The star of the show so far for Newcastle this season is 26 year-old Hatem Ben Arfa, who already has a couple of goals and an assist this season, and both goals were scored in single goal wins for the Tyneside club, so this lad’s contribution has been important in getting Newcastle 7 points in the first four league games, and just 3 points off leaders Liverpool, who dropped two points last night at Swansea.
Ben Arfa being congratulated after coring first goal on Saturday
The mercurial winger is showing his best form at Newcastle so far this season, and he’s something to watch when he was in the form he showed at Villa Park on Saturday, and the Villa defense just couldn’t handle him, and he was the best player on the feled, and got 85% of the vote in our poll for Newcastle’s best player.
But the Newcastle manager has said the lad isn’t always easy to manage, and this is what Pardew had to say in the local press today:
“We’ve got him in a good place,” “He’s not easy to manage.” “His focus is sometimes not always there as it should be.”
“I thought the plaudits after Fulham were a little bit over the top, as we tend to do.” “I don’t care what you say, they won’t be over the top now. He was unbelievable against Villa.”
“If we can do that and keep him fit and focused like that, we’ve got a player who can change the destiny of any Premier League game.”
Ben Arfa scored an 87th minute winner against Fulham just over a couple of weeks ago, but Alan Pardew said he was pulling his hair out at some of Ben Arfa’s decisions during that game, but the 26 year-old capped it off with an absolutely brilliant strike to get the Magpies all 3 points against the Cottagers.
And last Saturday he was in the box to score Newcastle’s first goal after 18 minutes, and his fantastic shot late in the game was only parried by Guzan, and the impressive Yoan Gouffran followed up to smash the ball home to give Newcastle another 3 points.
And Alan Pardew wants to see more goals from the Frenchman this season, and he has urged him to get into the penalty box more often.
Newcastle were decimated with injuries last season, and a lot will depend on keeping our top players, like Ben Arfa, fit for this season.
If we can do that, we could just surprise ourselves this season, as we did a couple of years ago, and let’s face it – that would be great, and a welcome positive after all the trials and tribulations over the summer.
What do you think?
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