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 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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