There Is Big Talent In This Team – I Am Proud Of Them

Ben Arfa had one of his best games for Newcastle on Saturday at Villa Park, and the lad has been on fire this season, starting at the Emirates in that first game of the season, when he was one of the few Newcastle players who turned up for the game.

ben arfa villa

Ben Arfa – great display on Saturday

Alan Pardew had worked with the forwards last week on a new formation, and since Demba Ba left in January we have never been a threat up front, and we found it difficult to score goals and in the first three league games of the season we scored just one goal – but we got two on Saturday and with Loic Remy in the side, and Ben Arfa in top form, we even looked a good attacking side on Saturday.

Remy powered down the left in the first half and his resultant  pull back after 18 minutes saw Ben Arfa smash the ball  into the net, but then on 67 minutes some weak defending saw their danger man Benteke head the ball into the net from a corner, but then six minutes later more Ben Arfa magic had the Frenchman cutting inside and shooting.

Guzan could only parry the ball,  and Yoan Gouffran had a chance that was a lot more difficult than it appeared,  but he put the ball into the back of the net beautifully, and the Magpies bagged all three points.


Ben Arfa is a confident lad and he thinks Newcastle again have a good side:

“I said at the start of the season we can do top five.” “I’m still thinking that way.”  “With this formation, we know we can score almost any time.”  “There is big talent in this team.”

“We have a lot of creative players like Loic Remy and Yohan Cabaye.”  “They will make opportunities and serve up big chances. For me, this team is strong. If there’s no injuries for us, we have a very good team.”

“It’s not always about your football, sometimes you have to show you are strong in the mind.”  “We have showed we have big characters here. Everybody’s done their job properly, and I am very proud of my team.”

“The win is important, but the most important thing was that after the goal we kept on going. We didn’t just take 1-1. We didn’t settle for a point.”  “If we want to be a big team, we have to be more like that.”

“The big clubs are winners in their minds. They have the winning mentality, and don’t settle for anything less.”  “Manchester United are like that, and we need to have that as well to be in the top five.”

Those are really good words from a lad who saw success at both Lyon and Marseilles,  so the 26 year-old knows what being a  top team is all about.

The 4-3-3 formation seemed to work like a treat on Saturday,  and we have the players to deploy that system, and certainly the display and the result on Saturday will have lifted the spirits  on Tyneside, and hey, we could even have a good side this season.

Certainly the outlook now looks a lot brighter for Newcastle – that’s the least that can be said after Saturday.

Howay The Lads!!

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13 comments so far

  • Vask

    Sep 16, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #1

    I’m beginning to think that wor benny would make a canny successor to colo. Always gives his all, has always spoke positively about the toon, never really wanted away and he loves the fans. Go Hatem you can fly. Fly hatem fly!

  • Mint

    Sep 16, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #2

    Is it possible other teams will figure us out after several games playing the same formation and we will be on a loosing streak once again?

    Whats the real impact of managers knowing another teams formation? Surely if our players are better then knowing our formation doesnt really matter right?

  • Graeme

    Sep 16, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #3

    The improvement from playing a 4-3-3 which suits the players we have, is incredible. Most of last season we had square pegs in round holes, we were simply not playing to our strenghths – and it showed.

    Hopefully we can get Remy signed up in the January window – our friendly Bank Manager permitting the overdraft application of course!!

  • Hatem's better than Messi

    Sep 16, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #4

    We have a good starting 11 if you include Remy on loan.

    Any injuries and we’re screwed.

  • Transfer Sage

    Sep 16, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #5


    I think we are now in a system which gives our players the best chance of success. Before we struggled as our players weren’t able to reach their potential.

    In this attacking system, with more players further up, we are able to get the best of out our boys so even if the opositon know how we play it will be difficult to stop us.

  • Ian Toon

    Sep 16, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #6

    Lilongwe- Cisse is short of match fitness and confidence.
    It would make no sense not to play him into form. He is an instinctive goalscorer. On Saturday his touch was poor but movement and link play good. Cast your mind back to the Fulham game and when Remy came on, It really lifted Cisse’s game. I would suggest that will be Pardew’s thinking come Saturday. Gouffran needs to do more than just have the legs, coming on against tired defenders. His chance will come against Leeds.

  • Ibizatoon

    Sep 16, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #7

    Did Benny just kill pretty much every debate?

    We have a good team, that can do well, but with injuries or too many changes to our set up and we’ll struggle.

    Benny as owner and manager IN?

  • Transfer Sage

    Sep 16, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #8

    I think elliot is decent cover for krul (as good as any back up keeper in the league).

    Taylor is good CB cover, we then have dummet/haidara at fullback

    tiote can come in the middle for an injury (albeit he is defensive)

    gouffran can cover for the from 3, not too bad.

  • Ian Toon

    Sep 16, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #9

    Transfer- I take it you no longer have reservations about Yanga. He was a joy to watch a young Rio with pace to burn. We’re starting to see a number of the January signings resemble the players we thought we had signed. Sissoko is another terrific athlete and in his more defensive role a good barrier to the back four . He has the energy drive to get forward which makes him less predictable. The midfield balance is about right at last. Anita can do the pass and move ball recycling and Cabaye the varied distribution with his vision and ability
    to pick a pass.
    It will be good to see him playing against Huddlestone who is also a player ( much under rated) that can spread the play.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Sep 16, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #10

    Ian Toon,
    I don’t think Cisse is a bad player. I agree he needs confidence, he should have played against Morecambe and filled his boots then so he was on a high, Pards didn’t see it like that, and he is still struggling.

    His touch is more often than not poor, he is a great instinctive finisher, but if he isn’t in a position to shoot, and shoot early, he struggles. He isn’t ideal for the formation we used against Villa, it requires a much better touch, a bit more strength and better hold up play – probably 3 of Cisse’s worst attributes…

    I do agree that Pardew will stick with Cisse on Saturday. As I said earlier, I don’t think Goofy is right for the role, I see him as back up to Remy, but I wouldn’t be upset if Pardew gave him a chance to prove me wrong. If you want Cisse to build up confidence then again, he should play against Leeds as he should find more space and get chances against a lower league side – if he bags a couple he will be bouncing for the next match.

    I think Vuckic is the man in the squad best suited to the role, but given his fitness and lack of experience I would prefer to see him getting half an hour here and there initially, rather than throwing him in the deep end.

  • Transfer Sage

    Sep 16, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #11


    He had a good game but I’m still not sure. I think a lot of our players at the back, in fact the full back 4 get caught out of position too often.

    Maybe it’s our set up or coaching? maybe they just aren’t as good as we think.

    I stick by my comments last week that I am willing to give mbiwa time. Some players just take a little longer than others to settle into a side and league, its a step up after all so takes time to adjust. Hopefully he continues to improve year on year.

  • Twunt

    Sep 16, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #12

    It is a long time since we carried a real threat down the left side. We have been lopsided for far to long. With Remy or Gouffran playing that role I don’t see how Guiterriez can get back into this side. He is not good enough in the middle and carries no threat on the left.

    The back 4 looked better than I’ve seen in a while but they still need work. As a unit the back 5 have not played too many games together. It will take time to settle down but if they keep improving it will mean that Williamson and Taylor will not be playing too many more games.

  • Rotonda heights

    Sep 16, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #13



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