The Brilliant Ben Arfa Was The Difference At Villa Park

There’s little doubt that the best player on the field this afternoon was Hatem Ben Arfa, who wove his magic into a second successive win for Newcastle in the league, and the third in all competitions, and Ben Arfa scored one and made one, and was a thorn in the side of Aston Villa all afternoon – and what a player this lad is becoming at Newcastle.

ben arfa congratulated aftter scoring

Ben Arfa being congratulated by his team mates after he scored first goal

It was an excellent result for the Magpies, against a decent looking Villa side, but the mercurial Frenchman was the difference between the sides today, and France’s manager Didier Deshamps will no doubt hear all about this display by Newcastle’s winger.

After the game Alan Pardew talked to BBC Sport and had this to say:

“We carried a lot of offensive threat.” “We haven’t had enough threat, but we’ve got it now.” “Hatem Ben Arfa got a lot of headlines last time he scored against Fulham, but I thought he did just OK then. Today he was unplayable.”

“Hatem was on fire today.” “He has the ability to hold on to the ball and give us a rest, then burst past one or two players.”  “If he can get consistency not only will he be a threat for us, but a threat for France at the World Cup.”

Nice little plug by Pardew for Ben Arfa’s inclusion in France’s squad, and if  he plays like this he must get a recall by his country – surely.

And credit to Ben Arfa for his terrific work rate today, because both he and Loic Remy as the wide men in a 4-3-3 formation, were going back to help out in defense, and Ben Arfa in particular put in so much work for the Newcastle side today.

We can only think he was inspired by what he saw take place at St. James’ Park on Wednesday night. 😀

Paul Lambert suffered his third defeat in the first four league games, and he wasn’t pleased about the first half performance from his side, and they had only one half chance in that first half.

“We never really got going in the first half.” “Credit to Newcastle on that side. We got back in the game with Christian’s Benteke goal. The second goal was a poor goal to concede.”

“You pick yourselves up when you go behind and go again. We gave it a right go but you can’t start the way we did.”

This was an excellent win by the lads,  and 7 points from the first four league games is a good return, and we are now 8th in the league or joint 5th with the two Manchester clubs also on 7 points.

That cannot be too bad.

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25 comments so far

  • Mint

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #1

    Tiote actually played well too!

  • Ciaran

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #2

    I agree that trying to call people out is very unnecessary.

    We played well for the first half, but for whatever reason we retreated into ourselves again at the start of the second half, resorted to lumping it a few times, were sloppy in possession and sitting deep.

    Ben Arfa was class today, but the reality is that without him, we would not have won today. Not putting a negative spin on the victory as I am delighted, but think we need to realise what a precarious situation we find ourselves in, and see a side that isn’t so reliant on one man.

    Delighted with Pardew’s team selection and our first half performance, as well as the performances (or part performances) of a few of our players. It’s not the finished article, but it’s a step in the right direction.

    Doesn’t mean that we’re all delighted with Ashley. It just means that Pardew has bought himself another week.

  • Big Pappa Cissé

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #3

    Where are all the people saying we should have sold Ben Arfa now then ? . The guy is our best player and when fully fit and with a run of games we will see his true potential.

  • Rotonda heights

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #4

    If only poor old Goofy hadn’t missed that last minute chance v west ham we’d almost be top!!!

    Well it’s only taken Pardew 18 months to put out an 11 who were picked on merit, playing in their right positions and in the right formation with very little hoof ball and actually looking to go for a second goal !!!

    Maybe the penny has finally dropped. Great to watch and just hope it can continue as I still think we have a very good squad that just need to play like this week in week out. Good to see Debuchy has some cojones on him too.

  • Mister Tuff

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #5

    manxpie -and what posts would they be – please enlighten me.

  • mattnufc

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #6

    Haven’t met anyone who says that

  • Big Pappa Cissé

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #7

    @ matt

    There were a few on here a couple of months ago saying he was too inconsistent and we should get rid of him .

  • Quasimodo's tailor

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #8

    Keyring, you’re a joke. Can’t you bog off and support Linfield or Glentoran you leech.

  • Ciaran

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #9


    I replied to you on the previous thread. Also, your insult is phonetically incorrect. My name is pronounced Key-urn.

  • bills-son

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #10

    Ciaran @ 2

    What a spiteful negative post after an excellent team choice and subs by Pardew, great result and some excellent performances topped off by HBA.

    As I and other less hysterical fans have pointed out – Ashley not selling our top players has left us with a squad core that is settled and the five players signed in Jan are now beginning to show their ability. Pardew was dealt a sh1t hand with injuries and suspensions last season and trying to bed five new players into a struggling team was no easy job.

    I”ve said all along judge Pardew and this squad after 10 games and if we are playing cr@p and bottom six then kick off. Since the City game we’ve won three, drawn one and only conceded two goals.

    You Ciaran and other Ashley and Pardew haters have dig a huge hole for yourselves that might bury you if this squad does well. Its still early days but I believe this team will get better – much better.


  • bollance

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #11


    I suggested we should cash in because he struggled with fitness. I stand corrected. If we can keep him fit I believe he and the rest of the team have the capacity to perform much better than today. But a win is a win which sets up the Hull game nicely.

  • roy

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #12

    They played just like I expected that’s why I think we will be a top seven team this season.

  • bollance

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Comment #13


    We only have one player to settle into the team and he has hit the ground running. It makes a difference as we more or less have a settled team. It just needs confidence.

  • Ciaran

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    Comment #14

    “Delighted with Pardew’s team selection and our first half performance, as well as the performances (or part performances) of a few of our players. It’s not the finished article, but it’s a step in the right direction.”


    For the love of God, can you tell me what is spiteful or negative about this? I would love nothing more than for Pardew to do well with this squad. It would mean that, in spite of having no support from his boss, he can still get results.

    However, in order to achieve that, we will need to suffer from very few injuries/suspensions and have our key players firing on all cylinders for an entire season. I’m not going to judge Pardew on 10 games, I’ve already judged him and he is not good enough, but if he can manage top 10 then fair play to him.

    He, and Ashley, still need to go though.

  • Quasimodo's tailor

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #15

    Ashley needs to go. Why? ‘Cos the self-proclaimed intellectual Keyring says so.

  • Ciaran

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #16


    If you really need to ask that question them I’m afraid no amount of discussion, intelligent or otherwise, will do you any good.

  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    Comment #17

    Rotonda…be carefull you don’t jinx it now 😉 lol

  • bills-son

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    Comment #18


    Dead right. With confidence this team has loads of potential and if Cisse clicks again we could be dynamite up front.

    One thing I noticed today – Santon hardly went forward and when he did he stuck to the byeline and got back quick. Debuchy also looked far more like a half decent full back. If the pair of them keep that up we won’t leak goals like last season.

    There were lots of things I saw today that tell me Pardew and the players have the bit between their teeth.

    If Cabaye and Cisse get back to top form we could be some team especially going forward.

  • Krul To Be Kind

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #19

    Lads, lads, lads

    Can we stop with the childish antics and discuss stuff or something…

    Great result today, I never caught the game but ecstatic by the result, I expected a point at best today but thankfully all 3 coming!

    On a sidenote though – has anyone had a look at the league table…


  • Quasimodo's tailor

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #20

    Make it otherwise then

  • Krul To Be Kind

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #21


    Did we paly a 433 today? if so that will explain the lack of forward thinking fullback play as we would have had 2 dedicated attackers on the flanks… if I never see 4231 again it’ll be too soon!

  • theartfuldodger

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #22

    Good Day today. Happy Bunny.
    Lets enjoy till injuries set in.
    If were lucky i.e. no injuries it will be a good season.

    Btw, Eto not looking too good. Ba not even on bench.

  • WLtoon

    Sep 14, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    Comment #23

    If ben Arfa plays like that most wks he,ll line ashleys pockets at the end of the Jan transfer window.

  • wynsleap

    Sep 14, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    Comment #24

    WLtoon @23 Yes – won’t be long before Pardew starts to get his January window touting of Benny going.
    “We’re expecting big bids for Ben Arfa coming in and it’s out of our hands” (being the small, insignificant and unambitious outfit we are).
    Shades of Cabaye this summer.


    Sep 15, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    Comment #25

    I believe we are one Striker away from having a very good Team?

    Erikkson looked awesome for the Spuds yesterday, we should of pulled our fingers out and signed more before the window shut !

    Then we have Pardew on another thread, saying that the club have no Money? When the owner is sat on 3 Billion?

    Am i stupid? or is Ashley just taking the pith out of the Geordie Nation here?
    52,000 in the ground next week at home to Hull ?


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