Ben Arfa To Start Against Southampton?

Hatem Ben Arfa has been interviewed in the local papers today – and he’s hoping the European adventure will still be alive when he makes his long awaited return to the Newcastle first team.

ben arfa at liverpool 98

Ben Arfa – in action against Liverpool

Ben Arfa has had a serious hamstring injury,  and he’s been out almost three months,  and has been a huge loss to the side, but the Frenchman still hopes to play in Europe for Newcastle this season,  when he does make his return.

This is what he said in the local press today:

“The Europa League is still very important for us.” “If we qualify, it will be a very good thing for the club. I think we can go far in this cup, but the most important thing is the Premier League – we have to finish higher.”

The Evening Chronicle are reporting that Ben Arfa may be held back until next month – but that wouldn’ t be the first time Alan Pardew has put out false information about the fitness of the mercurial winger – and we’d hazard a guess he could start the game on Sunday against Southampton – whatever is said about his availability before the game.

Ben Arfa’s initial hamstring injury was picked up in the Europa League group game with Maritimo on November 22nd at St. James’ Park, Thanksgiving Day here in the states, and we could only draw 1-1 in a game we were expected to win.

And then he came back two and a half weeks later at Craven Cottage, but he only further aggravated the injury and he’s been on the sidelines ever since.

Ben Arfa is now back in training and as long as he comes through this week in training okay – we’ve got to believe he will be given a starting place on Sunday – and then three French players will be fresh for the game – Mathieu Debuchy, Yoan Gouffran – back from his shin injury,  and Ben Arfa.

And Newcastle have to repay their fans on Sunday for one of our worst performances of the season at St. Mary’s when we went down 2-0 – but it could have been a lot worse than that – and the Saints are coming off a 3-1 home victory against Premier League Champions Manchester City – so they will not be short of confidence.

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64 comments so far

  • aidantoon

    Feb 20, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #1

    Get him straight back in! End of!!!!

  • boater

    Feb 20, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #2

    Robin – At best you’re just regurgitating what other halfwits like Cheick drone on about all day, every day. At worst you’re a halfwit yourself.

  • Ian Toon

    Feb 20, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #3

    Toonincheek—- I don’t really know whether you were being serious in asking me a question yesterday but as I saw you on line let me respond.
    Aggression can be in many ways. Passively aggresive can be part of a cycle of behaviour, a form of non verbal abuse. Since the rise of social networks it”s massively on the increase. Despite what you say I can’t see that you would actually like it given the extremes and emotional implications.

  • toonincheek

    Feb 20, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #4

    Ian T –

    I did understand – just that passively aggressive
    (and aggressively passive) come over as oxy-
    whatsits. (don’t want to use the m**** word
    on here!)

    You have to take my username into account!

  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 20, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #5


    Just out of interest what do you work as/study? Always making comments of a psychological persuasion so wondered if you work in that field.

  • Ian Toon

    Feb 20, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #6

    Thanks for the clue-LOL
    Oxymoron is one word . It is not contradictory but emphasises that aggression can me in many forms. It doesn’t have to be a pub brawl or domestic violence.
    Just so I can understand where your coming from let me ask you a question!
    What are your thoughts on Dan Gosling being included in the squad for Thursday’s game?

  • tdt

    Feb 20, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #7

    So this is the confirmed squad for tomorrow:

    Krul, Elliot.

    Mbiwa, Simpson, Coloccini, S.Taylor, Haidara.

    Perch, Bigirimana, Anita, Gosling, Tiote, Cabaye, Gutierrez, Sissoko, Marveaux, Obertan.

    Sh.Ameobi, Cisse.

    Hope we’ll play:


    Subs: Elliot, Simpson, Perch/Gosling, Bigirimana, Anita, Gutierrez, Sh.Ameobi.

    However I’ve got a feeling Simpson and Gutierrez might start ahead of Haidara and Obertan.

  • ayecanny

    Feb 20, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #8

    Debuc-Colo-S(C) Taylor-Santon
    Ben Afra— Cisse—Goofy

    Subs – Elliot, Mbiwa, Haidara, Perch, Anita, Marv, Jonas, Shola.

    I do believe that is the best starting eleven.

    People giving tiote stick, he hasnt been great, but like colo and taylor, him and cabaye have a great understanding off each other.. being a reason to why we did so well..

    3-1 win tommorow – good odds for us aswell
    2-1 win sunday

    Howay the lads!

  • Tommyy

    Feb 20, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #9

    Sorry I’m late for English class Mrs Iantoon,
    Please don’t give me extra homework I wanna go play Kerbie with everyone else after school!

  • Tommyy

    Feb 20, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #10

    I’m with comment one! Whack him in if he’s fit and slap Jonas on the bench and let’s play some quick, incisive football!

  • valle

    Feb 20, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #11

    I was just taking a walk thinking about our future when looking at players we are linked with, and if true it could look pretty d*** good.


    Simpson free
    Colo 7,5 mil
    Jonas 3,5 mil
    Williamson 2,5 mil
    Obertan 3 mil

    That would give us 17 mil


    PEA 8,5 mil
    De Alderweireld 7,5 mil
    De jong 8 mil
    Gomis free
    Mirin 3 mil
    Puncheon 5 mil

    total 32 mil

    with an outlay of 15 after you add players sold. That would keep us on 17 non homegrowns and our team would look like this:

    Left Att Right Att
    PEA/Goofy HBA/Puncheon
    Att mid
    Sissoko/De jong
    Playmaker Def mid
    Cabaye/Anita Anita/Tiote/Bigi
    L back R back
    Santon/Haidara/Rayl’r Debuchy/Santon/Rayl’r
    L centre R centre
    M’biwa/Mirrin Toby/Saylor

    That looks like a good squad to me… Dunno if its true that we are after these guys, but if we are, I could really see us having a go next season.

  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 20, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #12


    puncheon is out of contract in the summer so would be a free player

  • tequilamag

    Feb 20, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #13

    Ian re Gosling. Next season will require a cull of some of the HGP players. We will have 15 foreign players on the books, even if Colo goes we are still likely to recruit from overseas so we are more than likely to have the max allowed of 17. That only leaves places for 8 HGP players. Tav Fergie Dummet Newton and Inamn will be too old to get in as underage players so some difficult choices have to be made. Is Gosling worth a place in those 8? On his current record the answer has to be no. He has been the most injury prone player on the books.I suspect Pardew is taking Gosling along and maybe give him some playing time as a sub to make a final decision. CM is an area we are well stocked with good players. I really can`t see him getting a start in CM against Tiote Cabs Sissooke Perch Anita and Marveaux. Seems a little pointless to me to have him included in the 25 man squad for next year when he is unlikely to get a game.

  • Ian Toon

    Feb 20, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #14

    Transfer– Some posters with little information on me have no problem in finding fault issues. So why would I seek to provide more ammunition . I have recently qualified/ finished studying and let’s leave it there. I generally know when people are spinning you will have to trust your instincts. Posters like. Ibiza who are genuine types ( constant nature etc) are easy to read individuals. There are quite a few bogus types who have problems/issues but you don’t need me to mention it. My policy is broadly to trust everyone until they give me cause to think otherwise. As I said yesterday the clue is in why people say something and not what they actually have to say. It’s fun to work out but let me say that I sense you can be too trusting of people.

  • Ian Toon

    Feb 20, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #15

    Tequila- I can’t reveal anything on Gosling purely because I want to see what toonincheek has to say. I don’t want to influence his thinking. I am trying to work out whether he is for real or just messing me about. I will of course respond to you. His contract is to 7/2014.

  • tequilamag

    Feb 20, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #16

    Ian , catch you later mate. Lola time.

  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 20, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #17


    I wouldn’t say I am too trusting. I take anything I read on here with a pinch of salt….have a few posters I think are more genuine in the knowledge they have but even then I know football changes quickly and even if Mike Ashley himself said he expected a deal for a player done by the end of the week a third party making a big is totally out of his control so nothing is final until done.

    I think everyone on here contributes in some way, some to lesser extents but always interesting reading positive or negative comments providing there is some reasoning behind them.

    It’s ok you don’t want to go into detail about your work, i was just curious.

  • check the toastie

    Feb 20, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #18

    If Pardew picks Simpson tomorrow he should be sacked on the spot. There is no return for Pardew in my eyes if Simpson starts, it will break my heart. I will never speak well of Percy Pardrip ever again, if he picks Simpson, please dont let it be true.

  • barkel

    Feb 20, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #19


    I cant see us getting rid of jonas or obertan and I don’t think we’ll buy more than 2 senior players. Centre forward is a definite as I reckon Campbell will be sent out on loan and Cisse needs more competition than Shola, too injury prone. Other positions will depend on departures I think. If harps does leave/retire I think we’ll need to bring in a ‘keeper but elliot has looked ok as cover

  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 20, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #20


    I wouldn’t go that far but I do see your point.

    Until recently I liked simpson. Professional lad but limited in ability.

    After seeing him out drinking all night when he is recovering from a foot injury (a busy nightclub hardly the place to be regardless of drinking and fighting after). I have lost respect for him.

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Feb 20, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #21

    Afternoon all,

    So Gosling is back and included in the squad for tomorrows game?

  • toonincheek

    Feb 20, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #22

    Ian T @6 –
    Was your question aimed at me?

    Gosling in the squad –
    A little surprising but I would read it as him
    having trained well and a place in the squad
    being appropriate encouragement.

    Unlikely he will get any playing time, though.

  • valle

    Feb 20, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #23

    Sage… Ahh ok, i didnt realize that.
    Barkel… Its allot to hope for, I know. But after this window you just never know. I reckon its too good to be true just like you, but its players we have been linked with, so just a bit of “what if”.

  • Big Pappa Cissé

    Feb 20, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #24

    My problem with Simpson & Gutierrez is the fact that they are professional footballers being payed thousands of pounds a week yet somehow I can cross a ball better than them. If I was Pardew I would have Jonas working on his delivery at the end of every training session and not let him in the team until he proves he can whip in a decent ball. Look at Marveaux’s cross for Ba against Arsenal, that was a thing of beauty and with the outside of his foot as well.

    And before anyone says “stop bashing gutierrez” I think Krul needs to work on his distribution also, however his only real back up is Elliot and I don’t fully trust him in the Premier League.

  • chris_g

    Feb 20, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #25

    @ tdt // Feb 20, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    I mostly agree with that team, except that I think Simpson will start ahead of Mbiwa at RB, and Jonas ahead of Marveaux, leaving Obertan on the right. The only other change I’d make would be Bigi instead of Tiote.

    This is going to be a very physical game, so I’d be very nervous about Tiote starting, because he’ll only end up getting a red card and we can’t afford to go down to ten men.

    Also, I wouldn’t want Marveaux to start because he tends to go missing in games and I’m not convinced he’s got the stomach for a real battle. Nor do I think he’d work hard enough to provide cover for the inexperienced Haidara at LB, which is why I’d prefer to see Jonas at LM instead.

    Finally, I wouldn’t want to start the game with Mbiwa at RB, because he’s too valuable a player to risk getting injured (and I’ve got a feeling we might pick up a few injuries tomorrow night) so I’d prefer to keep him on the bench and only bring him on if things start to go pear shaped. I’d keep Anita on the bench for the same reason.

    so, at the risk of being verbally abused by the lovable check the toastie, my team would be:


    Subs: Elliot, Yanga-Mbiwa, Perch, Tiote, Anita, Marveaux, Sh.Ameobi.

  • toonincheek

    Feb 20, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #26

    chris_g –

    Mbiwa HAS to start. errr . . . . . FACT?

  • Ian Toon

    Feb 20, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #27

    Toonincheek— thanks I agree.
    Tequila- It’s a yes but. He joined us whilst recovering from a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament. An injury that ended careers not so long ago. He subsequently has never looked to be the player that briefly had impressed at Everton. A further long term injury has set him further back. He has it all to do but the signs have not been good thus far. I was not enamoured by a posters reference to him as deadwood or something like that. He is an honest professional and needs encouragement . It’s good he is on the plane.

  • toonincheek

    Feb 20, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #28

    Why are posters putting forward teams that include
    players not travelling?

  • barkel

    Feb 20, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #29


    i get ya, would be great to see. quite difficult to select a starting 11 out of all them!

    big pappa cisse

    Jonas has been looking a lot better in the last few games, I’d have him working on not falling over, granted he does win us some decent free kicks but it’s very frustrating. I still rate him quite highly.

    Simpson on the other hand I’d have to agree with Sage, thought he was a decent player. My opinion of him dropped a lot with the recent publicity

  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 20, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #30


    I think it’s a fair comment that gosling is dead wood to an extent, although the term might be a bit over the top for him.

    Nothing personally against the lad, he seems a nice guy whenever he has been interviewed and has been very unlucky with serious injuries at key moments in his career but he was never a world beater before and his development has been stalled this past 2 years.

    He isn’t somebody to use a spot in our squad next year if we can get better, we have a lot of good players in his position now.

    I would happily loan him out all next year and see how that does him, he needs a full season not being a bit part player for us I think.

    So i’d class him as of little to no use to use next year but as a prospect to loan out and see how he improves would be worth a shout.

  • tequilamag

    Feb 20, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #31

    TS If we only have 8 places available for HGP next season who would you give a place to?
    We will have Krul, Elliot Saylor Raylor Perch Willo Gosling Ameobi Tav Fergie Dummet Newton Inman and Ranger.
    6 Have to let go or be loaned out.

  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 20, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #32


    These 5 Krul, Elliot, Saylor, Raylor and Perch.

    Then probably Shola, willo (unless we sign a CB to replace him). Not sure of the next one to be honest.

    The rest, players like fergie, tav, sammy, abeid, gosling, inman, etc i’d have all out on loan….as high a level as possible….they need games, none have really played a full season in a solid team (championship standard or above).

  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 20, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #33

    Also Ranger should be sold, released, jailed….take your pick.

  • ToonDownSouth

    Feb 20, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #34


    Can you change the bloody record for once! Please!

    I’m starting to genuinely question whether you’re just an incredibly committed troll.

  • tequilamag

    Feb 20, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #35

    TS pretty much how I see it. Ranger is the obvious one to sell if we can get anyone crazy enough to take him. I am open minded on Ians thoughts on Gosling, perhaps your suggestion for a loan for him would be a good compromise.
    Tav has been the biggest let down for me this season I had high hopes he would make more of an impact this year. Inman and Dummet have had good seasons out on loan I would like to see more of them.

  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 20, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #36


    The problem with most of our younger players is that they are talented just haven’t really developed as they haven’t been playing often enough.

    They aren’t good enough to play for us regular but they do need to have a full season. Send sammy somewhere in championship and he could develop similar to zaha, ince, phillips etc with regular footy.

  • tequilamag

    Feb 20, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #37

    TS yeah if we could get them all loans to Championship clubs we would learn a lot more. It is a huge step up from reserve football to PL standard.

  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 20, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #38


    reserve footy is below league 1/2 for me….its just not competitive so a waste of time other than keeping fit really.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 20, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #39

    Ian Toon,
    As I am not versed in the dark arts of physcology can you explain to me how I am passively aggresive and I will explain to you how to wire a two gang intermediate light switch.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 20, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #40

    I think you are being very optomistic to think anybody would pay 3M for Obertan,he was signed by Fergie for that price and never made the grade,he was signed again for 3M and unfortunately hasn’t managed to prove himself, I really don’t think a third club would pay the same again on the off chance that he might come good,I think our best option to get rid of him would be in an exchange with a French target if he was willing to go.


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