Ben Arfa Was Terrific – He’s Getting To Grips


Hatem Ben Arfa came on yesterday after 57 minutes in the 1-0 win against Manchester United, and played well and held the ball up fairly well, especially towards the end of the game as Newcastle played out the three minutes of stoppage time to get a historic win – the first win at Old Trafford since way back in 1972 – and Newcastle were no less than magnificent – and made us all proud.

ben arfa manchester united 1-0

Ben Arfa tackles Wilfried Zaha yesterday

Certainly it seemed that Alan Pardew made some good substitutions yesterday and Ben Arfa for the hard-working Yoan Gouffran was the first attacking move, and Newcastle scored the winning goal just four minutes later through Yohan Cabaye, and Yohan was brilliantly set up by the ever improving Moussa Sissoko.

Alan Pardew was pleased with the contribution of Hatem Ben Arfa, who made his first appearance for Newcastle after a number of games out of the side – and this is what the Newcastle manager said after the game:

“The substitutes made a difference, particularly Hatem Ben Arfa. He is getting to grips with how I want him to play. He was terrific.”  “If you want to win at a top club, you can’t keep turning over the ball.”

Yesterday’s performance was terrific, and it will provide a base for the upcoming rush of games in December, and most fans think the next three games – at home to Southampton, on the road at Crystal Palace and at home to Stoke – will be easy games, but we don’t think so.

Southampton were the better side in the 2-2 draw with Manchester City yesterday at St. Mary’s, and  the Saints are maybe even a better side on the road than at home.

And Crystal Palace are in a resurgence under new manager Tony Pulis, and have 10 points and three wins in their last five league games, and a reviving Stoke side beat Chelsea yesterday 3-2 at home.

So as seems to be happening more than ever this season in the Premier League, any team can beat any other team on the day.

What Newcastle need to do is to play each game as it comes, and treat Crystal Palace in the same way we treat Manchester United, Arsenal or any other team, and only if we can keep doing that will Newcastle continue to have the great results the lads have produced in the least six games – with a very good 15 points.

Howay The lads!!

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98 comments so far

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #1

    Catchy

    We know that Shola has fitness issues as he’s often been taken off after an hour. So maybe he’s not capable of playing at 100% and making runs for 90mins?

    He’s doing the job that he’s being asked to do now, he’s not being asked to run the channels, he’s being asked to hold the ball up and provide a physical presence. Did Shearer do much running in his latter years? Nope…he held the ball up, tried to poach goals, drew lots of fouls and hit the odd screamer.

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  • Ted Bundy

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #2

    Think it was more a self-induced fear on Man Utd’s part, standing off him, due to fear of what he could do, which allowed us to retain possession and stabilise. I don’t understand the level of plaudits he’s getting for a very average cameo, in which he still displayed his reckless streak, no less than when he played an idiotic 50 yard pass back to Santon that was almost cut out.

    Don’t see him getting back into the starting line-up on the wings, so he better take hi chance playing off Remy, when he gets it.

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  • Ketsbaia9

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #3

    To cap off and great day yesterday, some bloke followed me to a taxi rank and asked me if I was gay. Lol what an end to a terrific day.

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  • tequilamag

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #4

    Did you make him breakfast ?

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  • 70TWO

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #5

    Would love to see HBA start against Southampton but believe he may struggle and prove to much of a risk with their high pressure, counter attacking game. The cross / back pass was a heart in mouth moment but the majority of his play was good, just like Anita. If he keeps building up game time, with the odd start and a goal or two, things will improve.

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  • toonbrother

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #6

    HBA did well but he wasnt spectacular. sounds to me like Pardumb is looking for any excuse he can find to drop Gouffran and reinstate Hba in the first team same way he dropped Mbiwa and reinstated coloshitty into our back line.Decisions like these send the wrong message to the players.

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  • tequilamag

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #7

    70TWO, HBA has come in for a lot of stick but is still a huge asset for us. If the penny drops that it is about the team rather than a showcase for his dribbling skills he still has a big future for us.

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  • scout

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #8

    Kets
    Where did he follow you from that’s the question

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  • ToonDarnSarf

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #9

    I thought HBA was excellent. He held onto the ball, provided an outlet and managed to use up a lot of time. Sure, his pass to Santon was a little odd, I did wonder if it was meant to be a cross-field ball and he mis-hit it though.

    They used HBA as an outlet and he was strong and skilful in maintaining possession. I don’t understand why people are so quick to get on players’ backs. I’ve been saying for weeks that HBA was useless when trying to keep a lead but he did exactly what was needed yesterday.

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  • Himanshu Dhingra

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #10

    The only reason Shola Ameobi is at a club like NUFC is because of a cheap owner.

    NUFC fans will never want players like Chamakh, Jerome and kenwene jones at NUFC who are 10 times the caliber of
    Shola Ameobi

    41 PL goals since 2000. 41!

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  • ToonDarnSarf

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #11

    There’s a fairly big list of players that some fans were unhappy about us not signing…how many of them have actually done something well at another club?

    I can think of the following who definitely haven’t (yet): Bony, RvW, Ruiz, Gervinho, Pieters, Bent, Graham, Moses, Zaha, Carroll and Maiga.

    Hooper, Fer and Redmond have been ok for Norwich but only Fer has looked top drawer and we have a lot of competition in that area.

    Did we really miss out on any players that moved to other teams for decent fees?

    Oh yeah…and ludicrously, I could have added several mackems to that list. Can’t believe some people were saying that we should have signed several players that moved to them in the summer. Then we really might be in a relegation scrap!

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  • ToonDarnSarf

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #12

    Himanshu Dhingra

    You really are a negative fool you know. So you’re also questioning the judgement of the late great SBR who rated Shola?

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  • tequilamag

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #13

    HD Boring boring boring

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  • bills-son

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #14

    Lets face it, earlier on in the season before we hit this run of form HBA was the biggest hope we had of pulling something out of a game. He will have felt that and I’m sure that in part contributed to him continually trying to pull off worldy runs and shots.

    I keep saying, HBA got dropped because those runs and shots were dying the death, the lack of tracking back was secondary.

    Pardew clearly wants HBA in the team, he said that after yesterday’s game, and if he can get HBA playing in a more disciplined way we could still see him turning into one of the Prem’s top players. It would be such a waste of talent if he didn’t.

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  • welshgeordie9

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #15

    How many players do we need to to sign in January or in the summer to make us a top 4 or 5 team.

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  • 70TWO

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #16

    Pardew has earned some respite from criticism, so I will just say he is handling HBA. The big question is how is the most likely to replace for Cabaye? If he plays Shola it will be another backward step, but who?
    Hopefully Pardew will keep the same formation, Sissoko could come into the middle but also Marveaux if he is up to it. If Sissoko moves, who do you bring on the wing? A full list HBA / Sammy / Guiterrez. Or would you bring Remy out to the left and play Cisse up front?

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  • tequilamag

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #17

    70 TWO earned some respite from criticism ? 5 wins out of 6 including wins against Spurs Chelsea and Man U. How about earned some praise.

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  • Big Pappa Cissé

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #18

    Since Southampton like to keep possession & press high up the pitch I would go for this team considering Cabaye is missing :

    ——————————-Krul——————————-

    —Debuchy———Willo———M’biwa——–Santon—

    —————Tiote————————–Anita————-
    ——————————–HBA—————————–
    –Sissoko———————————————–Gouff–
    ——————————-Remy—————————–

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  • DevonToon

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #19

    Not sure a 1 win in four on the road this year qualifies the saints as good on the road ed…

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  • 70TWO

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #20

    tequilamag
    I thought that was praise!
    No I have said elsewhere that all 15 including the manager deserved man of the match yesterday.

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  • Ted Bundy

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #21

    Ahhhh, everyone’s going to be so disappointed when Shola starts against Southampton. Not me! Everyone presuming he is going to be omitted.

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  • ~Anita One Bites The Dust~

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #22

    The thing is.. we are getting all these points off the big teams.. its our form against the mid-bottom table teams that are costing us points.

    If we had won against Sunderland, Beaten Hull and played against everton for 90 minutes (the way we played in the second half)

    We would be Top of the table with 35 points… (with Arsenal having a game in hand)

    We gotta be consistent. Can’t just turn up for the big games. I’m not saying we would end up winning the league… would just be nice to see us show the same amount of respect for each team and play the best we can regardless of who is in the other half rather then play half ass against teams who don’t have a ‘big name’

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  • Tsunki

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #23

    Good grief Indian still has that record on the player.

    Sorry to disagree but Hatem coming on effectively took all the sting out of what was shaping up to a classic manure late rally. To single out a solitary pass as proof he was terrible is inept and transparent. He pegged 2-3 players each time he had the ball, kept possession well, made passes into areas he had created space for, drifted onto both flanks to cause confusion in their back line….yes he is having to accept team discipline but you have to accept he is an immense talent and if we can get it railed into the team like his last two short performances he could be influential in the last half of the season.

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  • Himanshu Dhingra

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #24

    Don’t read if you don’t like it.

    Yes Even great managers sometimes get things wrong. Even Alex ferguson bought in players like Djemba-djemba, kleberson and Veron.

    in my 12 years following NUFC, Shola has been one of the worst players at Newcastle

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  • Himanshu Dhingra

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #25

    Get HBA in for Cabaye for Southampton.

    Only change I will make.

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  • Ketsbaia9

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #26

    Just for about a minute down the street. Wondered why he kept looking at me. Was just lurking around in seek of a late night bum.

    We need 3/4 new players to challenge for a top 4 spot. I’d be surprised if we didn’t sign anyone given the position we’re in. We need a striker, centre back and a Coutinho type player. Man Utd are like Liverpool 2 seasons ago. Liverpool have strengthened well in Sakho, Coutinho, Sturridge and Moses. Rogers is taking them in the right direction.

    Remy is a better signing in comparison with Soldado. Spurs need 2/3 new strikers to compete. Our fullbacks are the best in the league. Love watching them play.

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  • Tsunki

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #27

    Why wouldn’t Shola start against Southampton? There’s a back line that needs outmuscling.

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  • tequilamag

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #28

    70TWO , fair enough, Rotonda who was one of Pardews biggest critics last year praised Pardew when we won the 4 on the trot and I thought fair play to him, as soon as we lost to Swansea he reverted to his fallback position that Pardew was useless. We need to get away from just picking a stance based on what just happened in the last game and take a more measured approach .

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  • Himanshu Dhingra

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #29

    Just My choice.

    He may well start.

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  • tequilamag

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #30

    Interesting theory that the most virulent homophobes are over compensating as they are conflicted about their own sexuality.

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  • Himanshu Dhingra

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #31

    Fair play to pardew,

    He got things right yesterday, I personally would have gone with same side against swansea.

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  • ToonDarnSarf

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #32

    Wow…Shola has been one of the worst players at Newcastle in the last 12 years? Even in his position I can think of Cordone, Andersson, Guiv’arch, Tommasson, Chopra, Gallacher, Cort and Bridges who were worse and that’s just off the top of my head!

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  • Ketsbaia9

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #33

    Kleberson and Veron were good players. Veron did well at Man Utd.

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  • tequilamag

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #34

    If Veron was such a good player for Man U why did they sell him within 2 years for half what they paid for him?

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  • 70TWO

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #35

    tequilamag
    I thought he was very sincere in the BBC interview, admitting that although the team were lacking against Swansea that he also made wrong decisions. In the past he has often come across very arrogant and unwilling / unable to change. Hopefully his aspiration to replicate SBR will elevate him with all fans, he has had to operate with his hands tied and the odd obstacle not of his own making. If he keeps the formation and generates a squad that can replicate the same performance week in week out, to me Pardew will transcend Keegan.

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  • Himanshu Dhingra

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #36

    Some fans at NUFC think with their hearts rather than their heads.

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  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #37

    Tequila

    I give praise and criticism in equal measure where it is warranted.

    Pardew himself admitted he was at fault with his tactics for the debacle at Swansea and I was frustrated we had lost a very winnable game against a team who played 3 matches in 6 day and had no strikers!

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  • tequilamag

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #38

    Rotonda Ok then without looking at individual games but the season as a whole what is take on Pardew this season so far?

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  • 70TWO

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #39

    I do often wonder if Pardew knows what he is doing and would someone like Benitez or F. de Boer do a better job. But in the circumstances and constraints of the moment he is doing something right.

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  • ToonDarnSarf

    Dec 8, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #40

    70TWO

    Transcend Keegan??? Are you mad?

    Keegan was part of a double act with SJH who took this club out of the doldrums and oversaw the most exciting season for our club within most fans’ lifetimes. A manager would have to win the league to transcend that.

    No point in going from everyone slating Pardew to claiming that he’s an incredible manager…

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