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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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We Can Get Four More Players To The World Cup

10:18 am, Thursday, November 28th, 2013 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 64 Comments

We’ve always though that Alan Pardew was a good man-manager, and we’ve also noticed that things he says in the press are often for the consumption of his own players.

ben arfa runs wirth ball

Ben Arfa – on fringe of French squad for World Cup

And Alan knows that the current Internationals for countries will be very keen to play very well for Newcastle this season, so they make the final squads of their respective countries,  and they include players like Yohan Cabaye, Moussa Sissoko, Mathieu Debuchy, Loic Remy, Cheick Tiote and Tim Krul.

But Alan knows that other Newcastle players are on the fringes of being selected for the World Cup next summer,  and this is what the manager said about that:

“We could get three or four others to it who haven’t been involved yet.” “Gouffran, Anita, Hatem – they’re all going to be desperate to go.”

“The most important thing is to consistently play well in the first team.”

The other player not mentioned there who could make the World Cup is French defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, who has been playing very well for Newcastle lately.

So Alan not only has the regular International committed tom paying well so they can make the World Cup but he has three or four other players now trying to play well for Newcastle so that they get selected.

As we said that’s good man-management from Alan Pardew, who will again have a fully fit squad to choose from for the tough game at home to West Brom on Saturday afternoon, in the late game.

What do you think?

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Tags: Hatem Ben Arfa · Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa · Newcastle News · Premier League · Vurnon Anita · World Cup 2014 · Yoan Gouffran



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64 responses so far ↓

  • 1 seantoon // Nov 28, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    So why not give Hatem a game then Alan

  • 2 martoon // Nov 28, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    I don’t think they will go especially as HBA & Anita are not first choice at the moment – just shows Pardew is a liar ;)

  • 3 Shabilla1984 // Nov 28, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    http://wp.me/p3bqtv-9 – set up my own little blog, views an opinions on evertthing Newcastle – let me know what you think :)

  • 4 Transfer Sage // Nov 28, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    HBA wont go not matter how he plays, france have more consistent and better behaved players.

    Anita hasn’t featured for Holland for 3 years.

    gouff has a chance but again they have better in his position

  • 5 Eyeball81 // Nov 28, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    What about Wor Shola?

  • 6 jayphoto // Nov 28, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Good Article by lee ryder today on HBA! To do with player ratings that say hes individually one of the better players but that the team performance rating drops when hes on the pitch

  • 7 Transfer Sage // Nov 28, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    eyeball

    he will be there, playing regularly for nigeria now

  • 8 Transfer Sage // Nov 28, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    jay

    I think that backs up what i see on the pitch too. I think he is a good player no doubt but the team does much better without him.

    Now whether that is his fault, the other players fault or the managers fault is kind of irrelevant. What it shows is he currently cannot play.

  • 9 martoon // Nov 28, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Shabilla1984 @3 – Just had a quck look – looks very good and I like your stats at the end.

  • 10 Foxworth // Nov 28, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Just seen Rotherham have got Tavernier on an emergency loan. Be good for himif he gets his game.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/25137495?

  • 11 barkel // Nov 28, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Foxworth

    It’s good to see players going out on loan but would be much better if they could go to the championship or the SPL

  • 12 Hatem's better than Messi // Nov 28, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    I said before the season started that I thought my Granny could coach this team to a top ten finish.

    Stick a picture of Rio on the dressing room wall so the players pass it on the way to he pitch …

    It’s next season when they have no summer break, don’t get a proper preseason and have nothing to play for but Mr Motivator Pardew and NUFC that we’ll be in trouble.

  • 13 Ciaran // Nov 28, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    West Brom at home, take on a shaky Swansea away, eminently beatable Man U at OT, Southampton at home, Palace away, Stoke home, Arsenal at home.

    I don’t know about you lot, but we could find ourselves in a decent position come January. Then we will see what Tubbs is made of. If we’re 6th come January will he make the 2 signings we need (big CF and dominant centre half) to kick on?

    I fear not. I do not think we will sell anyone in January, as the top players will be too afraid of not settling into a new team and jeopardising their WC spots.

  • 14 Hatem's better than Messi // Nov 28, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Can anyone see Tavernier ever challenging Debuchy for his place?

    Not in a million years … so why are bothering with this lad.

    Tough on him but Rotherham may be his level.

  • 15 Ciaran // Nov 28, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    Tav may never be better than Debuchy, but so too will HBA never be better than Messi :P

  • 16 Hatem's better than Messi // Nov 28, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    lol I was thinking about changing the name … how about …

    Hatem’s just about better than Bardsley?

  • 17 saxonfenken // Nov 28, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    martoon
    “Just shows what a liar Pardew is”
    What utter nonsense, hatred yet again for no reason, have you ever heard of man management and trying to get players working hard for something that they want. I would call it encouragement

  • 18 Ciaran // Nov 28, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    Saxon

    I might be wrong here, but I do have ever the so slight feeling that wor martoon was making a joke…

    Hatem

    Wouldn’t even go that far, Beardsley was a genius and a team player. I’m not going to get deep into it because if I criticise HBA too much it will lead to an entire day of discussing HBA’s merit to the team and it’s been done to death! haha

  • 19 Ciaran // Nov 28, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    How about Hatem’s better than Shola? Surely we can all agree on that :P

  • 20 Hatem's better than Messi // Nov 28, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    I don’t think Hatem has a place in this team.
    He’s unlikely to be able to suddenly change his game. He’s not a defender and only wants to run forward.
    I think super sub may be his only role.

    I love his talent but he is more of a liability than an asset.
    Messi is Messi 100% of the time.
    HBA is HBA one game in ten. 10%.

  • 21 martoon // Nov 28, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    saxonfenken @17 – It was a joke against the Pardew haters – calm down calm down.

  • 22 Hatem's better than Messi // Nov 28, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    I’m pleased Shola is on fire.
    He’s currently better than HBA as far as the team is concerned.

    I do find it annoying that he can go up a couple gears for the Mackems and now that he has a sniff at the WC.

  • 23 Hatem's better than Messi // Nov 28, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Ciaran just realised you misread Bardsley for Beardsley.

    Beardsley was miles better than Hatem.

  • 24 Belfast // Nov 28, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    None of the players mentioned will be going to the world cup.

  • 25 toonincheek // Nov 28, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Ciaran -

    He said Bardsley not Beardsley.
    I’d go along with that – as long as his posts show the same kind of humour.
    That’s asking a bit too much, I think.

  • 26 Ciaran // Nov 28, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Hatem

    Haha in that case he’s definitely better than Bardsley!

  • 27 Hatem's better than Messi // Nov 28, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Ciaran

    He’s snidey isn’t he. Attacks me in the third person like he’s writing you a PM.

  • 28 roy // Nov 28, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    Ben arfa should be moved on in the summer as he flatters to deceive just like the overated Coloccini move them on and sign some players with fire in their bellys like Gouffran ane Remy.

  • 29 kevymartins // Nov 28, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Yoan Gouffran deserves it more than any of them lads, talk about a player that works for the team, Picture Jonas 2 years ago and 3 times better. Players like Gouffran win you games, like how he doubles up on wingers like townsend and makes them play sh!t.

  • 30 toonincheek // Nov 28, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    kevy -

    Thing about Gouff playing for France is that his commitment and work rate could have a knock-on effect on the other players.

  • 31 kevymartins // Nov 28, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    @toonincheek how you figure that?

  • 32 kevymartins // Nov 28, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    As for Roy, why on earth would you want a fan favourite moved on? Ben Arfa hasn’t had the chance to get into the team it’s been playing that well but he is still a top quality player and what happens when we get injuries.

  • 33 kevymartins // Nov 28, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    There is no doubt in my mind that Ben Arfa and Cisse will hit form again when they get their chance to play.

  • 34 70TWO // Nov 28, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    Dependable Shola deserves the plaudits for his performance on Saturday but don’t you think given the amount of space to pick a pass that Norwich provided, with willing runners and covering midfielders that HBA would have performed equally well. He is a no.10 and it was the perfect game to play him from the start, instead of at the end when the rest of the team are only interested in defending. Plus if NUFC want to sell him before his contract runs down then they need to put him in the shop window.

  • 35 70TWO // Nov 28, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    How about:

    “Hatems better when playing as a wide forward”??

  • 36 toonincheek // Nov 28, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    kevy -

    I really have to explain that the France “team” mostly play as individuals.
    There is exceptional skill in their squad but I reckon they need a few “team” players to make their individual skills gel.

    I’d like to think the same would happen to HBA.
    Problem is that his teammates never know when or where he is going to pass, so they don’t make the runs.

  • 37 t00ntime // Nov 28, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    Just wondering. Even though they are not in the same class how come hba is seen as a liability because he doesnt defend and Robben who doesnt defend either is seen as one of the best in the world?

    Is it because bayern can trust their RB to defend and we cant? Do the bayern players work harder? Its not like they always have easy opponents Barca, dortmund etc. yet they can get away with it and we cant even against teams we are better than?

    I’d understand more if people said “he isnt that good attacking wise” but the he doesnt defend is a bullsh1t excuse imo. Robben, Ronaldo, Ribery all hate defending and do it as less as possible like hba.

  • 38 Ibizatoon // Nov 28, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    A great bit of merchandising…

    https://twitter.com/NUFCOfficial/status/406026388764766210/photo/1

    Alan Pardew mug…at least someone has a sense of humour at SJP.

  • 39 Ibizatoon // Nov 28, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    What’s this then?

    http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/newcastle-united-boss-alan-pardew-6350707?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    t00ntime…Those players may not be overly defensive, but they all put in a shift (most of the time). Commitment and consistency wise, HBA isn’t in the same league, unfortunately.

  • 40 barkel // Nov 28, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    oh my .. our manager showing a bit of ambition, what will happen next .. the blog just might explode now

  • 41 Ibizatoon // Nov 28, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    barkel…Well, talking about possibly being ambitious someday :)

  • 42 Ancientcoptic // Nov 28, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Here we go with the Ben Arfa scapegoating and out right lies, heard them all before.

    ”He is too flashy & selfish”

    ”Won’t track back” (Even though he is an attacker)

    ”Flatters to deceive”

    ”Will not release the ball early enough” (Even though on those occasions he has 2 men harrying him)

    ”Does not contribute to the team”

    ”Team plays better without him”

    Did I miss anything out?

    While I respectfully acknowledge peoples opinions, I really do think these opinions are a load of tosh. These are the same people that were calling for Debuchy and Mbiwa to be scrapped and sold a matter of weeks ago.

    Apart from maybe Cabaye, Ben Arfa is the best player in the Newcastle squad. This is not just my opinion, this is the opinion of experts within the game. I am sure they would get a good laugh at Newcastle fans complaining about Ben Arfa.

    Complaining about a player like Ben Arfa is actually the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen from fellow fans.

  • 43 Ciaran // Nov 28, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Ancient

    Don’t think any of the views expressed about HBA are ‘downright lies’ given how anyone possessing the ability of sight can see that it is true.

    Does he not flatter to deceive? Check his stats.

    Does he contribute to the team? Check his stats

    Team plays better without him – they do.

    Gouffran tracks back AND has offered more to the team this season and he is an attacker.

    Sorry pal, but HBA should be a bench player, and then sold in the summer.

  • 44 Ciaran // Nov 28, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    As for ‘experts within the game’ – sources for that statement would be nice.

  • 45 Ancientcoptic // Nov 28, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    ”Does he not flatter to deceive? Check his stats.”

    Where are the ”flatter to deceive” stats to be found? That is a new stat to me.

    ”Team plays better without him – they do.” Is that a fact, or, is the team better at using long-ball and through passes without him? We may as well pick up a few stoke players, if that is the kind of ”better” we are looking for.

    Team performance with a certain stats do not always paint an accurate picture, you have to take into consideration the opposition, home or away games, injuries to supporting players, if tactics used in those games supported said player, etc etc etc. We won the only game Ben Arfa played upfront, does that mean that Ben Arfa should play every game as a striker… the stats show that playing Ben Arfa as a striker means Newcastle win games, or does it?

    You could go all over squad, pick out the players that have the highest win ratio in games, and select the team on that basis, what do you think the team would end up looking like if that was the idea for selection… not good, I can tell you.

    Like I said, it is scapegoating. Ben Arfa is without doubt one of our best players, could anybody not put him in our top 3 players? The best players should be played, it is as simple as that. Good managers do not hold their best players back, because they want to play a beanpole upfront to scrape by.

    I still have faith in Pardew btw, but I think he should be getting the best out of Ben Arfa. Opposition teams are getting off lightly by not playing against him – not the other way around.

  • 46 JackButler // Nov 28, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    On his day HBA is unstoppable but his days are few and far between.

    I’ve said for years that if he was somehow able to perform at his best week after week he’d be playing for the likes of Barca, Madrid etc etc but until then he’s a luxury most can’t afford to have in their starting 11′s

  • 47 Rotonda heights // Nov 28, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Good man management is not dropping people in form with good momentum for someone who wants to be away. Furious if MYM doesn’t play. Goofy and MYM are the here and now, the Argies have had their day.

  • 48 Ancientcoptic // Nov 28, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Should say:

    ”Team performance with a certain *players* stats”

    Start of the 3rd paragraph. To avoid confusion.

  • 49 Ibizatoon // Nov 28, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Ancient…Maybe we should simplify the debate. What actually defines being “one of our best players”?

    The lad sure is talented, probably the most talented in the squad, but does that make him the best player in the team?

    Commitment. Consistency. Bringing other players in to the game?

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Benny and when he is on form…wow. He just doesn’t do enough to warrant being an automatic starter in this team game (imo, of course).

    Hopefully, Pardew will start re-introducing him and he will have taken on board a few things…we may even see a better all round player.

  • 50 JackButler // Nov 28, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Rotonda heights

    After Colo’s recent comments it was sickening to see him wearing the Captains armband on the weekend.

    There is no place for him in the starting 11 after the way that Mapou and Willo have performed over the past few weeks many will believe that he shouldn’t even be a part of the squad after his latest outburst on wanting to leave as soon as possible.

    As for Pardew claiming to know nothing about those comments………………………..Really Alan???

  • 51 Ciaran // Nov 28, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Ancient

    Check his stats in the sense that he does not provide enough in terms of goals and assists. His stats are not impressive enough ergo he flatters to deceive. Your attempt at dry wit has failed.

  • 52 Ciaran // Nov 28, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Also long ball? Once more check our stats, if you believe we’re a long ball team then you clearly have not been watching us this season.

  • 53 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 28, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Ancient
    “Apart from maybe Cabaye, Ben Arfa is the best player in the Newcastle squad. This is not just my opinion, this is the opinion of experts within the game. I am sure they would get a good laugh at Newcastle fans complaining about Ben Arfa.”

    Are these the same experts that are also saying they can fully understand why you wouldn’t play him due to his massive inconsistency and lack of work rate?

    Has anybody every actually denied that Ben Arfa is one of the most talented players in the squad? No but many have questioned what his overall contribution to the squad is

    Forget the he doesn’t track back arguement, it’s the fact he simply does not do enough in the final 3rd and never ever has done at any club under any manager during any time of his career

    As for near on every one saying cmon pardew he’s a number 10 drop shola etc etc, based on what exactly?
    Not one single manager except pardew has ever viewed him as anything but a winger, there’s a good reason for that

  • 54 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 28, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Ruddy…I must admit I don’t agree with you either. By that definition the whole team should have been sold last season.

    For me it is all about style and philosophy. You cannot just say chech the stats – it is not that simple.

    Of course Benny need to up his performance and syrely he needs to add more in the finale third, but nothing good comes out of playing football the way we do if you want technical gifted players who can change a game on the field.

    I would even argue go have a look at other teams and you would see other managers can do it!

    For me this Benny discussion is getting rather silly! That is why I am not participating anymore – enough is enough!

  • 55 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 28, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Also long ball!
    Please we have one of the lowest long ball stats in the league, seems your the one making outright lies eh

  • 56 Ciaran // Nov 28, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Jesper

    HBA has provided next to nothing for any of the teams he has played for, using that excuse is nothing more than a cop out as far as I am concerned.

  • 57 Ancientcoptic // Nov 28, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    Ibiza, what do you expect when Ben Arfa is shuffled to Left Wing, shuffled to Right Wing. Asked to play left or right of a forward 3 and also played in a CAM role. And all the time he is doing this the attackers around him are shuffled around.

    Give the guy a position, let him play it, give him a ”consistent” run of games in that position, and see what he can do. I personally think Ben Arfa is always consistent, he gives you the same type of football every time he is on the pitch, if he does not unlock another side, you can be damn sure he came very close, and it takes 2 defenders to lock him down… why not use that to free other players?

    Ask yourself this question.

    Pick out a few of what you believe to be the best managers in the world, now ask yourself… if they came to Newcastle and had to manage with the players we currently have, would Ben Arfa be out of the side, with Ameobi in the team?

    I could be wrong, but any of the elite managers, would build our team around Cabaye, Ben Arfa & Remy. You build around your crown jewels… Ameobi is not the answer.

  • 58 Ancientcoptic // Nov 28, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    Ciaran

    ”Also long ball? Once more check our stats, if you believe we’re a long ball team then you clearly have not been watching us this season.”

    ”Clearly” you must not have watched our last 2 games. It also seem to have escaped you that I mentioned through ball too, as part of that style of football… perhaps you didn’t forget, and that little detail did not fit your narrative.

    You should really keep to ”all” the details.

  • 59 Ancientcoptic // Nov 28, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    toonarmydownsouth

    If you consider Jamie Carragher an expert, all the best to you. We have no further reason communicate.

  • 60 Ciaran // Nov 28, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    Ancient

    If the team is better at using long balls and through balls without him then I ask you, what is the point of HBA being on the pitch?

  • 61 Ibizatoon // Nov 28, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    Ancient…Firstly, the thing I expect most from any player on the pitch is commitment. Something I think Benny is guilty of not consistently offering.

    Truth be told, he is probably somewhat a victim of our teams lack of balance. Is that directly his fault? Not entirely.

    I take on board what you say about better managers and could only speculate as to whether they would be able to get more out of him. No one has previously, but that is not definitive.

    It’s great that he pulls players out of position etc and frees up space for his team mates, but he hardly ever passes the ball to them.

    He just needs to get his balance between when to keep going and when to pass a little better.

    I have little doubt that Pardew would rather have him in the team. It could be largely down to Pardew, but the upshot is Benny will need to address his “team” play if he is to feature more…as like it or not, a hard grafting team seems to work best for us.

    Ameobi is not a long term answer for sure. It is working for now though.

    As for building a team around Cabaye, Ben Arfa and Remy…let’s hope we still have them next season. Two are extremely doubtful imo.

  • 62 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 28, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    Ancient
    Lol yeah ok, cause it’s only Carrager who’s said that…….

    Sad that some fans put the individual before the team

  • 63 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 28, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Ruddy…I have heard that one before from TS and the one who shall not be named, but his performance for Lyon and OM has earned him call ups to the French National side and he has even attracted interest from Liverpool among others.

    I think we all see what we want to see – that goes for you and that goes for me as well. But I am partly on Ancient’s side in this debate.

    If you look at our team the is actually no flair players in the starting eleven an when there are they rarely perform that well. Maybe we focus more that and ask us self why that is?

    Resultwise the last three games has been a bless in disguise, but performances wise more or less the whole season has been a drag! That is my opinion.

  • 64 Ancientcoptic // Nov 28, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    Ciaran, in the hope that this recent resorting to long balls is only a temporary thing. We were dropping points earlier in the season, but I was willing to accept that as the football was improving.

    Pardew said it was not enough to win, but we have to win playing good football… that statement is exactly where I stand… and for me, that means Ben Arfa must come into the team. He does not have to play every single game, say maybe 20 games a season, unleashing him on the weaker sides.

    Going back to the original point. I believe Ben Arfa is an outstanding player, and I stand by my point, some of the complaints about Ben Arfa are more than a stretch. He does not have to score a contender for goal of the month in every game, to keep me impressed. He always looks the most threatening player on the pitch, and so long as he is spooking other sides and looks like he is going to unlock other teams at any moment, then he is doing his job for me.




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