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At Top Clubs – Players Work Their Socks Off For The Team

4:38 pm, Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 77 Comments

When you see the best club teams in the world, what is very apparent rather quickly is that the players work their socks off for the side, and even more so when they don’t have the ball, and a great example of that is the world’s best player – Argentine Lionel Messi, who has world-class skills, but that doesn’t stop him from working like hell for both Barcelona and Argentina.

ben arfa runs wirth ball

Hatem Ben Arfa – Newcastle’s Lionel Messi

And one criticism of Hatem Ben Arfa when he plays for Newcastle,  is that he doesn’t work hard enough, especially in tracking back for the side.

Alan Shearer has been interviewed on talkSport today, and he talked about Ben Arfa currently being out of the Newcastle side, that has done so well in the last couple of games:

“I understand because he is not going to give you 100% work-rate and when you go to Tottenham and play Chelsea, you understand you are not going to have as much possession as those guys, and you have got to have 11 guys who are going to work very, very hard for you.”

“He won’t work hard for you.” “He will give you other things when you are playing the lesser teams, and he will produce fantastic finishes and goals and passes, but work-rate is not what you can associate with him.”

“You should never praise anyone for hard work because it should be a given.” “He doesn’t work as hard as others but he has got other skills that others haven’t.”

Alan is spot on about Ben Arfa, and certainly with the best European sides, working hard is a given – otherwise your are not in the team – it’s as simple as that.

And all you can do with Ben Arfa is to get him to work harder than he used to – and Alan Pardew has already done that – but as Alan Shearer says – in very tough games, he can be a bit of a liability.

But we are not writing Ben Arfa off at all, don’t get us wrong, and he still has a big part to play for Newcastle, and he can score those amazing goals, when class is the difference in a close game.

So we do expect Ben Arfa to get a run out in our next home game against Norwich City, because he could be the difference in say the second half.

What you have to do is use the ability that players already possess, and to an extent turn a blind eye to some of their deficiencies.

For instance you don’t want to tell Gareth Bale (or Ben Arfa for that matter) he cannot touch the ball with his left foot from now on, because his right foot is the weak one, and the goal is to make him better with his right foot. :(

Use the skills the players have naturally – and with Ben Arfa we’ve already seen some magnificent individual goals from this lad, and he’s the type of player who can get fans to the games and then get them out of their seats.

And he’s a Newcastle player too. 😀

What do you think?

Ian Begg is a reader who recently found out that his Mom was very ill, and he has to return to Australia. Ian has a Platinum Club season ticket that has £700 left on it, and he is willing to sell it for £650 or a best offer.

Please see if you can help Ian out, and you can contact him by email at – thanks.

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Tags: Coaching · Hatem Ben Arfa · Newcastle News · Premier League

77 responses so far ↓

  • 1 G // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    HBA isn’t the first Frenchman to be guilty of this. To be fair though, based purely on skill and ability HBA is still in a league of his own at the toon.

  • 2 MosesNUFC // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    My team for norwich:

    M’Biwa Williamson_____Coloccini Santon

    Sissoko Cabaye___________Tiote Gouffran

    __________Ben Arfa_________________


    I’d play ben arfa in a free role because i think thats his best position. But remember, norwich is just as hard as spurs, they will come here and look to get a result for hughton, we need to be strong, smart and not get complacent.

    Transferwise in january, we need a centre back, a winger, remy on a perm and another striker and possibly a playmaker (as cabaye may leave) Kurt Zouma, Tom Ince, Jay Rodriguez, Adam Lallana and Loic Remy would do me. But sadly, only with Damien Comolli and Mansour will we be able to get those players. JFK will probably sell cabaye, krul and benny and buy no one because no one will want to do business with him, plus he’s a crap businessmen anyway.

  • 3 G // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    @Moses, in fairness JFK said we should judge him on his signings. Can you honestly say that he made any bad signings? Seriously speaking though, from that list of players you put there, I would take your hand off for Lallana.

  • 4 p // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Don’t know what you do with this guy? Undoubted rare talent but, is a luxury and to be honest tries to do too much.

    High quality coaching is probably what he needs to realise his true potential. He won’t find that at Newcastle any time soon.

    On balance, they are doing the right thing with him, making him earn his place in the squad and dropped when he does not deliver. Plus, they would sell him at a drop of a hat if a good offer came in. There are unfortunately other clubs and managers that could extract more value from him.

  • 5 Our Toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:49 PM


    Sorry mate but Liverpool and Spurs defo have better squads than us, Spurs first: let these new signings settle for spurs they will start getting results. AVB isn’t a poor manager but he certainly wants the team to play in certain ways, Townsend, Dawson, Vertonghen, Sandro, Dembele, Defoe are just a few of there players who I think would walk into our team I haven’t included the new lads they’ve bought as they need to settle for them but have no doubt Lamela who is highly rated in Argentina, Eriksson who will come good and Soldado who will eventually come good (Like Giroud) Paulinho is the only one who has settled in straight away and looks class.

  • 6 p // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    @2, unfortunately Remy is off at the end of the season. He will end up at Arsenal or somewhere and I would not blame him for wanted a shot at champs league

  • 7 Our Toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:57 PM



    Suarez, Sturridge, Coutinho, Gerrard, Enrique, Johnson, Agger, Possibly Skertal. I’ve not included the like of Sakho or Toure as they haven’t spent a season at liverfool but they would probably walk into our team. We have won a couple of games but both clubs are above us in the league and for good reason

    Lets not get to carried away with the 2 wins we got, fantastic yes but the manner of the Spurs win should be a concern for all…..we got hammered in that 2nd half, poor finishing, great saves (Most in PL) and some great defending got us the 3 pts!!

  • 8 Our Toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    Our leading goalscorer doesn’t even belong to us!!

  • 9 Our Toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    On Benny its a tough one really, he came on against Citeh and created more chances in 5mins than we did for the whole game in open play, but he doesnt work hard enough!! I do think that he shouldnt play against the top 4/5 clubs especially away from home…..but at home he is the type of player that is needed to unlock the door!! Always start him ahead of Shola.

  • 10 DokToon // Nov 12, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    being theoretical for a second, what say if we get top 4 and qualify for CL? think remy stays then?

    again, its a theoretical question….

  • 11 John Tudor // Nov 12, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    dont you mean hypothetical dok

  • 12 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 12, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Dok…the question is have we agreed a fee with QPR?

  • 13 p // Nov 12, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    @10, it might make it more attractive for Mr Remy but, let’s face it, most football players will pick Arsenal over Newcastle.

    He will get good wages and a decent chance of glory. They are a bit short on strikers and with all the games they play, he will get plenty of of chances.

    That said, some players – Ben Arfa seems to be one – are happy to stay somewhere where they are settled. Maybe Remy will settle in Newcastle, have enjoyed the season and the fans adoration, feel comfortable with his teams mates (most of them being French has got to help) and be satisfied with a mere 60K a week.

    On the other hand, going to one of the bog boys just may be too much of a lure for him, both in terms of money and glory.

    One thing for sure is that he is excelling at Newcastle right now and that can not be sniffed at, why change when things are going well?

    Regardless, his 7 goals (or whatever) have propelled us up the league and all things being equal (i.e. the season continues more or less as it has begun), he will deliver a top ten finish for us. That alone will have paid his loan fee.

  • 14 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 12, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Our Toon…be careful speaking that nonsense 😉

    …got told to leave the blog in not so plessant words by the one who shall not be named for saying something like that the other day 😉

  • 15 DokToon // Nov 12, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    JT, you say po-tah-toes, i say theyre delicious whatever you call them :)

  • 16 DokToon // Nov 12, 2013 at 5:26 PM


    are you referring to voldemort aka ciaran? lol

  • 17 askar // Nov 12, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    @p: Good Evening.

    I will never understand people talking about HBA’s work-rate and blah blah…Is defensive prowess necessary for someone like HBA? NO NO and NO!

    For example, Cristiano Ronaldo is a world class player but his defensive contribution is certainly on the weak side. I don’t think that Ancelotti will leave him on the bench! IMO, HBA is our Messi, our Ronaldo our Ozil our Suarez, PLEASE stop asking him defensive work!

    1. Create something out of nothing.
    2. Run at a defender with his wonderful footwork
    3. Score goals
    4. Provide assists

    STOP TALKING ABOUT HIS WORK RATE HERE! Play him, even after two bad games :-) :-)

    Thank you.

    Here is my NUFC team:

    ———————King Krull—————–




    ——————King Arfa———————


  • 18 MosesNUFC // Nov 12, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    G, JFK has made 1 signing thats not even a transfer, and only an idiot would be stupid enough to not put a clause in there so we can buy him in january. We needed 2 or 3 top players in the summer and again, we didn’t get any. Darren bent pulled out of a move to us because he didn’t like the meeting with JFK (ino we don’t want darren bent, but for a player to turn us down because of the DOF is ridiculous)

  • 19 MosesNUFC // Nov 12, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Doktoon, i think if we finished lets say 6th and spurs finished 5th 6th or 7th, and us and spurs went in for him, i think he would choose us. I don’t think he’s thinking about his future atm, he seems to love it and seems to love playing for the toon in front of the best fans in the world :) but in all honesty, it all depends on what JFK says to him and what deal he gives him. kinnear is not a director of football, him being our DOF is like a football manager becoming the manager of a basketball team (principle being that the manager doesn’t know anything about basketball) we’d all love to take llambias back because him and carr may not get many marquee signings but they certainly get a few good value for money players and get the best money they can out of players like cabaye and carroll

  • 20 wolfshead@toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    stop having a go at jfk he does other good works beside nufc at the moment he has his hands full flying relief planes over the philliphines :-)

  • 21 Jackel001 // Nov 12, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Apart from deb, why change a winning team? keep him on the bench and then bring him on if we are comfortable for the last 30 min.

  • 22 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 12, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    Dok…the one who shall not be named is definitely not Ruddy 😉

    …Ruddy is more like Shelton Cooper lol

  • 23 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Nov 12, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    People are worried that Krul might be poached. IF he moves on would Fraser Foster come back to the TOON

  • 24 bills-son // Nov 12, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    HBA didn’t get dropped for lack of work rate.

    He got dropped because he stopped doing everything he was good at.

    He hardly put a foot right in the games he played after that fabulous performance at Villa.

  • 25 santonthenewmaldini // Nov 12, 2013 at 7:02 PM


    Perfect comments about Arfa people clammering for him to come back into the team forgot how terrible he was the few games before he got dropped the Sunderland and Hull games were shocking he kept trying to beat people and shooting from silly angles rather than keep the ball or pass it

    We have created plenty of chances in the last few games without him we tend to keep the ball better when he does not play either I think our players shirk responsibility when he plays its easy to just pass to him and let him do the work when he is not on the field we seem to be a better balanced team


    On his day he can be a fantastic talent and he needs to get his finger out for the good of the team he is not a winger in the premiership but I think he would be perfect in a free role just behind Remy with the likes of Tiote, Cabaye , Sissko/Anita or Gouffran battling for everything behind him he could pick up the pieces and help us smash teams

    Lets hope the penny drops with him and Mbiwa watching France this weekend seeing 4 of his team mates strutting their stuff they should be there as well its only their fault they are not

  • 26 santonthenewmaldini // Nov 12, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Also Its not just our club who tout their players our problem is we have no replacements ready but a lot of teams work like a business perfect example:

  • 27 askar // Nov 12, 2013 at 7:12 PM


    Why change a winning team?
    Because HBA needs games under his Belt. Keep him on the bench =You are not good to play for our team. We prefer to play Shola then bring Obertan, a less developed and less skilled players than you :-) :-) That will cause him loss of motivation and confidence.

    As we all know, for HBA one of the most important elements is his self-confidence. And when he is confident, he can performs at his best level and that is what we expect from him.

    Pardew has to stop talking about his work rate. He also has to stop playing him out of position. I remember when Tevez said that his own talents were WASTED by being played out of position; Pardew STRUGGLED to manage big-name foreign stars; Pardew was WRONG to ignore the talents of fellow Argentine Javier Mascherano.

    Please Mr Pardew don’t do the same with HBA! It is so beautiful to see him running at a defender with his magic left-foot :-) :-)

    Love NUFC, Love King Arfa, King Krull and King Colo :-) :-)

  • 28 Big Pappa Cissé // Nov 12, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    I think this could be the making of HBA . He has now heard from multiple sources (Pundits, Fans, The Manager, Ex players) and even seen in our last two results he needs to work harder for the team In games .

    I would give him another chance against Norwich as he knows if he doesn’t graft he will be dropped and HBA isn’t the kind of player that is content with warming the bench .

    Shola still doesn’t do much when he starts and I think dropping him for Ben Arfa is the only change I would make at the minute :




    Also If Benny does lose possession it is against a team that isn’t as likely to punish us and also in a central role he doesn’t leave us vulnerable down the flanks .

    Thoughts ?

  • 29 bills-son // Nov 12, 2013 at 7:17 PM


    The oppo doubled and trebled up on HBA after Villa and the fact is he didn’t know how to handle it.

    The mistake he made was trying to dribble past the lot of them when he should have just passed short, moved, passed short, moved, until he created space.

    Passing short isn’t in HBA’s make up – he always wants to dribble or turn and run. Great when it comes off, or when the oppo stand off you like Villa did.

    Last year Tiote got caught in possession repeatedly because he stopped passing the ball short and quick like he did the first season. He thought he was a player and was trying to dribble and run with it. This season he’s cut that out and has got back to winning it and giving it.

    HBA needs to vary his game and not go for the showcase run every time. If he did that he’d immediately become more effective imo.

  • 30 Mister Tuff // Nov 12, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    wolfshead – absolutely disgraceful making jokes about JK.
    You should be celebrating our last two victories -not making negative comments. Such comments will drive fellow bloggers away. I will fully expect to see replies appearing as follows:-
    Booohoooo, booohooo call yourself a true fan – you are a neggar, trying to justify your hatred to our club – boohoo boohoo. You are your like are driving bloggers from the site — boohoo boohoo.

  • 31 santonthenewmaldini // Nov 12, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    @Bills Son

    Agreed the big question is will he actually get it ? Would love it if he just decided to perform like Suarez against Norwich

  • 32 wolfshead@toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 7:27 PM


    i never realised there were jfk lovers! 😉

  • 33 Mister Tuff // Nov 12, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    wolfshead – alright alright probably nobody likes him – but you made a joke -absolutely disgraceful. Any more of these antics from you – may lead to a good thrashing. Could I suggest 10oz gloves – I will check your gloves for any knuckledusters or horseshoes.

  • 34 wolfshead@toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    wolf vs tuff


  • 35 askar // Nov 12, 2013 at 7:47 PM


    1. “Sunderland and Hull games were shocking”=AGREE WITH YOU. KEBAB WAS ALSO SH*** and shocking. For example, Ronaldo was sh** against Barcelona. So what?
    2. “Created plenty of chances in the last few games without him”= WRONG. Chelsea and Tot. are losing games against the like of Basel. We won without HBA, but I am sure that we also could have won with him on the pitch :-) :-)

    Please stop talking about one our two bad games from him.Remy, Sissoko, Kebab all of them were also sh** against Sunderland and Hull.

    FYI NUFC=17 points with:
    Ben Arfa=+6 points
    Remy + Gouf=+9 points
    Team=+2 points
    Team=-12 points.

    Please Mr Pardew GIVE HIM FREE ROLE BEHIND REMY. Thank you.

  • 36 Mister Tuff // Nov 12, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    wolfshead -you posted that image the other day.

  • 37 wolfshead@toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 7:49 PM


    yes but i didnt paste it properly so every one might not have enjoyed it haha

  • 38 Mister Tuff // Nov 12, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    wolfshead – perhaps a better image here. Please note the figure on the left represents my good self -the gentleman.

  • 39 santonthenewmaldini // Nov 12, 2013 at 7:58 PM


    Swiss football is on the up Basle were a ball hair from getting to a Europa league final despite having no budget at all we would struggle to beat them with a fully fit team

    We will never know if we would have beat Spurs and Chelsea with Arfa in the team all I know is we played a similar team who pressed us and hounded us (Everton) and he refused to offer any protection or contribution and was taken off at half time

    I like everyone else wants Arfa to do well at this club but the only way he will be able to do it is with a free role behind the striker lets hope Pardew gives him the chance cause it seems Pardew is starting to learn and improve maybe the plan is to have Arfa in a free role against weaker teams ?Heres hoping

  • 40 wolfshead@toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 8:01 PM


    tres drole askar is a gent too he calls “percy” mr pardew haha

  • 41 Himanshu Dhingra // Nov 12, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Loic Remy netted his seventh goal in Magpie colours, which have come from nine appearances (eight starts). By contrast though, Papiss Cisse has now gone 1155 minutes in the Premier League since scoring (against Fulham at home in April 2013), while Shola Ameobi has amassed a similarly barren 665 minutes (since QPR at home in December 2012).

    What is Wonga with them?

  • 42 yo-yo // Nov 12, 2013 at 8:18 PM


    Benny definitely has his place and will be a starter when we play a certain style of attack. Imo he would not have added anything to the side that has just won the last two games.

    The thing is with the EPL is that the tempo means that some flair players with relatively low work rates are just seen as luxuries or impact subs. If BEnny loeraned how to play even basic one twos off his team mates he’d be a much better player. His vision and judgement are more suspcet than his work rate at times.

    I’m sure he’ll get plenty of well deserved match time though through the season.

  • 43 Belfast // Nov 12, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    He certainly still has a part to play.

    I would personally play him in the home games, and leave him on the bench for the away games. Think Warnock used to do the same thing with Tarabat at Qpr.

  • 44 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Nov 12, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    Agree HBA time will come. He has the ability but needs to know to work for the team, when to pass and when to dribble. Hopefully he has been watching Goufron, as he is playing in a similar role that HBA will be playing when he gets his chance.

  • 45 wolfshead@toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    how long will benny put up with being a super sub he may well put in a transfer request or is that what the club have in mind

  • 46 BeeGuy // Nov 12, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    HB-A needs to look at the Robbins & Ronaldo’s of the world to see that if you want the ball you have to work for it or get in position to receive it. He does neither.
    When he does get the ball he is not prepared to move with it or pass it. By the time he gets going, the defense is ready, and we get an inspired run into a dead end or pass to a trapped player.
    It may be he is not smart enough for the game. He was great on the playground, where he could wheel around free form, but in the EPL he has to be a part of the plan, work in the plan and have a plan for when he has an opportunity.
    Come on H B-A, elevate yourself and enjoy the results of your work!

  • 47 Tsunki // Nov 12, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    BeeGuy – I think Benny was taking too much notice of Baskin Robbins until recently he only just seems to be shedding pounds, unfortunately I think his fitness is still an issue, hence the low work rate.

  • 48 askar // Nov 12, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    @BeeGuy: Good Evening.

    Are you talking about Cristiano Ronaldo and his defensive contribution? LOL. His contribution is zero :-) If Pardew was coaching Madrid, Ronaldo’s way of playing would be a weakness for opponents. LOL :-)

    “When he does get the ball he is not prepared to move with it or pass it.” A BIG BIG LOL. HBA knows how to move and how to produce moment of magic to hand NUFC win, don’t worry about that.

    As I said, Pardew needs to give him free role behind Remy and plays him more games in that position and then we will discuss again about him :-) :-)

  • 49 Tsunki // Nov 12, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    Also I think its the opposite of what you said – I think he does look for the intelligent pass but seldom has players around him intelligent enough to run into the required spaces. If you look at some of the assists he has made they have featured plays that we rarely see happening when he is not on the pitch. The brand of footy Pardew plays is a lot more stock than flair.

  • 50 Belfast // Nov 12, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    Put a sock in it Tsunki. Just for old times sake

  • 51 Ciaran // Nov 12, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    Alan Shearer, spot on “you should never praise anyone for work rate, that should be a given”

  • 52 Ciaran // Nov 12, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    I think I am in a minority who think that HBA would flop at a big team. He is a very gifted player but he is simply too selfish to ever really make it. If you are going to be selfish, you need to have the cojones to back it up consistently. HBA doesn’t.

  • 53 Tsunki // Nov 12, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    I think fist of all nail on the head award goes to poster who said we havent got the coaching staff to tutor HBA. 2nd, he needs positioning further forward with a free role across the park behind Remy to link up with either side. 3rd, gouffran’s industry is the saving grace that makes up for his lack of top class skill, dont be unkind to the lad by comparing him to Hatem.

    I agree HBA needs more effort, but we cant ever make a player like that into a Jonas, it would be an even bigger shame if we tried.

  • 54 JTOONJ // Nov 12, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Ben 10 can’t get in the team at the moment because he is out of form! unlike the first few games where he was red hot and you couldn’t touch him, I’d much prefer gouffran with his effort than a out of form ben arfa

  • 55 Belfast // Nov 12, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Anybody hear from proud lately ? or is he saving himself for January with all his transfer news

  • 56 Tsunki // Nov 12, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    ahem FIRST of all…

  • 57 Belfast // Nov 12, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    Knowing our luck we’ll probably sell him, and he’ll be fantastic and come back to haunt us on many occasions

  • 58 Tsunki // Nov 12, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    I have run out of socks now Belfast. :)

    Ah! proudtobeanitk! Where did he go then? I liked him, he always seemed to start turning sensible then he would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by spouting random itk tosh again. Bless.

  • 59 Belfast // Nov 12, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    I’m going to take a wild guess and say he’ll be back on the first of January with all his pearls of wisdom…

  • 60 Ciaran // Nov 12, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    HBA has been at the club for over 3 years, yes he has had serious injuries in that time, but he has also had a decent run of games in which he has never shown himself to be a consistently decent performer for the team.

    It’s great to watch a flair player play when they are on form, but with HBA there are more misses than hits. I for one will not accept 9 awful performances from him just to see that 1 red hot performance, no matter how good that performance may be.

    Do we keep him in the hope that Pardew learns how to use him, or do we cut our losses and buy a player who would better suit us in the short term?

    What good is an out of form HBA on the bench, or a lazy disinterested HBA on the field to us?

  • 61 Ciaran // Nov 12, 2013 at 9:37 PM

    Ahhh proudtobeageordie, I don’t say this with any sense of pride but I did give him a serious hard touch with his nonsense.

    Ever since Llambias quit he lost his ‘contact’ within the club. Tit haha

  • 62 Tsunki // Nov 12, 2013 at 9:37 PM

    The biggest liability to HBA is the team behind him, its a bit too workmanlike and we are set up to claw victories by hanging on to games by a quick break and grim determination not to concede. If Hatem had he support of a team like Chelsea or Arsenal I bet he would be a bigger talking point for the right reasons than he is with us.

  • 63 Tsunki // Nov 12, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    I consider myself now to be the thinking fans’ Pardew-Basher :) in the sense I see the problems we have with HBA, Cisse, and some of the good young talent we have at the club being hampered by his approach and coaching setup. When HBA arrived he was on fire, but his appearances and positions shoehorned into, team shapes have compressed his skills, even more so with Cisse. Dummet I could see is an excellent prospect but when tested suddenly dsplayed rookie traits that should have been trained out of him before he got anywhere near a first team game. Bigi and Sammy seem to be going backwards, and so-called hotshots like Campbell and Vuckic have effectively been neutered. AndMarveaux? You’ve got to admit theres something flawed here.

  • 64 dcdick // Nov 12, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    I never have nor never will understand how even the most talented of players (HBA for example) think they can just turn up for a match & rely on a few minutes of inspired football to see them through.
    Even the best footballer must work for 90 minutes to be truly a great player

    HBA is nowhere near that standard sadly for us

    Pardew has failed to manage what could have been a massive talent to enhance our team………….again !!

    Pardew out !!!

  • 65 askar // Nov 12, 2013 at 10:05 PM


    Why are you talking about consistently? I am agree with you that consistently performing provides the stability needed to develop as a player but about HBA (I am reading between the lines) you are saying he plays good only in few games then, he is always lost his concentration and only god know why. IMO, you are WRONG :-)

    HBA is our best player but sometimes the best isn’t good enough and we need to accept that=DON’T DROP HIM AFTER TWO BAD GAMES :-) :-)

    IMO HBA would NOT flop at a big team. He played for Big teams and he was Lyon best Player, Marseille best Player and He is NUFC best player IMO :-) :-)

    FYI Pardew was wrong to play Tevez out of position. Pardew is wrong with Arfa.



  • 66 Toon Tang // Nov 12, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    askar is the 2nd coming of davis toons

  • 67 yo-yo // Nov 12, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    Tsunki @ 63

    So even though your named players have acknowledged their debt of gratitude to AP for his coaching and management of them – particularly Benny who has referred to AP being a good manager for him more than once – he is still a busted flush ?

    The players are just doing what they do – having good runs of form, bad runs of form, showing bad judgement on the pitch as well as great touches and instinct – despite, as well as because of their coaching and management. Pardew clearly failed big time in coaching Cisse out of scoring that goal of the season he knocked in at the Bridge.

    Why wouldn’t Dummett show his inexperience in a match ? He IS inexperienced. SPL is hardly a high standard.
    Is Campbell such a talent when he can’t hold down a loan period at Carlisle ?
    Bigi is still learning his craft as is Sammi – how is Pardew responsible for them not being the finished product at their age, and with their lack of first team experience ? Her can only start 11 players -and they’ve got to earn their spot.

    If you ARE going to be the thinking fan’s Pardew basher then please work out the difference between cockup and conspiracy theories. With Pardew and his coaching staff – its mostly cockup…

    We all know he is average (ish) at best, so why are you surprised he lacks the skillset of SAF or SBR ?

    See you went fishing .. and I rose to your bait, I don’t think too much of him either but it’s a quiet night and nowt else to do but argue.

  • 68 Ciaran // Nov 12, 2013 at 10:18 PM


    In your opinion I am wrong. Does not make me wrong. Do you support Newcastle United or Hatem Ben Arfa?

    Oddly I think there are some people who would not support us any longer if HBA was no longer in the team – that is not a supporter.

  • 69 askar // Nov 12, 2013 at 10:24 PM


    You are WRONG AGAIN! HBA played the below games:

    1. Liverpool : HBA good
    2. West Ham U : HBA good
    3. QPR : HBA very good
    4. Manchester City : HBA very good
    5. West Ham Utd : HBA very good
    6. Morecambe : bench
    7. Fulham : HBA Magic
    8. Aston Villa : HBA Magic
    9. Hull City : HBA average like all the team
    10. Leeds United : sub and HBA Magic
    11. Everton : HBA average like all the team
    12. Cardiff City : bench
    13. Liverpool : HBA good :-)
    14. Sunderland : HBA awful like all the team
    15. Manchester City : bench
    16. Chelsea : bench
    17. Tottenham : bench

    CIARAN:WHERE ARE THE 9 AWFUL PERFORMANCES FROM HIM? You are lying :-) :-) :-) He has two awful performances like all our players, that is all :-)

    Give him free role and then we will discuss together about how important HBA is for us or not :-)

  • 70 askar // Nov 12, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    @Ciaran: I still love reading yours comments even if I am not agree with you. Without differing opinions, the blog would be a very bland and conformist place indeed :-)

  • 71 jimmysmith // Nov 12, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    Well, even when Benny plays well, the team doesn’t necessarily. Some one recently posted the highlights of one of his better recent performances, 90% of which was him holding onto the ball until he lost it or delivered a poor pass, albeit looking classy throughout. He’s not in the team for a few reasons, as far as I can tell.

  • 72 Ciaran // Nov 12, 2013 at 10:36 PM


    …taking me literally? Where you and I differ, is I look at what is beneficial to the team, whereas you are seemingly fixated with HBA. We’re better as a team without him. If it was a choice between a better performance without him or sacrificing the team a little to include him, I would leave him out every time.

    He’s a luxury we cannot afford, unless we get a manager who can accommodate him.

  • 73 yo-yo // Nov 12, 2013 at 10:41 PM


    It’ll be horses for courses with Benny and how he performs in training… he will get plenty of starts or impact sub showings – depends on team tactics and opposing defensive weaknesses. There’ll be times when Benny will be a natural starter and times, like the last few games, when he would have not added to the team’s performance at all.

  • 74 Ciaran // Nov 12, 2013 at 10:44 PM


    I’ve yet to see any game where HBA’s presence has aided the team as a unit. He plays for himself, and when he is on form he can win us games by himself. It’s great to watch, but given how we have full backs who have been suspect defensively in the past, we need a unit going forward and going back. If Santon is playing RB and HBA is on RW it will be a massacre waiting to happen.

  • 75 askar // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    Ciaran:I am not agree with you again :-) You can play Santon RB and HBA behind Remy, it will not be a massacre but a magic waiting to happen.

    I am NUFC fan and I also love to watch great black and white players. HBA, Krull and Colo are my 3 favorite players and I love them! IMO they are world class players, but I know that they are not in your opinion :-) :-)

    I could also say that Willo brings stability in our back 4 and drop Colo for him but No way, Colo is our captain, our best defensive player :-) :-)

    Play this team:







    Then if we loose only one game with this team, call me stu** everyday :-) :-)

  • 76 gazzaforever // Nov 13, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    Off topic but important notice : Ted Bundy and Ciaran are 2 fcking idiots, clueless.

  • 77 Ancientcoptic // Nov 13, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    I would love to see some stats, indicating how much ground Ben Arfa covers in a game, when he does not have the ball.

    I would be willing to bet Ben Arfa covers as much ground as other players… I believe the reality of the situation is tactical.

    Some games you need players that will dribble and take on players, other games you need to let the ball do more of the work, and not commit forward just as much.

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