I Was Pulling My Hair Out Over Some Ben Arfa Decisions

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew admitted he was pulling his hair our over some Ben Arfa decisions in the game today against Fulham, which Newcastle won with a superb 86th minute Ben Arfa goal, our first league goal of the season.

ben arfa strike fulham

Ben Arfa – there it goes – the winning goal

After the game a happy Alan Pardew had this to say:

“The goal came from Hatem and I was pulling my hair out today with him. He was making bad decisions in terms of his selection of pass, he was not really doing what we want him to do in that wide area.”

“And then he created three or four moments in the game that can change it, a couple of balls he slid across and we didn’t connect with, and then the goal was fantastic.”  “That’s Hatem.”

“He makes us slightly dysfunctional at times, but he can win us a game at any level and he did that today.”

Newcastle had a so-so first half,  but were much better after the break, and looked a good side when Yohan Cabaye was introduced after 65 minutes and then Remy after 75 minutes.

And for the last 25 minutes it was all Newcastle, and we had chances to get a goal,  but it took a simply  superb effort from the Frenchman after 86 minutes, to get the goal and all 3 points.

And for those who may not have seen the Ben Arfa goal yet – here it is.

[youtube id=”9nHLxHYUAlE” mode=”normal” align=”left”]

What a match-winner.

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77 comments so far

  • jayphoto

    Aug 31, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    Comment #1

    Gomis and Ba are completely different players… They have the same build maybe? But Gomis is much more similar to Cisse! Strikes me as not alot of toon fans have actually seen Gomis play much,,,, hes definately not a target man, more relies on movement and is a bit of a poacher! Hes a similar striker to Darren Bent, if he signs hel be competing with Cisse not playing with him! Think they’ll be competing to start with Remy

  • Klatoon

    Aug 31, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    Comment #2

    I watched this interview and at the end he sums it up perfectly. ”…he’s a maverick” . Lots of things about AP i dont like but his relationship with/handling of HBA is excellent

  • jokinoot

    Aug 31, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    Comment #3

    Game changed after the subs we looked a different class sorry shola the game is too fast for you Cabaye yeah a few boos and silly foul but all in all the 3 subs made the difference Remy worked well with goofy and cisse deserved win hope for many ,still need players in thou

  • Offkey

    Aug 31, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    Comment #4

    Jayphoto – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bik2RKcBjeI

    In this video he looks like a target man and although I am not french, I think that is what they are trying to say…..do you think the video is not a fair representation of his play

  • Toon1978

    Aug 31, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Comment #5

    I would happily keep HBA at NUFC for the rest of his career and making the team dysfunctional just to have his quality Football at this club and nowhere else. HBA loves this club, you can tell. The team MUST be built around HBA. Would be a quality ending to the window if we were to bring in Ayew, Gomis, Ba and Ince. It won’t happen though. One will come in with a little luck.

  • Macas

    Aug 31, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    Comment #6

    Pardew gets it spot on here, Ben Arfa was making all the wrong decisions for the first 60 mins, but he started to get it right after that, and really upped his game. Debuchy was man of the match for me though, really strong performance.

  • Belfast-Toon

    Sep 1, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    Comment #7

    Way better performance, hope cabs stays and that front 3 can stay fit as I think the only striker coming would be Ba. Can’t complain too much, we won, mackems lost so can sit and enjoy it all tomorrow and Monday lol have a fortnight off so off to Dublin for the Ireland and Sweden match.

  • Pokat

    Sep 1, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    Comment #8

    You were pulling your hair out at some of Ben Arfa’s decisions, Alan? Funny, we have been doing the same about you for some time.

    Seriously though, credit wher its due to Pardew today, right to wear Hangeland and Riise down with Shola and soften their defence up, get Anita and Sissoko to run their mid ragged (Berbatov – whatttt??) first before bringing on Cabaye (who btw nearly lost us the game but we will gloss over that) Remy and Gouffran. When their pace and movement pulled them apart they were wide open for the Hatem Bomb. Wasn’t it a mirror image of that goal he scored with is right oh man who was that against? Anyway, HBA can make as many goofs as he likes, its precisely those risks that end up with gems like that.

    Low attendance today though. And Fulham were dire. Bent was entirely missing.

  • Yohan Kebab

    Sep 1, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    Comment #9

    i think ince in nobody else he looks agreat player won blackpool their match today

  • g.s.tooner

    Sep 1, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    Comment #10

    Imo both ba and gomis a strong physical players who can bring the ball down beat a player and routinely put the ball in the back of the net. They grind out goals with their positional play, strength and technique.

    Cisse is a player who can perform the unimanginable. Bash the ball in from anywhere on the pitch (goal at chelsea). Can see what others cant and has the ability to excecute them. By being our only notable striker hes been forced to try and play both roles which is why hes not performing as we know he can. Ba or gomis will free him up to play the way he is at his best. But as i said before id prefer gomis caus ba and cisse have no chemistry

  • Belfast-Toon

    Sep 1, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    Comment #11

    I would like to see ince too kebab but r board take too long to complete a perm deal, unless of course fee has already been agreed. Think a loanee might be r limit

  • Sazzer

    Sep 1, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    Comment #12
  • jayphoto

    Sep 1, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    Comment #13

    @offkey – hes a big guy, but loses more in the air than he wins! He tends to play off the last defender like cisse, hes quicker than he looks and often runs in behind, has decent movement off the ball!
    If we played him as a target man hed be wasted! Due to his size he could probably play this role but its not his strength! His link up play and bringing people into the game is probably his weakest attribute! Much more similar to cisse than ba! Saying this, i never watch lyon much! Im a st ettiene fan (my second team aftr the toon) and am largely going off what i saw when he was a green!

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Sep 1, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    Comment #14

    Unbelievable comments from pardew. Absolutely disgusting. Benny could have got his head up a couple of timed and picked a simple pass. But on the whole he wad outstanding, the one player who carried the fight and showed a real desire to win. For pardew to blame the man and say he is slightly dysfunctional to the team is a sick joke, especially coming from a man who has made the side so dysfunctional with his negative tactics. If it wasnt for benny pardew would have got us relegated last season and we wouls still be without a goal or a win this season. He should be fulsome in his praise. Moreover, he should start by getting his name right. It is not HatAm. I wish he would piss off. He insulted big sam last week with his drivel and hes insulted benny big time there. What a complete dickhead.

  • Klatoon

    Sep 1, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    Comment #15

    Not bothered which striker we bring in but the LW has to be Ayew. Ince and Thauvin may be more skillful but Ayew’s strength,directness,work ethic and versatility makes him a better fit for Nufc.

  • Klatoon

    Sep 1, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    Comment #16

    B and B, if you watched the interview you’d realise AP’s actually praising HBA

  • Offkey

    Sep 1, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    Comment #18

    Jay – cheers – never seen the lad apart from youtube so cant judge myself.

  • Sazzer

    Sep 1, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    Comment #19

    Not bothered which striker we bring in but the LW has to be Jonas. Ince and Thauvin may be more skillful but Jonas’s strength,directness,work ethic and versatility makes him a better fit for Nufc.


  • jayphoto

    Sep 1, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    Comment #20

    @klatoon – ayew wants to play centre mid at any club he moves to

  • tallmidget

    Sep 1, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    Comment #21

    Ben Arfa played well, plenty of attacking runs. But sometimes he tries to do too much and plays his way into trouble instead of playing a simple pass or knocking a decent cross in. Wastes many chances looking for the wonder goal as well.

  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Sep 1, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    Comment #22

    Jonas is terrible and should never start for Newcastle United again. That is all.

    Oh by the way, finished Training Day there lads, great movie.

    Off to bed now! Night folks!

  • jayphoto

    Sep 1, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    Comment #23

    @offkey – no probs iv seen him lots! Thing with gomis, hes offside more than cisse and he misses alot of chances, tho his movement means he gets lots of chances

  • jimmysmith

    Sep 1, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    Comment #24

    sazzer, which with the benefit of auto correct, becomes snazzier, I too believe that Gutierrez is the right guy on the left of mid either in a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3. I think we have lacked in other areas, notably an out and winger or striker/winger and Gutierrez has ended up putting out fires and looking less of the player he is as a result, but still contributing admirably. Although having said that, I’m not entirely sure your post wasn’t tongue in cheek.????

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Sep 1, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    Comment #25

    Klatoon ive watched the interview but i can also read word for word exactly what he said. Dysfunctional. Even if benny made some bad decisions at times, they werent costly but whats more important was he played his heart out. He was our only real creative hope. I saw cabaye come on and he was dysfunctional at times but pardew just blows smoke up his arse all day long, even though hes been refusing to play. Pardews stupid post match comments have annoyed me as much as they annoyed big sam last week. I knew when i heard them that they were such utter tosh that i waited after the game to ask sam what he thought.

  • Klatoon

    Sep 1, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    Comment #26

    Jonas and direct should never be used in the same sentence 🙂

  • jimmysmith

    Sep 1, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    Comment #27

    Taking your core users for granted, generally speaking a cardinal sin in business, but not apparently in the stack em high, sell em low tat business, or pay day loan sharking business, or indeed the owning of Newcastle United caper.

    I really hope we sign a couple more, but if we don’t, I hope all the more Ash gets the concerted gobful from the terraces he will undoubtedly deserve.

    Saved at home again by a wonder strike, how many points does that approach garner over the course of a full season, enough to get us relegated maybe?

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Sep 1, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    Comment #28

    B and B, good posts tonight.

    15 minutes of excitement of our new loan signing and relying on the individual brilliance of a very good player in Hatem doesn’t mask that for another 75 minutes we were completely void of movement and up to the same old same old.

    Yes, we tried to keep the ball on the floor more, but the passes were still being lost regularly and the movement is still pathetic. We are void of inter-linking ideas, 1-2s and a real discouraging lack of players wanting to get forward to score a goal.

    Sissoko shone brightly for a couple of games before he was Pardew’d and sapped his natural footballing ability. Remy, watch out.

    Plus, Fulham were poor. They were at Berbatov walking pace a lot of the time.

    Nicking goals like that isn’t a reliable way to progress. Pardew is lucky he has international quality players to keep bailing him out.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Sep 1, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    Comment #29

    Jimmy, right on.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Sep 1, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    Comment #30

    For Pardew to say Ben Arfa made some bad decisions is laughable. Pardew himself is a bad decision by Ashley.

    The lad has bailed him out of another dismal attacking display for 75 minutes. Do you wonder why Hatem holds on to the ball a bit longer? He knows he has to produce, because there’s little other hope and being the maverick he is, he thrives on it.

    There’s no movement around him, lack of players pushing forward and no overlapping and creativity into the box.

    Pardew should be praising the lad with no sign of bad decisions or dysfunctional in the comments.

    His whole team philosophy is dysfunctional as there is no real cohesion or clue how to attack effectively. Hoping that someone produces an individual effort is a clueless way to base strategy.

    As for the defending, Fulham were poor, and if we have that many players not willing to attack, then we’re just preparing for their next wave of attack without trying to be positive ourselves. With all those players hanging back, it should naturally be hard to break us down.

  • jimmysmith

    Sep 1, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    Comment #31

    When the goal goes in in real time on the vid, the silence in expectation around the ground is so manifest that you can actually hear the net ring as the purely struck ball hits it dead centre. It is a perfect moment.

  • yorkshire_magpie

    Sep 1, 2013 at 1:29 AM

    Comment #32

    _______________________ Krul

    Debuchy_______ Mbiwa_____ Colo________ Santon

    ______Sissoko______ Anita_______ Marveaux/Tiote

    _______ HBA________________________Remy/Gouffran


  • yorkshire_magpie

    Sep 1, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    Comment #33

    4-3-3 all the way. That is the road to success!

  • Macas

    Sep 1, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    Comment #34

    Laurent Robert – Got to totally disagree with you there, there were plenty times Ben Arfa had a simple pass or cross on and he tried to take the ball on himself or turn a defender an extra time. Don’t get me wrong, he was fantastic at times, but to say there were no other options for him is simply not true. Debuchy made a point of bombing past him on numerous occasions for a start.

  • yorkshire_magpie

    Sep 1, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    Comment #35

    Macas. You maybe right but I think HBA is totally wasted in the position and the way pardew is playing him. He is a creative attacking minded player he should be playing in a more central attacking role not helping out in defence in trying to win the ball back. It spoils the whole momentum of his game.

  • Brutooon

    Sep 1, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    Comment #36

    1) sissoko main position is centre midfielder because he is a box to box midfielder. AP previously put him as a 2nd striker or a winger – noth not effective

    2) we are unbeaten and got clean sheet 3 games in a row WITHOUT overrated Steven Taylor and Mr No-End-Product Jonas

    3) Get rid of Shola Ameobi = Goals coming.


  • Newcastle for alltid

    Sep 1, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    Comment #37

    I`ve already stated my thoughts on the first half which was really bad, but the second half was a lot stronger. When we actually dare to play our attacking players together up front (Gouffran, HBA, Remy, Cissè) it`s really hard for the opposition. We cause them a lot of problems with our straight on attacking play. I really hope Pardew dare to play our 2nd half attacking lineup from the start at home against weaker sides this year, as it is able to kill matches early on. That`s the quality that we`ve got.

  • CullysFinest

    Sep 1, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    Comment #38

    b + b
    spot on

    hba played one of his best games in b&w today and for him to come of the pitch and hear his manager critisicing the majority of his game is both harsh and unnecessary…
    new lows from AP, its as if he actively dislikes his players sometimes

  • p

    Sep 1, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    Comment #39

    We were a better team than west ham last week and a better team than fulham this week

    Once we sort out our attcking play which may almost be there un the shape of remy and gouffran we will get more goals

    Not sure why anyone would be unhappy tonight

    Another signing or 2will help alot.

  • ilovetoon8788

    Sep 1, 2013 at 3:14 AM

    Comment #40

    Our best attacking play came when Gouffran and HBA playing wide.

    I think it offers more balanced than Marvauex on the left wing. Gouffran right footed and HBA left footed cutting in from each side was more fluid. Marvauex and HBA swapping positions was also awkward to watch.

    Gouffran and Remy also linked up well and if HBA learns to make better decision like whipping in a cross earlier, Cisse will start banging them in.

    Cisse is still our no.9 and our main man. With more gelling upfront with Remy, Cisse movements can be quite dangerous. I expect 20 goals from him this season and no less.


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