.

    My suggestion would be:
    Krul
    Santon perch collo Jonas
    Tiote
    Ben arfa Anita fergie/sammy/someone
    Ba
    Cisse

    Thoughts?

    Citeh are weak on their left side. We need to exploit that with Ben arfa hopefully.

  • 136 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Dec 14, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    whatever formation and players we play we need to fill the space in front of the defence.




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