Ben Arfa – No Ill Effects After Benfica – He’s An X-Factor Player


Some really good news today from Alan Pardew, that Ben Arfa has had no ill effects from his hamstring after making a substitute appearance last night,  and setting up Newcastle’s goal when he dispossessed a Benfica player in the penalty box.

ben arfa in action against Benfica

Ben Arfa in action last night – he will not start tomorrow

Ben Arfa is the type of player that Newcastle fans simply love, and you could see (hear?) that last night with the welcome he received from the crowd when he was brought on after 62 minutes –  a tremendous roar.

There could be a number of players back tomorrow including Steven Taylor, Mathieu Debuchy and Cheick Tiote,  but Alan Pardew was giving nothing away today in his press conference for tomorrow’s Sunderland game – other than to say Newcastle will field a strong side. .

This is what some of what Alan Pardew had to say:

“We’ll have to wait and see – I’m not really going to give any news about my injuries and who’s fit and who isn’t available.” “But we’ll have a strong team.”

“Hatem’s an X factor player, there’s no doubt about that.” “He won’t start tomorrow, he’s not ready to start, but any impact at any time he’s there and any time after half time I’ll be looking at him.”

“He seems to have come through yesterday with no ill effects. He’s not that stiff, which we thought maybe he would be because it was a little bit longer than we planned for him to play.”

“But he certainly lifted the crowd and lifted the team. He’s got fantastic ability and we’re very lucky to have him.”

Benfica drew Turkish side Fenerbahce today in the Europa League draw,  and Chelsea are up against Basel – and maybe it’s a second European title for Chelsea in successive years?

And yes Real Madrid drew Barcelona – what a tie that will be – and the final will be between a Spanish side and a German side – either Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund.

Alan also said he thought Newcastle had done themselves a lot of good in Europe by the way they had played, and also the immaculate way in which the Geordie fans conducted themselves at the games – both home and away.

Alan also mentioned how Benfica has shown how they were a class act, by laying flowers at the Bobby Robson statue at St. James’ Park – that was a tremendous gesture by the Portuguese side last night and all credit to them.

Bobby managed both Sporting Lisbon and Porto, so he was loved and admired in Portugal – as he is around the world.

And Alan Prtdew has been simply amazed at the full houses Newcastle have been able to draw in the last several home games – because as Alan said this afternoon, it’s not like we’ve had a great season in the league, like we did last year.

We just have to hope European competition isn’t too far away for Newcastle in the future – maybe the season after next – hopefully. 😀

Comments welcome.

Note – today we are trying to help one of our readers, Bagus Asmanu – who is studying at INTO Manchester – in partnership with Manchester University – and Bagus is completing a dissertation – and some of the work is on the Wonga deal with Newcastle United – and he wants as many Newcastle supporters as possible to complete his questionnaire. Here it is – please help Bagus.

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178 comments so far

  • kevymartins

    Apr 12, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    Comment #1

    Glad to see one of my buds met Steve Harper and Rob Elliott yesterday and got a autograph.

    Glad to see are ”flair” player is back no offence to the other lads on the team but everytime this lad touches the ball he looks like he is gona create something.

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  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Apr 12, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    Comment #2

    Ruddy …if we do finish in the top 10 I think most will be happy!

    …there will the few bad apples who will still complain about about MA and what could have been. Most I think will move on a look to next season 🙂 (at least I will)

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  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Apr 12, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    Comment #3

    *be

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  • kevymartins

    Apr 12, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #4

    @Jesper If you had said to me before the season began would you take top 10 I would have said hell no we want top 4 but given the circumstances are league position and the injury list most fans just wan’t this horrible season over to look forward to next season so yea I would take top 10.

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  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Apr 12, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #5
  • Ashton

    Apr 12, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Comment #6

    Pardew is confused we aren’t playing tomorrow. Someone should tell him.

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  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Apr 12, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #7

    Jesper

    A good Europa League campaign and top 10 finish (especially if we play good football) surely must be seen as a relative successful end to the season?

    Well those who think of what could have been have some merit, but there is little point regretting what could have been.

    If Pardew can pull it off and get the players he needs then I’ll be confident enough for next season.

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  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Apr 12, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #8

    Kevy…yeah! I think we just need to savor what we can and look to next season. A 10 top would be a great achievement under the circumstances!

    …it has been a rotten season in terms of everything 🙁

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  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Apr 12, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #9

    * top 10 finish 🙂

    Ruddy…total agree (think I said everything had been rotten this season so far, but the EL campaign has been great) 🙂

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  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 12, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #10

    Betty swallocks

    Not Pardew’s biggest fan but he almost played it perfectly last night. I know we had to go for it but the last 20 mins were like the very best KK days!!

    Pure theatre and a joy to watch even though the inevitable heartbreak and glorious failure are still NUFC’s calling cards.

    Only very minor criticism was why did Bigi start and Anita could have gone RB when we made the late changes but the cruelty of the near misses and disallowed goals were hard to take. Plus what a time for Cabaye to have his worst game. Yes 2 stupid errors in Lisbon but lady luck was not our friend in both legs.

    Great to see Haidara back and looking good. Even better seeing Benny back . He and Marveaux are something else. Just hope Pardew will play both together again in future, though Benny needs to shift some timber!!

    Don’t know how to feel today. In parts it felt like the good old days in the second half, but I’m going to really miss Europe next season having come this far this time round.

    Don’t want Carrol back as then the last fabulous 20 mins of superb pass and move, attacking football played to feet will be a thing of the past. Maybe it will be for a while now anyway if Pards reverts to defensive mode as per.

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  • Sir Erec

    Apr 12, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #11

    Absolutely love this player to bits.

    Watching his interview after the match last night you could see the passion he has for football and for this club.

    Following his career in the game, this is the happiest I’ve seen him and the most in love with the game he has been in a long time.

    With the absolute roar he got from the crowd I think he truly feels appreciated and wanted here, and I can’t see him having a reason to leave in the near future.

    like kevymartins said, every time he touches the ball you get lifted off of your seat.

    he truly is a magical player and one I hope stays at the toon till he retires

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  • JackButler

    Apr 12, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    Comment #12

    Can Pardew find a way to fit both Marv and HBA into the same starting 11????????

    I truly hope so……………….but seriously doubt it!!!!!

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  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Apr 12, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Comment #13

    JB…they did look good together last night didn’t they 🙂

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  • do the hatem shake

    Apr 12, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #14

    JackButler
    defense
    ………….sissoko……………cabaye.

    ben arfa……….marveux……gouffran
    ………………………cisse…………………

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  • Graeme

    Apr 12, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #15

    As long as we go into the last game, at least 4 points above the drop zone, I for one will be happy.

    We can write this season off, except for the amazing European run, as a disaster, caused by ridiculous amounts of injury, a failure to strengthen last summer etc. etc

    We brought in some fabulous players in January who have all impressed and we now have the basis of a damn good team. With 2 or 3 good “Purple” signings in the summer; a good “Pre-season” and we should be looking to challenge for European footy for 14/15 season.

    We should also be looking to attack the FA Cup as its also a European place on offer.

    Lets get the scum from down the road sorted first, just to keep them in their place and we can look forward to a much better season next year, bring it on.

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  • BandB

    Apr 12, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #16

    Jesper,

    Glad to see your four-month hissy fit is assuaged, and amused you think yourself now safe to point a finger at the “bad apples.”
    Surely it’s better to sound a warning voice in the good times if you see clouds looming, and get completely behind the club foursqaure when the storm breaks?
    Rather than the other way round?

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  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Apr 12, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #17

    BandB

    Somewhat antagonistic comment there, not exactly necessary is it?

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  • JackButler

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #18

    @jesper

    Hahaha they did mate, just hope Pardew doesn’t revert to type in being overly defensive and we finally see some freedom to our play

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  • kevymartins

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    Comment #19

    BandB

    How much for a room? Do you’s serve nice orange juice in the morning 😉

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  • outsidethebox

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #20

    ed …not sure where you get info from but barca didn,t draw real ..so an all spanish or an all german final could still be on

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  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #21

    Jack

    Well for 20mins at least Pards shown that he has a willingness to attack, we were very attacking in the second half against Fulham and could have won 3/4-0 so I think Pards isn’t as defensive as some make him out to be.

    And if he can compliment Marv and HBA in the same team without sacrificing defensive tracking then I think he will play them both, more hope than expectation though haha

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  • BandB

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #22

    Ruddy,

    “Bad apples” was an antagonistic comment. And one, I feel, where he needs to examine his own statements. I have been consistent I hope. I am not being aggressive, and I hope you won’t make another bid for leadership again of the board so soon.

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  • BandB

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #23

    Kevy,

    I don’t understand. Are you trying to be funny?

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  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #24

    BandB

    There you go again with your barbed jibes “leadership of the board”.

    Hardly apt given my absence from this blog for months now is it? Don’t let facts get in the way of your subtle insults though.

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  • kevymartins

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #25

    BandB Does your milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard?

    Lol I’m just messing with you mate.

    0
  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #26

    Kevin

    Once more, totally incapable of commenting without being inappropriate or grossly offensive.

    0
  • outsidethebox

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #27

    really impressed with hairdrier last night(carrs done it again ) feel happy with gk,s , fbacks,and midfield just a left footed centre back and a striker for next term …please mr carr..

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  • BandB

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #28

    Ruddy,

    Thanks for the support. I welcomed you back. First, I think. And I meant it. I don’t want to get into points scoring again.

    Kevy

    I feel groped. Is that what you intended? 😉

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  • kevymartins

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    Comment #29

    @Ruddy inappropriate? I was messing around with him and it’s none off your business…Go try claim the throne through someone else…Don’t even bother commenting about my english it’s just getting old …An why try pick on the guys with the bad english as if your some sort of freak abit of ocd going on there haha

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  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #30

    BandB

    It wouldn’t be the blog if I wasn’t getting into scraps of some sort 😛 didn’t like your comments, and I am not backwards in coming forwards and I say what I feel. It’s the reason people have issues with me but I won’t be changing any time soon 🙂

    There will be no hindering honest, reasoned debate though so petty point scoring is on neither of our agenda’s I feel.

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  • kevymartins

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    Comment #31

    And BandB I was messing around as in your name is BandB …Bed and Breakfast …Lol i’m pritty sure you are not offended

    0
  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    Comment #32

    Kevin

    Who mentioned your English? Think you’re highlighting you’re own insecurities there lad.

    0
  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #33

    Ha, and here I am thinking he knew she was a woman.

    0
  • BandB

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #34

    Kevy

    It’s fine. Honest mistake. I’m a happy Mag looking forward to Sunday, and nowt could spoil it x

    0
  • kevymartins

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #35

    @Ruddy that’s funny considering everytime you have written a comment aimed at me there has been something said about bad english

    Don’t even sweat it. I actually feel sorry for you they way you come on here and comment the way you do you must have a pritty restricted life…As they say live a little man

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  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #36

    Right back to football.

    Do we feel Pards has balanced the players in the squad to give the Unwashed a good trimming?

    Will HBA or Marv start? Or both?

    Has Haidara shown enough to be considered pushing Santon for the LB spot?

    And finally, predictions?

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  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #37

    BandB…do you want a reply or was that just a way to satisfy your own ego?

    …four-month hissy fit! you gotta be kidding me!

    0
  • BandB

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    Comment #38

    I’m kidding you

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  • Ibizatoon - Back By Popular Demand

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    Comment #39

    Get a feeling my presence isn’t needed here for some reason…

    Ruddy….I imagine Marv will be starting, but Benny on the bench (based on Pardews comments of today – On Benny, Marv is an assumption).

    Haidara is really impressing. Whilst I really like Santon, it can certainly be argued that this young lad is perhaps the more complete player – or at least a better defender 🙂

    3-0 and yes, I’d consider that a pretty decent trimming 😉

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  • OhSholaAmeobi

    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #40

    I got confused there, the game isn’t tomorrow!

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