Was Ben Arfa’s Hamstring Injury That Bad – Initially?


As expected Hatem Ben Arfa is in Newcastle United’s 19 man squad for their trip to Moscow this morning, and he seems fully recovered from his hamstring problem, and is almost certain to get some playing time tomorrow night.

ben arfa spurs penalty

Hatem Ben Arfa – blows a kiss to Newcastle’s fans

Ben Arfa is returning from a hamstring injury, which has kept him out for three months, and he picked it up in late November in the home games against Maritimo, but the big mistake was made when he played at Fulham on early December and he made things a lot worse and it’s now over three months since the Fulham game.

We wonder how long he would have been out if he hadn’t been rushed back into the side, and at the time we were losing nearly all our games.

It was understandable why Newcastle tried to get one of our very best players back as early as possible, but that seems to have backfired on Newcastle – but we suppose you live and learn – and the lad is now fit for our next 12 games left in the season.

This is what manager Pardew had said about Ben Arfa’s current fitness:

“I think he’s got a chance.” “We’ll see how he shapes up. He worked all weekend. Hopefully, we’ll get him even closer.”

And Davide Santon traveled this time, as he was slightly injured for the game in Kharkiv, and new boy Massadio Haidara came in at left back, and had what Alan Pardew called a brilliant debut for the Magpies. Certainly the 20 year-old looked a tremendous young player in the Ukraine.

It’s going to be interesting which team Alan Pardew starts tomorrow night, but the side will include Yohan Cabaye, Moussa Sissoko and Steven Taylor, who seem to be the men Alan Pardew is playing in every game, and are the backbone of the side in Colo’s absence.

Here’s Newcastle’s 19 man squad which also includes Dan Gosling:

Jak Alnwick, Shola Ameobi, Vurnon Anita, Hatem Ben Arfa, Gael Bigirimana, Yohan Cabaye, Adam Campbell, Rob Elliot, Dan Gosling, Massadio Haidara, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan, James Perch, Davide Santon, Danny Simpson, Moussa Sissoko, Steven Taylor, Cheick Tiote, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa

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31 comments so far

  • wolfshead@toon

    Mar 6, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #1

    how much does the special one want saf’s job? :- 0 http://www.quitsmokingwithbarca.eu

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  • Carryingcoals

    Mar 6, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #2

    I can’t see tomorrow being a good game to watch and I think we’ll struggle to score. We will be set up for damage limitation and sit behind the ball for long parts. With Goofy our counter attack is limited and we will miss Debuchy too.

    I think Hiddink won’t see what he expects, it’s unlike Pardew to have us raring to go in the first 20. If Ben Arfa does come on in the last twenty minutes I don’t know how much he can contribute, how ready to play is he actually?

    I know Cisse has been awful recently but it’s a big concern having Shola up there all game, I can see a laboured effort from us and I’m just praying we get the away goal.

    Right now I’m sensing a 2-0 Anzhi unfortunately, sorry lads I’m usually the beacon of optimism on here!

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  • Carryingcoals

    Mar 6, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #3

    With Goofy ineligible*

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  • Carryingcoals

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #4

    I’m not having a go at Pardew here and obviously he is well aware how vital an away goal is, but when we play away from home we do play very deep and let teams come on to us in the first half, trying to absorb pressure.

    Then in the second half we have seen what they’re about and we drive forward a bit more, taking more chances

    1-1 would be an excellent result but we can’t show them too much respect and let them pass it about. Big big game for Tiote who needs to impose himself.

    I would honestly start Anita on the right as well. Tiote holding with Cabaye, Marv on the left, Anita on the right. Sissoko behind Shola. If Santon moves to right back, Anita can help provide cover. He’s played on the right a few times in Europe and with Jonas left at home, we will need his work rate. Perhaps include Obertan or Ben Arfa even last twenty….

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  • North Atlantic Magpie

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #5

    Interesting that Cisse is left out.

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  • corkypants85

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #6

    I think 1-1 draw on the morrow lads just got a positive feeling running through me at the moment about our club no just about tomorrow but in general!! Think it might be trophy time!!!

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  • outsidethebox

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #7

    wouldnt be surprised to see obertan/benny in goofys place alongside cisse..one half each
    elliott
    simpson saylor mbai santon
    anita tiote cabaye sissoko
    ben arfa cisse

    with obertan and gutti plus marv to come on

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  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #8

    Carrying…I too expect a defensive performance from us. Tbh, it would seem the most sensible approach. I’m expecting a 0-0, 1-1 or 2-1 result. Don’t see us winning, but would hope with a defensive set up we can keep their goals to a minimum.

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  • North Atlantic Magpie

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #9

    Cisse is not in the sqaud.

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  • Carryingcoals

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #10

    outsidethebox

    No, you’re wrong. Shola starts, Cisse and Jonas didn’t make the trip. Pardew has talked about how he will use his most technical players due to the artificial pitch.

    I can see Simpson being left out, Santon RB and Haidara coming in again. Apart from that the team picks itself for me. Sincerely hope Marv gets the nod on the left rather than Obertan.

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  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #11

    outside…It appears there will be no Cisse tomorrow.

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  • fergies left foot

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #12

    carryingcoals, I agree! considering pardew said he will be playing a technical side i can see marv and anita in there! marveaux always find space in the centre and anita has a better first touch than ben arfa.

    My team:

    ——-elliot——-
    santon-Taylor-MYM-Haidara
    —–tiote—cabaye——-
    anita—-sissoko—-Marveaux
    ———shola————–

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  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #13

    Oh, no Jonas? Ed’s article with the Jonas interview implied he had traveled. Ed out? 🙂

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  • Carryingcoals

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #14

    Ibiza

    Yeah you’re completely right. It’s going to be a very, very tense game. We just need to do a job tomorrow.

    Elliot
    Santon Taylor Mbiwa Haidara
    Anita Cabaye Tiote Marv
    Sissoko
    Shola

    Those players in a 4-5-1, Sissoko just behind Shola. That would be my available team. Arfa on if poss.

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  • Carryingcoals

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #15

    fergies left foot

    Just so everyone knows this is in fact my duplicate account and not a real person 😉

    Good team selection mate!

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  • toonarmydownsouth

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #16

    Carrying
    I fully expected us to have a real go at anzhi tbh but after seeing cisse hasn’t travelled i think it will be a painful 90 minutes to watch with shola starting!
    Now this is not a dig at wor shola at all but, he’s not a player who can spearhead an attack for 90 minutes, he’s best used either as a sub for 20 minutes at the end or in a 442, he had some cracking displays when partnering Ba and even besty but he’s not suited to a single striker role

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  • corkypants85

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #17

    elliot
    simpson mbiwa taylor haidara
    Anita tiote
    Moussa cabaye ben arfa
    ameobi

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  • Carryingcoals

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #18

    tads

    Yeah absolutely mate, I can see him running out of steam after 20 minutes and us looking clueless and holding on for a lot of it.

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  • Carryingcoals

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #19

    ha perhaps thats a bit harsh but im not expecting any shola miracles tomorrow

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  • toonarmydownsouth

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #20

    Ibiza
    I don’t really wish to drag out the Carroll discussion because
    A) i don’t think he will recapture his form, and I do think we have changed more than you imply, mainly we don’t have a decent crosser anymore!
    B) I really really really never ever ever ever ever want too see Carroll in B&W again unless it’s notts county!
    Can’t stand the fella and know he’s not liked much at WHU due to his massive and unwarranted ego, trust me if he comes back he wants to start and he wants the number 9, he desrve’s neither

    Think we may just have to agree to disagree!

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  • toonarmydownsouth

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #21

    Carrying
    Like I said not a dig at shola but the poor old boy just doesn’t have a full 90 in him anymore 🙁
    On another note i hope our lads cover themselves in professionalism tomos, Russian fans aren’t the best and I have no doubt that the ugly issue of racism may very well raise its head again 🙁

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  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #22

    Shola to continue his “impressive” form in Europe is my call.

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  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #23

    tads…I’m going to bully you with optimism. Apparently I’m very good at it 🙂

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  • outsidethebox

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #24

    carryingcoals…sorry hadn,t seen that cisse and jonas were not in squad …shola starts as one of our technical players …love shola for his loyalty but his first touch is usually his last ..but he seems to come good in europe so lets hope…

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  • Carryingcoals

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #25

    tads / ibiza

    On the whole Carroll debate/saga I’ll give you my ten pence worth…

    LOved him when he was here, loved the team at the time, the grit and comraderie that got us out of the championship, Hughton’s team spirirt, Nolan, Barton, Carroll etc. It was great and when it broke up I was worried.

    However – that was one team cycle. It’s finished. Bringing Carroll back is a regressive step for me. Plus as you say tads we dont have an adept crosser to suit his game anyway.

    Pardew seems to be working towards a formation whereby we have attacking fullbacks and a brilliant holding midfielder in a 4-3-3. At our best we play with European flair, HBA and Gouff will be either side of a good goalscorer. Ok right now Cisse isn’t doing that, but the type of forward to play in that role isn’t a big target man. Yes the player must be able to hold the ball up, but quick interchange, intelligence and a poaching eye for goal are most important.

    You could say we could bring AC back to improve the squad. Would he improve it? Yes. However he’d want the number 9 and he’d want to start, plus with a big man in there you know players will inevitably change their style of play and hoof it.

    For the money he’d cost, we could get a better alternative. I really liked the guy but we have moved on in many ways. It would be a no from me.

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  • Pushy Pardew

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #26

    Ed
    Taylor did not play in the winning second leg game against Metalist.
    The Nani sending off was purely down to referee interpretation. Thought Mourinho scored over Fergi by reacting quicker in getting Modric on to stretch a 10 man Man U . Also Pardew would have gone with subs to protect the lead. Pardew is a known advocate of referee profiling for all our Europa games with players fully briefed. He was just talking about this at Swansea . Ball retention will be vital to attempt to nullify the opposition tomorrow so Anita and Marveaux can play key roles. Let’s pack the midfield and counterattack for the away goal.

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  • corkypants85

    Mar 6, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #27

    Shola loves the big games i might back him to score first!!!!

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  • Munster Mag

    Mar 6, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #28

    Carryingcoals, there’s no way he’ll go with a team as offensive as that. Its completely against Pardews football instincts. Perch will feature in midfield. I dont have an issue with that personally. We need a big effort from Shola but I’ve been pessimistic about this game for a while. 3-0 , 3-1 at best. I think they will also score at St James.

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  • Owldman

    Mar 6, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #29

    Watched the match last night not bothered really who won after match comments by the so called pundits! The only one who called it right about the sending off was former Man U stalwart Roy Keene weather the challange was deliberate or not weather he saw the other player or not did not matter in laws of the game any challenge which is deemed dangerous & likely to cause injury is an automatic red card , , i’m sure Ferguson would have been screaming for a red card if the same challenge had beenon

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  • Owldman

    Mar 6, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #30

    Should have read if the same callenge hed been made on a Man U player

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  • ballerfan2

    Mar 6, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    Comment #31

    Owldman, I can’t agree. If Keane’s opinion is correct that a player can’t presume that he should have an area of the pitch to himself in order to make such a play, then they would have to outlaw all overhead kicks and we would never see players pulling balls out of the sky with their skill. The Madrid player’s speed in closing down Nani caused the accident. How many overhead attempts are made with no one close by. Hardly any, but all are potentially very dangerous.

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