Robbie Elliot gave a long interview in the Chronicle yesterday, and the Newcastle-born former player and coach talked about a number of different things, including his shock at Newcatsle’s ineptitude in the summer transfer market, but there were also one or two positive things from Robbie.
Ben Arfa – after scoring the late winner against Fulham
Newcastle were basically one man short of having a fairly useful transfer window in the summer, and the one that got away was Bafe Gomis of Lyon, and it seems from French reports yesterday that the deal was almost signed, sealed and delivered, but Newcastle balked on paying his high wages and Lyon didn’t want to pay him what he was due in the deal, for not asking for a transfer.
So it seems both clubs took a step back after the agreement was reached.
We shouldn’t forget that Newcastle brought in five good Frenchmaen in January, and that has to be brought into consideration when assessing the summer transfer dealings – so basically we brought in six Frenchmen – four of them Internationals.
One of the positives Robbie talked about was a couple of our best players – Hatem Ben Arfa, and the midfielder who almost left Newcastle in the summer – Yohan Cabaye.
This is what Robbie said:
“Ben Arfa is a game-changer. I like that.” “Newcastle need to see him on the ball all the time because he makes things happen.” “If he can keep his form then it makes a big difference.”
“He’s great to watch.” “Same with Yohan Cabaye. If he sorts himself out then we have a top-class international midfielder there.”
It seems that Ben Arfa has made an excellent start to the season, and he’s been in good form in all three league games, and the question for Yohan Cabaye is how professional can he now be, and he must concentrate on his football and put his reckless actions of the summer behind him.
And of course both lads would like to be in the France World Cup squad for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil, and that should help Newcastle.
Having both of these Frenchmen in good form this season will go a long way towards giving Newcastle a decent season, and finish in the top half of the league and avoid any relegation scares – like we had last season.
That’s about the best we can hope for at the moment, but we’re willing to be surprised on the upside.
What do you think?
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